Category Archives: Uncategorized

Remove Black Swallow Wort before the seeds pods pop

From the City of Newton Conservators – view here to see all images

My black swallow wort seems less effected by the drought than the rest of the plants. I am about three years into a multi year effort to eradicate it all, and I am making progress. This year I pulled my neighbors’ BSW that was not observing the property lines.

Be sure to dispose of the BSW seed pods in the trash, not in the compost. I put mine in a plastic trash bag. It is persistent, but does pull out easily, so persist in pulling it every year.

Black Swallow-wort

August 13, 2020


Black Swallow-wort is a perennial vine from Europe that emerges in June.   It has somewhat glossy, opposite leaves (i.e. the leaves are in pairs exactly opposite to each other along the vine stem).  It has small purple flowers (starting in June, with new flowers over the rest of the summer), and then develops long seed pods that look like pea pods hanging down.  The pods dry and burst in late summer and seeds are dispersed on white fluffy fibers by the wind.


BSW is our newest invader and a formidable problem.  It clambers up fences, or through shrubs, and if those are not available it simply twines upon itself.  It prolifically grows and seeds in sun or shade.  It is also a threat to Monarch butterflies:  because it is in the milkweed family, they may lay their eggs on it, but because it is not the right milkweed, the Monarch larvae find it inedible and they do not survive.


The spaghetti-like root system spreads with runners, and though individual plants can be dug up and a small infestation can be eradicated, once a larger infestation has taken hold of an area it is very difficult to dig.

Dig up individual plants using a garden knife or digging tool (a “japanese garden knife” is excellent for this).  Dig a couple inches away from the stem down a few inches and try to loosen and pull out the spaghetti like roots.

If pods are on the vine, the pods or the entire plant must be disposed of as trash, not with yard waste, to prevent dispersal of seeds.

If it is not possible/feasible to dig up the plants, at least remove/pull off all the seed pods in mid summer before the pods dry and burst (put the seed pods in trash, NOT yard waste).  You can also pull and break the stem at the base, but still pull off the pods.  The plants will grow again next year, but at least removing the pods prevents innumerable more seeds from being dispersed in the wind.

Links and Resources

For more information on how to identify and control Black Swallow-wort, please refer to the resources below:

  1. Black Swallow-wort flyer for our flyer
  2. Mass Audubon for identification
  3. Michigan Department of Natural Resources for identification and control


vine with opposite leaves and spaghetti roots
Black Swallow-Wort
spaghetti-like roots; get as much out as you can
prolific seed pods look like green beans hanging down – get them off before they burst in mid-late summer
burst seed pod filled with many seeds on fluffy fibers dispersed in the wind
last year’s burst seed pod; this year’s flower buds forming




Invasive plants

Select Board Office Hours this morning 9-10

Select Board Office Hours this Morning

I hold regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. 
Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.
Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).

Native Gardening – from Sustainable Medfield

From Sustainable Medfield, recipient of a Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund grant this year, –

June 8th was another great meeting of the Sustainable Medfield network with 24 people in attendance from 17 different groups!   So exciting to see our community come together to discuss their efforts – large and small – and to learn from each other for the benefit of our environment!
1) Attached you will find the notes of the meeting; thanks to Pam Gardner.  Our next meeting will be Wednesday September 7th at 3:30pm in the Medfield Library.
2) New feature:  ACTION OF THE QUARTER.  We will choose an Action of the Quarter to build community awareness of a single topic that a Sustainable Medfield networking partner wants to share and promote within the community.  Sustainable Medfield will support our partner group by following-up with outreach (articles/facebook posts/activities)  that the Medfield community can learn from on this topic.   This quarter the action is Native Gardening that was suggested by the Medfield Garden Club.    
The Sustainable Medfield Network has 26 partner organizations and we would like to leverage our connection with each of you to get the word out about this action and the resources available on
OUR ASK:  Can you please share this ACTION with your constituents in a newsletter, at a meeting, and/or on your website (and in any other ways you think of!).  We hope to have made this very easy for you to do by creating an image for you to use, see below and attached.  
Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas and/or if you have an ACTION you would like to share with our community.
PS – This Thursday Sustainable Medfield is a co-sponsor of the MEMO concert at the gazebo at 6pm.  Stop by and pick up a native plant, which is our give-away for the evening….and a perfect tie-in to our Action of the Quarter.
Enjoy your summer, please spread the word about Native Gardening & we look forward to seeing you in September!

