Mosquito Spraying Planned for Wednesday, July 29

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project is planning to use a truck-mounted aerosol sprayer to apply Sumithrin in Bedford on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  

Spraying is scheduled for Bedford neighborhoods located in the vicinity of Washington Street, Marion Road, Short Street, Alaska Avenue, Dunelm Road, Ridge Terrace, Meadowbrook Road, and Sweeney Ridge Road.

Compost Center ~ Summer Schedule, through August 31

The Department of Public Works recently announced a return to the summer schedule for the Compost Center.

The Compost Center, located at 108 Carlisle Road, will be open every other Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, and every other Wednesday from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm at 106 Carlisle Road. The autumn schedule will announced at the end of September.

Photographing Comet NEOWISE at Halibut Point

Mark David Bailey is known around Bedford as a dad, a talented photographer, and a man with the patience and skill to balance standing stones.

Earlier this week, Bailey went to Rockport with his daughters Lila and Norah to see Comet NEOWISE, balance a rock or two, and take some pictures.

The result?

The compelling image at the head of this story is daughter Lila’s. It was the best shot of the night, showing the 40-pound rock her dad balanced in the foreground, the sea, lights on the horizon, a scattering of stars, and Comet NEOWISE in good focus.

Click to see Lila’s full-size image

Local Skies Offer a Glimpse of Comet NEOWISE

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in comet-spotting in Bedford, local astronomer Alan MacRobert posted the following message on the First Parish announcement list on Saturday morning and authorized The Bedford Citizen to share it with the community.

Abby and I found the comet pretty easily just after dark, over the farmland next to Little Meadow off  Davis Road. Averted vision helped bring out more length of the tail. The view in 10×50 binoculars was fantastic!  A tiny bright head and a classic curved comet dust tail, just like the pictures. No color, no visible gas tail (which would be blue and straight).

The Power of Art: A Potential Liability Becomes a Peace Symbol

2017 was a tough year for trees.

One large dead one in our yard provided me with the opportunity to fulfill a long-time urge to carve something in a tree or pole.

I knew I could not do chainsaw art, nor carve animals, but I can do letters. I wanted to express the message of “PEACE”.

Mosquito Season is Upon Us!

Mosquitoes are most active in Massachusetts from June through August, but the true determination of mosquito activity is weather dependent.

Most adult mosquitoes can be found during the day in damp, shady areas where they can find protection from the sun.  Mosquitoes can spread diseases that may make humans and animals sick. Viruses carried by mosquitos can be transmitted to humans or animals through a mosquito bite.

West Nile Virus ~ Mosquito Treatment Program

The Bedford Department of Public Works has started its annual program to treat catch basins to prevent West Nile Virus, a disease carried by the Culex (Q-lex) mosquito.  

This mosquito mostly breeds in storm drains, but can also survive in any open container holding even a half-inch of water.  

BARC Revisits Tree Removal at JGMS

The Bedford Arbor Resources Committee (BARC) met remotely last Wednesday, June 20, 2020, to review proposed changes to tree removal plans around the parking lots of John Glenn Middle School and to discuss monitoring of gas leaks that harm trees.  Chair Jaci Edwards ran the meeting. In addition to the committee, those present were DPW Director David Manugian, Facilities Director Taissir Alani, Tree Warden Dennis Freeman, and members of the engineering/architectural firm tasked with executing the project.

Watch for Turtles Crossing the Road ~ It’s the Season!

Location – location – location, everyone knows when trying to find a place to call home, location is key.  For turtles, a good egg-laying location often involves crossing to the other side of the road.  We’re coming up on turtle nesting season.  Nesting season is from late May to early July, with a peak in early June. Females nest in fields or residential yards, areas where the nest will get sunlight throughout the day to incubate the eggs.

Turtles live for a long time and are driven by instinct.  In many cases the turtle was headed to a nesting area that was there long before there was ever a road there.
So be on the lookout for turtles crossing the road.  If you see a turtle in the road, here’s what MassWildlife says you should do.

Warm Weather Brings Residents Outside and Ticks Too!

Residents are currently following Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Orders, which include a Stay-at-Home Advisory that is currently in effect until May 18, 2020, unless extended. Spending more time at home is leading residents in search of fresh air and outdoor activities while continuing to maintain social distancing. The Bedford Board of Health wants to remind residents that tick season is upon us and with the nice weather and stay-at-home advisory many people are spending more time in potential tick environments.

