2015 Winter Newsletter


Winter 2015


In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts. . .

-Henry David Thoreau, “A Winter Walk”

Warm holiday greetings from all of us at The Walden Woods Project!

As the year draws to a close, we express our profound appreciation for your support and friendship, which have been instrumental in furthering our mission for the past 25 years.

On the road to this 25-year milestone, we have accomplished a great deal. Our collective achievements are due to the generosity of so many people from near and far. The credit is widely shared and we hope you will take pride in what we have done together to protect historic Walden Woods and to expand the reach of our educational programming. I also hope that you will continue your support as we go forward to meet the challenges that remain. Together, we will keep Thoreau’s legacy alive by preserving the place that inspired him and by fostering a new generation of environmental stewards better prepared to meet the global challenges we face.

With best wishes for happiness and peace in the New Year,


Kathi Anderson

Executive Director


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The Walden Woods Project preserves the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Join our mailing list and get all the latest information, as well as invitations to our important events.

Photo © Walden Woods Project


Our society’s increased reliance upon technology, swelling costs of higher education that lead to decreased accessibility, the Black Lives Matter movement-what would Thoreau have to say about these things? Of course, we can’t know exactly. But we can come together in thought-provoking conversation that brings Thoreau’s words and deeds to bear on such current-day issues.

“Thoreau’s Legacy: A Modern Lyceum” is an annual series of three events that stimulate public discourse on current social issues, through the historical, philosophical and ethical lens of Henry David Thoreau, the Transcendentalists and other contemporaries. Each event will feature a meaningful, lively and in-depth discussion between scholar panelists, followed by an opportunity for audience members to join the conversation through questions and comments.

Our “Modern Lyceum” brings back the movement that spawned adult education in America with public forums that promoted thoughtful dialogue and education about the social, intellectual and ethical questions of 19th-century society. Thoreau was active in Concord’s Lyceum, and was even elected to serve as both secretary and curator between 1838 and 1840. Moreover, the Lyceum became both an important platform for Thoreau to share his work, as well as an instrument for his learning from others.

Below is more information on the first two events in the program’s inaugural year. A third event, on the topic of “Racial and other Social Injustice Then and Now,” is in the planning stages for fall 2016 in Western Massachusetts.

Event 1: Technology and Society

Tuesday, February 9, 2016; 7 PM

Worcester Polytechnic Institute; 100 Institute Road, Worcester; Salisbury Labs 115 Panelists:

  • William Powers, New York Times bestselling author of Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
  • Kristen Case, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at University of Maine, Farmington
  • Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections, Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute
  • Moderator: Sarah Luria, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at College of the Holy Cross

Arrive early for a 6:30 preview of the forthcoming video game, “Walden, a game,” presented by the game’s designer, Tracy Fullerton, Director of the USC Game Innovation Lab.

Event 2: Education and Educational Access

Thursday, April 14, 2016; 6:30 PM

Old South Meeting House; 310 Washington St., Boston


  • Megan Marshall, Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor, Emerson College; Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
  • Lawrence Buell, Ph.D., Professor of American Literature Emeritus at Harvard University and former Harvard College Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections, Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute

This event is part of the Old South Meeting House Partners in Public Dialogue program.

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Photo © Walden Woods Project


Walden is long acknowledged as one of the most important works of American literature, and one of the foundational texts of the American environmental movement. It was originally published in 1854 by Ticknor & Fields in an edition of 2,000 copies. Those that have survived the ravages of time are housed in libraries, museums, and a few private collections.

We were recently given a first edition of this remarkable volume to offer for sale to our friends and supporters. Now, you have the opportunity to own a first edition of Thoreau’s most famous work and support the mission of The Walden Woods Project at the same time. Special thanks to Stuart Gordon for his generosity in donating this volume. The asking price for this piece of literary history is $9,950.


Photo © Stuart Gordon


For the bibliophiles: Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1854. Octavo, original brown cloth. Lithographed survey of Walden Pond facing page 307; advertisements at rear dated May 1854. A 1967 U.S. postage stamp of Thoreau affixed to free endpaper, with tiny pencil sketch on front endpaper. Early owner signature on title page. Interior clean and fine; small repair to head of spine, minor discoloration to rear panel, cloth generally fresh, gilt unusually bright. Near-fine condition. Borst A2.1.a.