Megan B. Sullivan
508-446-7774 (mobile/text)

2nd try – looked & looks fine here

Bluebird today

One of my favorite birds at one of the bluebird houses I built. Photo from our kitchen window. Unfortunately wrens were already in occupancy and unwilling to vacate. Still nice to see the bluebirds around the house.

Time to visit the fringe tree at MSH

Photos taken yesterday evening.

“Heart of the Lion” Awarded to Medfield’s Kathy Thompson

From Patch –

Community Corner

Medfield Lions Present “Heart of the Lion Award”

The “Heart of the Lion Award” presented to Kathleen Thompson, MS, RN, Nurse Leader, Medfield Public Schools.

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Posted Wed, May 25, 2022 at 3:08 pm ET|Updated Wed, May 25, 2022 at 6:43 pm ETReply

  • Nurse Kathy Thompson and Lion Barbara Gips (Photo courtesy of Medfield Lions Club)
  • of the Lion recipient, Kathy Thompson and Lion Barbara Gips (Photo courtesy of Medfield Lions Club)
Nurse Kathy Thompson and Lion Barbara Gips
Heart of the Lion recipient, Kathy Thompson and Lion Barbara Gips

“Heart of the Lion” Awarded to Medfield’s Kathy Thompson

At the Medfield Lions May dinner meeting, the “Heart of the Lion Award” was presented to Medfield resident, Board of Health member and Medfield Public Schools Nurse Leader, Kathy Thompson by Lion Barbara Gips.

Kathy and her husband, Newton were invited to this dinner meeting as guests of the Lions and Kathy was presented with this well-deserved award.

The letter of nomination stated the following:

“I nominate Kathy Thompson for the Medfield Lions Club Heart of a Lion Award 2022.

Find out what’s happening in Medfieldwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Let’s go!

Kathy is the head nurse in the Medfield School District. In her free time, Kathy organized 9 vaccine clinics. Without Kathy’s vision and civic mindedness, these clinics would not have come about. Kathy asked for volunteers to help with the clinics and they happily gave up their time for Kathy’s mission of serving the community and making it as easy as possible to get children vaccinated. A local resident and owner of Birds Hill Pharmacy in Needham brought the vaccine to the clinics. It did take a village, and Kathy would be the first to thank everyone else, but the clinics would not have taken place without Kathy’s leadership.

Parents were so grateful they could bring their children 5 years and older to these clinics. The children would see familiar friendly faces, watch cartoons and be given drinks and snacks after their vaccine generously supplied by Kathy. Kathy’s wonderful husband worked at the entrance greeting and inputting the insurance information into the laptop. The most humble and community orientated couple I know.

It is thanks to Kathy organizing these clinics that Medfield has over 95% of 5 years old through High School kids vaccinated and gave out over 600 vaccines.”

Congratulations, Kathy Thompson!

How to talk to children about the tragic event in Texas

From Riverside Community Care –


We are sharing information developed by the Riverside Trauma Center on how to help children cope with the frightening news about the Uvalde School Shooting. We hope these resources provide a source of comfort and support during this difficult time. Please feel free to share it with family and friends.  

A Personal Note in Response to Uvalde’s School Shooting  

After hearing the news of the mass murder of students and teachers in Texas, many of us will experience a range of reactions. This is especially true for children.  

