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Help the Friends

Friends need your help with tasks large and small. Whether you have a couple of hours to offer once in a while or several hours on a weekly basis we welcome your help, talent and skills.

Invasive Plant Removal 2021

Garlic MustardGarlic MustardImage courtesy of cisma-suasco.orgAre you interested in volunteering to manage invasive species at the refuge? Consider joining Assabet Pulling Together (APT), Dave Lange's invasive species removal group!

Here's what you need to know:

  • Garlic Mustard starts growing in late March and will be flowering a few weeks later, so work will start in mid-April.
  • We will be continuing with small groups, following all COVID-19 precautions, even if you've been vaccinated.
  • Volunteers will need to complete a USFWS Volunteer Service Agreement before your first work session.
  • APT has made good progress in reducing some invasive plants species on the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. In one small meadow where APT has been pulling Spotted Knapweed for several years the number of plants found and pulled last year was down by over 60% from the year before!
  • APT has also made good progress removing Black Swallowwort, Glossy Buckthorn and Burning Bush in limited areas. The number of Garlic Mustard plants have been reduced in a few hot spots but unfortunately new spots are found every year.
  • The first few work sessions will be pulling Garlic Mustard. Once Black Swallowwort has come up we will be digging it out. Spotted Knapweed will be flowering in July so will concentrate on knapweed at that time. Some Glossy Buckthorn and Oriental Bittersweet pulling will be done between other work.
  • Besides removing invasive plants APT also needs help scouting for new invasive plant outbreaks, so if you like to hike the trails and can identify plants this would be a great way to help! A Volunteer Service Agreement is required before work can begin, and no off-trail exploration is permitted. All scouting work will be done on designated trails.

If you would like to help APT remove invasive plants please email Dave at delange005@earthlink.net. In your email, please specify what days of the week or weekend work best for you. Work sessions are 9am to 12pm, and meeting place will vary according to work location. Work locations are typically less than ¼ mile, walk from a parking lot.

Besides getting involved pulling invasive plants you can help reduce the spread of invasive plants by:

  • Staying on trails, no off-trail activities are permitted on the refuge.
  • Clean your boots or shoes, or if you ride a bike, clean off muddy tires. Wet or muddy footwear or tires can easily move invasive plant seeds to new locations.
  • Remove invasive plants if you have them in your yard and dispose of properly.

The CISMA website is a good source of information on invasive plants.

Assistance with Keeping Us Running

We particularly need help with the following tasks, but feel free to contact us if you have other skills you'd like to volunteer. Unless noted, please email us if you'd like to help!

  • Volunteer to help with our Nature Store — assist with managing the store and for staffing on weekends. Weekend staffing slots are available as full shifts (10AM - 4PM) and half shifts (10AM - 1PM and 1PM - 4PM). Some management tasks can be done from home. Just one day a month would be a tremendous help! Please contact Paula Goodwin at info@farnwr.org for more information.
  • Invasive Plant Removal on the Refuge with Assabet Pulling Together. Please email APT@truebenbach.com if you can help.
  • Organize/Oversee educational programs for adults/children – we’d welcome your ideas!
  • Lead or coordinate nature walks – share your knowledge!
  • Lead bicycle or snowshoe events – share your passion!
  • Help with grant applications including concept development, application writing, follow-up reports. There are many opportunities to explore.
  • Assist with outreach:
    • Coordinate Community Events such as Hudson Fest, Maynard Farmer’s Market, Earth Days at Lincoln Labs
    • Coordinate Refuge Events such as monthly meetings, nature walks, art classes, the possibilities are endless!
    • Write articles for our website. Share your Refuge photos and Create posts for our Facebook page!
  • Assist with membership:
    • Help Screen Volunteers – chat with people interested in volunteering. No cold calls.
    • Membership Mailings and Database – Computer skills appreciated. We use MailChimp and Access.
  • Assist with Financial Audits – We need a qualified volunteer to audit our accounts.

Assistance at the Visitor Center

If you are interested in coordinating or assisting in any of our key program areas which include:

  • Staffing the Nature Store
  • Staffing the Front Desk at the Center.

Please email us if you'd like to help!

Assistance in Key Program Areas

If you are interested in coordinating or assisting in any of our key program areas which include:

  • Pollinator Garden Volunteering June-October, Tuesday and Saturday mornings, 9AM-11AM.

    Connect with the refuge by helping to maintain the Pollinator Gardens at the Visitor Center! People of all gardening abilities are welcome to participate. Join in on a regular or drop-in basis to take care of garden tasks such as weeding, mulching, and raking. Let's help the gardens thrive!

    A Volunteer Service Agreement will be emailed to volunteers to read, sign and return before volunteering.

    For more information, email: info@farnwr.org

  • Environmental education
  • Citizen science
  • Birding
  • Wildflowers
  • Invasive plant control
  • Refuge History
  • Trail Maintenance
  • In-refuge bicycling
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Nature Appreciation through Art
  • Wildlife Tracking
  • Family Activities
  • Special Events such as information booths for town fairs, farmers markets.

Please email us if you'd like to help!

Help with Administrative Tasks

If you enjoy coordinating and assisting in:

  • Public relations
  • Outreach
  • Membership
  • Writing Grant Applications
  • Financial Planning and Management

Please email us if you'd like to help!