You don’t have to be walking in the woods to be bitten by a tick; it can happen around your own home, while gardening, picking up leaves or while out on a socially distanced walk on Bedford trails and grassy areas. Whereas spring is a popular time for clean-up in many backyards, please be mindful that ticks might be hiding under leaf litter that may have accumulated over the winter.

Curbside Yard Waste Collection on May 11 and Compost Center Update

With the knowledge that spring clean-up is ongoing, the Department of Public Works has rescheduled the curbside collection of yard waste to the week of May 11 and revised the schedule for the Compost Center.

Residents should place the yard waste out at the curb in tall paper bags or open barrels with no lids on Monday, May 11.

A Real Sign of Spring: It’s Garlic Mustard Season

Editor’s Note: Thanks, once more, to Caroline Larson for this 2017 article about removing Garlic Mustard before it goes to seed

Garlic Mustard is in bloom and now is the time to pull it out!    This invasive weed is rapidly overtaking woodland areas, beside roadways and along pathways in Bedford and other communities in this area. 

The problem with Garlic Mustard is that as a non-native plant, it crowds out other native varieties that we cherish, such as woodland lady slippers, trillium, trout lily, and it even competes with tree seedlings which will become our future forests.   Garlic Mustard also produces chemicals in the soil which eventually kill native plants.  Some species of butterflies, confused by the lack of their preferred plants, lay their larvae on the Garlic Mustard, and the larvae never hatch.

Recycling No-Nos: Plastic Bags, Carts, and Collection Times

Everyday life has changed over the last six weeks but requirements of what does and what doesn’t go in your recycling cart hasn’t.

In recent weeks, a variety of materials have been seen in recycling carts that basically contaminate the good recyclables.

The number one contaminant at the sorting facility is plastic bags. This includes recyclables in plastic bags, large clear plastic bags that an online purchase came in, and the air pillows commonly found in Amazon boxes.

Earth Day ~ Celebrating 50 Years on Sunday, April 19, 2020

With thanks to three of Bedford’s environmentally active organizations, including links to a pair of Sunday morning church services to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day

The first Earth Day 50 years ago was a revolutionary event in which 20 million people participated. This year it will be celebrated with the country doing shelter in place.  It can still be revolutionary. This is a moment when we can reflect on the kind of world we want to build.  We now see first-hand how interconnected we are. Just as a strong, united effort has been needed to address the coronavirus, so a united effort is needed to address climate change and create a healthier planet for everyone.  That is what Earth Day is about. 

Old Billerica, Springs Road to Undergo Water Main Flushing

The Bedford Water Division initiated its annual water main flushing program on March 24. This initiative ensures clean water throughout the town’s distribution system. Residents along the Great Road near the Lexington border were the first to experience this process, which will individually address areas moving westerly, with the final phase beginning near North, Dudley, and Carlisle Road.

Sustainable Middlesex holds a Carbon Countdown

Two weeks ago (way back when groups were still meeting in person), Sustainable Middlesex hosted a “Carbon Countdown” in Winchester.  Sustainable Middlesex fosters collaboration and communication among local climate-conscious grassroots organizations.  About 120 people attended, from 26 communities, including four members of the Bedford Mothers Out Front team. 

Exploring the Trails through Bedford’s Conservation Areas

Moving to Carleton-Willard Village at the end of the summer, I was anxious to become acquainted with my new surroundings.  Having lived in Wayland for 56 years and taking every opportunity to enjoy local outdoor areas, I was familiar with Sudbury Valley Trustees lands, the National Wildlife Refuge along the Sudbury River, and Wayland’s conservation areas, as well as some in Weston, Sudbury, and Lincoln.  Now I could explore Bedford.

TAC & BAC ~ Transportation and Bicycle Advisory Committees Meet about Great Road Bicycle Lanes

On February 19, the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) held a joint meeting to discuss issues common to both groups. Two items of special interest were an update from the Department of Public Works (DPW) about planning for the Great Road bicycle lanes, and the start of planning for Active Transit Month in May.

The committees also heard an update about the 25% design phase of the new Minuteman Bikeway extension as well as an offer from Janet Powers from the Mothers Out Front Bedford group about their 2020 transportation initiative.