2016 Spring Newsletter


Spring 2016


Spring is just around the corner and The Walden Woods Project is gearing up for another productive year. As we close out our 25th anniversary in April, we again want to thank our dedicated friends and supporters for helping our organization reach key milestones through the past quarter century. We appreciate and rely on your generosity to protect Walden Woods and educate a new generation of environmental stewards. If you are interested in making a contribution, please go to our website.

In recent months, The Walden Woods Project has been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as plans evolve for the opening of a new Visitor Center at Walden Pond later this year. Further information on this exciting project will be featured in our summer newsletter.

We have also begun to plan for a variety of interesting programs and experiences related to the Bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth in 2017. Additional details will be available in our autumn newsletter.

This edition of our quarterly newsletter provides information about ongoing programs and new initiatives for 2016. We look forward to keeping you informed about our activities.


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.

Aerial Photo of Thoreau’s Cabin Site

Photo © Walden Woods Project


The Walden Woods Project has partnered with American Heritage Trees (AHT) to offer sapling red maple trees from historic Walden Woods for sale. Red maple is a common tree species throughout Walden Woods, and is known for its beautiful red, fall foliage. It grows relatively quickly to a size of 40 – 60 feet in a wide range of soils. The red maple is featured throughout Henry David Thoreau’s writings due to its striking color and prominence in Walden Woods.


After providing AHT with seeds collected last fall from red maples on Walden Woods Project properties in Concord and Lincoln, hundreds of saplings have been propagated in AHT’s greenhouses in Tennessee and are ready for purchase. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of Henry David Thoreau Red Maple trees benefit The Walden Woods Project. Visit the AHT website for more information and to order your Red Maple from Walden Woods.

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“Knowledge is to be acquired only by a corresponding experience. How can we know what we are told merely?” wrote Thoreau in his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. The educational philosophy of The Walden Woods Project certainly echoes this sentiment, as we not only teach about Thoreau, but simultaneously engage audiences in the places that inspired him. In April, we will offer two immersive, one-day professional development workshops that will do just that for both educators and interested members of the general public. Both programs are supported by EDCO Collaborative, a voluntary collaborative of 18 school districts in the Greater Boston Metropolitan area.

On Saturday, April 2, we will again team-up with our colleagues at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum to offer “Sense of Place: An Interdisciplinary Exploration through Art, Literature, History and Science.” The day will focus on environmental awareness and fostering a sense of place. Utilizing The Walden Woods Project’s interpretive trail “Thoreau’s Path on Brister’s Hill” and deCordova’s exhibition, Overgrowth (forthcoming, April 1), we will explore overlapping themes such as human expansion, organic abundance, mutation, and creative cultivation. Henry David Thoreau and the deCordova artists will be our models for critical observation, while we explore the themes above as they present in both Nature and society. The workshop will run from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM. Through EDCO Collaborative, professional development points and a graduate credit option will be available for educators. Fee for the workshop is $125 for educators from EDCO districts and $150 for general public and educators from non-EDCO districts. More information can be found here.

On Wednesday, April 20, we will present “Beyond Walden: Thoreau’s Other Works from the Pond.” The workshop will introduce participants to Thoreau through the “other” texts that were born from experiences he had between July 4, 1845 and September 6, 1847, the dates he took up residence at the Pond. Focusing on the essays “Civil Disobedience” and “Ktaadn,” as well as excerpts from the book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (the writing of which was his main purpose for going to live at Walden), we hope to equip educators (and interested members of the public) with a better understanding of Thoreau as a person, the breadth of his literary voice, and the ways in which he translated his experiences (sometimes mundane) into magnificent works. The workshop will run from 8:30 AM-3 PM and will include time in The Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library and visits to sites in Concord. Through EDCO Collaborative, professional development points and a graduate credit option will be available for educators. Fee for the workshop is $95 for educators from EDCO districts who register by April 6, 2016 and $125 for general public, non-EDCO district educators and EDCO district educators who register after April 6. More information can be found here.

