The new dock (and my new paddle board) at Peter Igo Park in Brant Rock.

I’ve been writing this nature column for almost twenty years now. Thank you for reading it!

It seems that there is always something new to report – conservation land acquisitions, trail development, unusual occurrences like last year’s snowy owl “irruption.” While many of these topics are worthy of complete articles, and it’s likely I will follow up on them later in the year, I’d like to take this opportunity to get caught up on some noteworthy happenings from this past year.
• This summer Mass Audubon’s North River Wildlife Sanctuary (2000 Main Street, Marshfield) opened a new sensory trail. Designed for people who may not be able to enjoy a typical walk in the woods, the half-mile loop is ADA-compliant — lined smoothly with gravel for easier walking or wheeling. It includes a post-and-rope guided trail, tactile displays for people with impaired vision, and signage in both large print and braille. Visitors are encouraged to use all of their senses to experience the outdoors – such as listening for birdsong, noticing the various scents in the air, or touching the bark of a tree.
• Also in Marshfield, good news for paddlers! The construction of a new dock at Peter Igo Park is complete. This means that kayakers, canoeists, rowers, and stand up paddle boarders, among others, now have easy access to the Green Harbor River (parking too). Check out this recently rehabilitated 17-acre park at the intersection of Dyke Road (Route 139) and Marshall Ave.
• “The Pathway” in Norwell is a project that has been unfolding over the past few years. A network of paved cycling/walking trails, sidewalks and boardwalks, The Pathway provides an alternative to crossing town via Route 123. If you park near the Norwell Middle School (328 Main Street), you can travel more than a mile in either direction – west to the high school or east to the Norris Reservation.
• There are a few conservation properties clustered together in Scituate’s West End, including the Bates Lane Conservation Area and the Litchfield Preserve. I had planned to write about this area for this month’s column, but the guided walk I’d signed up for was cancelled due to heavy snow and falling branches. I do hope to get there soon, so please stay tuned! These properties are located on Thomas Clapp Road. To park, look for a sign for Bates Lane and the Carl Pipes Memorial Trail. A second parking area is located at the Mount Hope Improvement Society building. There are a number of well-marked trails, plus the occasional wooden bench, a boardwalk style bridge, and a landmark known as Tepee Rock.
• In Plymouth, the Wildlands Trust has so much to offer. This past year the organization relocated its headquarters to the Davis-Douglas Farm and expanded its Halfway Pond Conservation Are to 418 acres. Nearby are the Six Ponds Preserve, the Emery Preserve, the Shifting Lots Preserve, and the South Triangle Pond Conservation Area. I’m hoping to explore several of these properties in the coming months, and I’ll report back to you with details. In the meantime, you can explore them on your own. Visit for visitor information.
by Kezia Bacon

February 2016

Kezia Bacon’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit To browse 20 years of Nature (Human and Otherwise) columns, visit