2018 Summer Newsletter


Summer 2018

Dear Friends,

Here, in Walden Woods, a smattering of swamp maple leaves are beginning to turn bright red, heralding the approach of autumn.  As Thoreau wrote, “Everywhere in woods and swamps I am already reminded of the fall.”

All of us at The Walden Woods Project hope you had a pleasant summer filled with family, friends and happy memories.

It was a productive summer for our organization that featured a full complement of programs and public events.

On June 12th, we were honored to welcome CNN Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley who delivered a compelling lecture to a sold out audience that focused on Thoreau’s vision and how he shaped the American land conservation ethic.  Professor Brinkley wove the history of land conservation into the current environmental challenges we face.

In July, we were joined by nearly two dozen teachers from across the United States who participated in our week-long professional development seminar, Approaching Walden.  We hope they return to their classrooms invigorated and inspired by their experience and ready to use the tools they acquired to develop their own place-based curriculum for their students that brings Thoreau’s philosophy into the classroom.

Recently, our library obtained a new collection through the generosity of our friend and colleague, Corinne Smith. The majority of the material deposited to date stems from the research done and travels undertaken for Corinne’s first book, Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau’s Last Journey (2012). Corinne H. Smith worked as a librarian in a variety of venues (school, public, and academic) from 1979-2018. She has been a member of The Thoreau Society since 2001, and she served on its board from 2006-2008. Her second book, Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities, was published in 2016. She has also authored a number of articles, blog posts, book reviews, and creative pieces on Thoreau and on other topics. She continues to write and to speak about Henry David Thoreau and his relevance to us today. You can view the collection here.

The Farm at Walden Woods officially opened on July 4th, the same day of the year that Thoreau moved to Walden pond! We have enjoyed seeing many familiar faces, as well as several new ones. The summer heat and rains have created their fair share of challenges, but it has not hindered us from having a successful season. We encourage those who live nearby to visit our organic farm stand located on Route 2 eastbound in Concord, MA.

We are continuing to pursue several land conservation opportunities within Walden Woods. Watch for our fall newsletter for more information on these projects!

Thank you for your continued support of our mission. We hope you will consider making a contribution to help us protect more land in Thoreau’s Walden Woods and expand our educational initiatives.

The Walden Woods Project

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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


Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.
Monday, September 17, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Walden Woods Project, 44 Baker Farm Road, Lincoln, MA

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., is Co-Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, with a mission “to advance freedom through knowledge and strategic action.” Morris, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington, will introduce the FDFI’s “One Million Abolitionists” project and speak to the issue of abolition from the days of Thoreau and Douglass to the present.

Attendees are asked to make a donation of at least $4 (accepted the night of the event), which will cover the cost of donating a special bicentennial edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (hardback) to a school with limited financial resources.Doors open at 7 p.m. for a wine and cheese reception, sponsored by The Cheese Shop in Concord.

The presentation begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Seating is free but limited. To RSVP on-line, click here.
You can also register over the phone at 781-259-4707.

Co-sponsored by The Robbins House.

Approaching Thoreau: Teaching about Place
Saturday, November 3, 2018
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Walden Woods Project, 44 Baker Farm Road, Lincoln, MA

This professional development workshop will approach Thoreau as a uniquely place-based writer and philosopher, exploring his time at Walden Pond by looking at Walden and other texts. Participants will spend time with The Walden Woods Project’s Curator of Collections and Thoreau scholar, Jeffrey S. Cramer, and UMass Lowell’s Professor of English, Marlowe Miller, in the Thoreau Institute Library; tour Walden Pond with The Walden Woods Project’s Education Director, Whitney Retallic; and discover new and innovative ways to implement Thoreau’s ideas and writings in a creative and interdisciplinary way.

Registration Deadline: October 17, 2018

Registrations received after deadline will be accepted if space is available

EDCO members: $60 for workshop only; $80 for workshop plus graduate credit*

Non-EDCO members: $75 for workshop only; $100 for workshop and graduate credit*

*Optional on-line sessions for graduate credit, Oct 23-Nov 20: Additional $125 paid to Worcester State University


If you are interested in registering, e-mail education@walden.org.

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Double rainbow stretched above The Farm at Walden Woods

Our organic farm — The Farm at Walden Woods — is open for the season! We have loved meeting many new customers. If you haven’t stopped by, yet, you can find us on Route 2 eastbound in Concord. We are open Wednesdays – Fridays 11:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturdays – Sundays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm until the end of October. We will also be open on Labor Day and Columbus Day from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Wildlife neighbors and the weather have created significant challenges this season. Our furry friends have been enjoying the all-you-can-eat buffet and the heavy rains have made the fields very wet. It is a constant reminder that in farming, nature’s plan for the day will always supersede our plan for the day!