Thoreau wrote in Walden, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” Walden is just such a book for so many of its readers. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to add a first edition to your collection.

For more information, please contact jeff.cramer@walden.org.

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We are now accepting submissions to one of our flagship education programs, the 2015-2016 “Live Deliberately Essay Contest.” This contest invites youth around the globe, ages 13-21, to contemplate and respond to a Henry David Thoreau quotation, sharing how that quote resonates in their own lives and in the world. The quotation selected for this year’s Contest is: “Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” from Walden. In their responses, contestants are asked to “thoughtfully convey a time when [they] either experienced or witnessed the type of ‘miracle’ Thoreau describes” in the quotation.

There are two new and exciting developments in this year’s Contest. The first is the addition of a visual essay option. Now, in addition to entering the traditional Essay Contest with an essay of 750 words or less, participants also have the option to enter the Visual Essay Contest with an original visual image accompanied by a written explanation (250-400 words) of why they chose that image. We look forward to reviewing outstanding submissions, both written and visual.

And, for the first time, we will award a cash prize to the winner in each age group for each track of the Contest. Visit the Essay Contest web page for more information.

The Live Deliberately Essay Contest is guided by a dedicated Advisory Board and is made possible by the participation of volunteer guest reviewers each March and April. If you are interested in learning more about the Advisory Board or volunteering as a guest reviewer, visit the Contest site here.

Please help us spread word of our Contest by sharing with youth in your life!

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We have concluded another season at The Farm at Walden Woods. Thank you to everyone who shopped at our farm stand.

Last spring the farm received its organic certification through Baystate Organic Certifiers. This has been a long term goal of our organization and we are excited to be certified after several years of farming with organic practices.

Meanwhile, work continues on improving our soil by expanding compost production. This year, the majority of our fields were in active production. With the completion of our 20′ x 24′ hoop house last spring, we expanded our season and doubled our yield. Our first strawberry crop will be ready in early summer 2016. Most notable was our 2015 tomato crop with 1,200 plants of 20+ varieties, including beautiful heirloom, hybrid and cherry tomatoes.

Preseason renovation to our farm stand created more effective displays for new inventory. Along with increased produce, we doubled local products in stock, including Bonnie’s Jams, Appalachian Jerky, Real Pickles, Crystal Brook Farm goat cheese, and Town Farm Gardens pickles, salsas, and jams.

Although the fields may be resting for the winter, we are already busy preparing for next year, and look forward to seeing you in June 2016.

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We are looking forward to a number of engaging presentations at The Walden Woods Project as part of our 2016 Stewardship Lecture series. Details will be sent in advance of each lecture, but here’s a preview:

February 4, 2016 at 7pm

Taking On Invasives: Design Less Gardening

Dan Jaffe, the propagator and stock bed grower at the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods will present: Taking on Invasives – Design Less Gardening. Dan advocates for replanting native species after invasive plant treatments, and will look at the opportunities and challenges presented by replacing invasive plants with native species. Where: Walden Woods Project, 44 Baker Farm Rd, Lincoln, MA. To RSVP, please call 781-259-4707. Seating is limited.

April, 2016- Date to be Determined

Turtle Conservation in Massachusetts and Beyond

Mike Jones and Liz Willey are biologists specializing in turtle conservation. They are working on a variety of species native to Massachusetts and northeastern North America, as well as species found in Florida, Baja, Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula. They have fascinating stories to tell of their travels to far-flung places in search of these elusive and enigmatic animals, along with stunning photography.

May 21, 2016

Eyes on Owls

Photo © Mark Wilson

Naturalist Marcia Wilson and photographer Mark Wilson, will introduce us to live owls from New England and beyond. They will also share the field marks, signs, and naturalist’s skills that you can use to find wild owls without disturbing them. Everyone is treated to a hooting lesson, as well as tips on how to attract and protect owls near you. Always a great event for children and adults!

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The Walden Woods Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving the land, literature, and legacy of Henry David Thoreau through conservation, education, research and advocacy. Founded by recording artist Don Henley, the Project uses the land it has protected in Walden Woods to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility, both cornerstones of Thoreau’s philosophy.

We are located in the heart of Walden Woods:

The Walden Woods Project

44 Baker Farm

Lincoln, MA 01773

We invite you to contact us at (781) 259-4700 or send us an e-mail using our Contact form.

Please consider supporting our mission. Thank you.

The Walden Woods Project

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