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In a room packed with educators attending the 2016 Massachusetts Environmental Education Society annual conference in early March, Walden Woods Project staff offered the first public introduction to Henry’s Hat, an elementary education curriculum currently under development. The curriculum gives teachers a way to introduce young students, primarily in grades 3 – 6, to Henry David Thoreau through standards-based lessons across a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics topics.

Through Henry’s Hat, elementary-aged students learn about Henry’s many talents and skills, which form the basis of each lesson, along with a Thoreau quotation pertinent to the topic at hand. Lessons are hands-on and encourage outdoor activity to help students connect with and develop a sense of place, which was so important to Thoreau and is central to The Walden Woods Project’s educational program goals.

While under development, Henry’s Hat can be seen and explored at www.henrys-hat.org. We are excited about this educational initiative, and welcome comments, feedback and offers to test the curriculum with students.

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Since 2008, The Walden Woods Project has offered an annual $2,500 scholarship to a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School senior who plans to further his or her education in the fields of conservation or environmental studies. The 2016 application process is now underway and closes on April 1st. If you are a Lincoln-Sudbury senior who intends to pursue a course of study or a career related to environmental protection and/or environmental education, such as climate change, biodiversity, sustainability, wildlife preservation, land conservation, etc., we invite you to apply. For additional information, please visit our website.

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There are a number of engaging programs and presentations this spring at The Walden Woods Project! Details will be sent in advance of each lecture, but here’s a preview:

Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Peer into a Pool- A Vernal Pool Exploration

Donelan’s Parking Lot

145 Lincoln Rd, Lincoln, MA

Come quickly before it’s gone! Vernal pools reach their maximum water level in spring before disappearing during summer. In a brief window of time, a variety of plants, animals and insects thrive. Salamanders and frogs use the pools to breed. Will you hear a frog? Or, spot a salamander? Will you see an egg mass? Engage your senses on this interactive walk to a vernal pool with our Conservation Director, Matt Burne. Matt holds a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from UMass-Amherst and is a former ecologist with the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and an expert in vernal pool habitat and wildlife. Participants should wear footwear for a one to two mile walk. Co-sponsored by the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, Walden Woods Project and Lincoln Conservation Commission. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM

A Modern Lyceum: Education and Educational Access

Old South Meeting House

310 Washington St, Boston, MA

This is the second event in our new program Thoreau’s Legacy: A Modern Lyceum. The panelists and audience will explore today’s educational challenges from the vantage point of Thoreau and his fellow Transcendentalists, including Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Margaret Fuller, and Bronson Alcott, all advocates of non-traditional education. We will also consider the enormous gaps in access to education in today’s society and bring Thoreau’s views on social, individual, and governmental responsibility to bear on possible solutions in that regard. Free and open to the public.


  • 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 at The Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute and editor of numerous books on Thoreau and Emerson

Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Turtle Conservation in Massachusetts and Beyond

The Walden Woods Project

44 Baker Farm Rd, Lincoln, MA

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. Free and open to the public.


Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Glen Canyon: Recovering America’s “Lost National Park”

The Walden Woods Project – also sponsored by RESTORE: The North Woods

44 Baker Farm Rd, Lincoln, MA

Glen Canyon, originally submerged with the creation of Lake Powell, is slowly reemerging due to the drought conditions in the Southwest. Michael Kellett will join us to discuss the efforts to restore Glen Canyon as well as his initiative to make it a National Park. Michael, Special Projects Coordinator at the Glen Canyon Institute and Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, is a strong advocate for public land and an expert on the parks system. This is bound to be an intriguing, exciting, and invaluable presentation about one of America’s most treasured natural wonders. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM

Eyes on Owls

The Walden Woods Project

44 Baker Farm Rd, Lincoln, MA

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! There will be a $5 fee for those ages 13 and up. Attendees age 12 and younger will be free.

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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