On the plus side, the heat and heavy rains have created a plentiful crop! The corn is sweet and juicy, and the peaches have been large and flavorful. We are currently ushering in a new round of crops: onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cabbage and more! With over twenty types of tomatoes in the field, we have a large variety of color, size, shape, and flavor — something that can fit every recipe!

Moving into the fall we will continue to have abundant local, seasonal, produce. For apples, pumpkins, winter squash, stop by in September and October!

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-Eleni Angelou

“It is not in vain that man speaks to man. This is the value of literature,” Thoreau wrote to H.G.O. Blake in 1848. I knew that Thoreau was speaking to my sixteen year-old self and still continues to do so as I grow older through the years, reading his writings again and again and discovering more and more of them.

The first time I pulled the book Walden off a bookstore shelf, I could never imagine the impact that very moment would have in my life. After discovering more of his works, Thoreau became a teacher and a friend, a valuable ethical supporter throughout every stage of my life.

Two years later, I found my eighteen year-old self, walking a beautiful path in the woods which leads to his house site at Walden Pond, having traveled all the way from Athens, Greece. At that point, I knew I was visiting an old friend, one who visits me regularly with his words, regardless of geographical limits.

Now studying Philosophy and the History of Science in Athens, I thought it’d be a memorable experience and a dream come true to contribute to the work of The Walden Woods Project. Full of enthusiasm, I arrived in Cambridge and a couple of days later, I took the train to Lincoln to start my Thoreauvian summer internship.

My summer was full of reading, having on the top of my to-read list, Thoreau’s Journals and his correspondence. And my project included collecting quotations from all his writings and posting them on The Walden Woods Project’s Quotation page, proving again that Thoreau is one of the most quotable writers in the English speaking world.

With the helpful guidance and unceasing support of Jeff Cramer, I finished my internship having added sixteen new sections of quotations on the website, with themes varying from Ancient Philosophy & Mythology, as well asEastern Philosophy & Religion to Economy, Spending & Investing. Other themes include Knowledge, Technology, History, Employment & Labor, Scholars and more. It was fascinating to see how wide Thoreau’s spectrum of thinking and understanding has been.

I found it particularly essential to add a section on Living Life since Thoreau, above all, urges us to maximize living, “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”, as he says, and to seize every chance given to us to be unapologetically ourselves.

I am thankful to have spent this summer collaborating with The Walden Woods Project, having shared my devotion and love for Thoreau with people who are honoring his memory and passionately preserving his rich legacy of writings.

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Summer time is always full of opportunities for outdoor adventure, and one of the more entertaining activities that Walden Woods Project staff has been busy with this summer is helping the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation with the annual Junior Ranger Program at Walden Pond. For several years, our Conservation Director, Matt Burne, has led a “ponding” activity for the Junior Rangers program at the Reservation. Youth between the ages of 7 and 12 years of age spend one morning during the week-long Junior Ranger Program walking to a variety of unique and special wetland habitats located in the Walden Pond State Reservation, looking for wildlife that requires special tools, extra effort, and a little luck to find.

This year, the Junior Rangers visited an almost-dry vernal pool and had a blast catching, and releasing, juvenile green frogs, a couple of salamander larvae, and a host of insects that are typical of mid- to late-summer aquatic ecosystems. We continued down the Heywood Meadow Road to Heywood Meadow, a complex wetland system that contains deep-water beaver pond, shrub swamp, wet meadow, and quaking bog habitats all in a quarter-mile long wetland along the south-west side of the Reservation. Here, we caught two-inch long catfish and bluegill fry, frogs, giant water bugs, striders, fingernail clams, and a host of other creatures.

As the huckleberries around Walden begin to go past their prime this year, the Junior Rangers Program at the Walden Pond State Reservation had a fantastic opportunity to become familiar with organisms and ecosystems that, while fairly common, are relatively unknown by most people in the area. Walden Woods Project staff always enjoy participating in the Junior Ranger Program and providing some special assistance to the Park staff in fun collaboration that gets young kids out into the woods, hunting for the wildlife that makes our area so rich and special.

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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 2000 copies. Of those 2000 copies, those that have survived the ravages of time are housed in libraries, museums, and a few private libraries.

Special thanks to Stuart Gordon for his generosity in donating a first edition of this remarkable volume to The Walden Woods Project with the condition that proceeds from its sale would benefit our organization. It offered a unique way to support the mission of The Walden Woods Project. The volume recently sold for $7,000!

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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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