I created Dedham Natural Wonders in 2011 because I wanted to learn more about nature. At the time, I was working in the Blue Hills and met some fantastic people whose job descriptions included serious physical labor in not-so-hospitable environments trying to control invasive species (imagine Sisyphus on a 90° day in a tick-infested swamp loaded with poison ivy and greenbrier).
I found it relaxing, satisfying, almost like a form of meditation. Here I am looking at another year’s growth of mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata) an rapidly growing invasive vine spreading through Fowl Meadow that can be found in the Manor neighborhood in Dedham.
There is a lot to learn about plants and bugs. Back in 2011, I was impatient and I wanted to know everything so I took the bait when a friend said I should plan a BioBlitz. She gave me Peter Alden’s phone number so I called him. Here we are at the first Dedham BioBlitz in July 2011.
I organized a second Dedham BioBlitz in 2012, helped plan an Edibles walk led by Russ Cohen at Wilson Mountain, and coordinated a few other small events. I maintain the Dedham species checklist which has more than 1,100 species of flora and fauna. I am on the Dedham Conservation Commission and the Open Space and Recreation Committee. In February 2020, the Town received final approval of the 2019 Open Space and Recreation Plan which consumed the better part of three years of my life. In 2019, I completed all the requirements for my Field Botany certificate from the Native Plant Trust.