Reactions may include emotions (sadness, anger, shock, fear, etc.), changes in thoughts (difficulty concentrating, repetitive thoughts of the situation), physical reactions (feeling sick, headaches, not sleeping well, etc.) and behaviors (returning to older behaviors such as bedwetting, needing physical closeness with parents, fighting more, etc.).  

Traumatic events often lead people to feel they have lost control of their sense of safety.

Here are resources on how to help children cope with the frightening news and their reactions:  

Talking with Children About Traumatic Events

Talking to Children About a Shooting (from

Children and Trauma    

Be well,

Your friends at Riverside

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Message from the Superintendent- Reaction to Event in Texas

Email last night from the Superintendent to parents about the shooting in Uvalde, TX and the Medfield Public School’s preparedness. Who would ever have imagined that in our small town we would ever need to be doing such planning. Medfield is about the same size as Uvalde. –


From: Marsden, Jeffrey
Date: Tue, May 24, 2022 at 9:24 PM
Subject: Message from the Superintendent- Reaction to Today’s Event in Texas

Dear Medfield Families,

We are all devastated to learn about the latest senseless tragedy to happen in our country. The details that continue to emerge from the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas are absolutely heartbreaking. We will continue to keep the children, families, and entire Uvalde community in our thoughts during this unimaginable time. 

The safety of our students and staff continues to be our top priority in the Medfield Public Schools. We have worked hard over the past several years to put safety measures in place. We have collaborated with the Medfield Police and Metro-LEC (Norfolk County’s SWAT team) to implement lockdown (safety) drills in each school. These drills have served as risk assessments and as a result,  improvements have been made in each school. Window shades and interior locks have been added and replaced, shelter-in-place areas have been changed, and internal communication methods have been improved. Prior to the pandemic, all teachers and staff participated in a very intense (and uncomfortable) afternoon of active shooter training with Synergy Solutions and the Medfield Police. This training focused on keeping our students safe in the event of an active shooter in our schools. The very realistic training included “live” gunshots and a variety of scenarios for us to practice and react to in real-time. Although many teachers and staff were very anxious about the training, the feedback was positive as our teachers and staff now have new strategies to handle this type of situation. I review the strategies/plans with new teachers at every new teacher orientation in August.

Additional safety measures have been added throughout the district including a School Resource Officer, capital investment in security cameras, restricted access to buildings, and others that most people, by design, would not even notice. On the advice of law enforcement, we never share our plans publicly or post them on our website. Last summer, the Medfield School Committee and I met with Chief Guerette to review, assess, and update our emergency plans. The security in our district is always evolving and the “plan” is never complete. 

In addition to security measures, our focus on social-emotional learning is equally important. Our schools have teams of counselors, teachers, and administrators in place that meet regularly to support students and work with families that need assistance. The addition of counseling at the elementary level, school adjustment counselors at the MS and HS, and a Director of Social Emotional Learning has helped us provide greater support to students and families. Our Social-Emotional Task Force has worked over the past several years to make recommendations for various improvements for the children and adults of our school district. Our new MHS schedule and revised homework policy are tangible improvements that emanated from this group.

The images and news reports over the next few days will be difficult for us to watch and hear. Even if your child does not watch the news, if they carry a smartphone, they could be inundated with information about this horrific event. Please refer to Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers and How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings to assist you with these difficult conversations. As always, our dedicated and talented staff is available to support your children during this difficult time. Please reach out to any of us if you need any support assisting your child with processing this event. Please remember the safety of our students and staff will always be our number one focus.


Jeff Marsden

Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D


Medfield Public Schools


Follow me on Twitter @JeffreyJMarsden 

#medfieldps  #medfieldpln

Racial injustice vigil – 7:30 PM Wednesday

From Nicole Silvestri Hall –

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Please join us as we honor his life, remember the grave injustices we witnessed that day, and acknowledge the many ways we continue to experience and/or witness racial injustice today. Show up to stand up against hate, intolerance, bias and racism in all forms. 

Hope to see you there! 

Candlelight Vigil 

Wednesday May 25, 7:30pm

First Parish Church  

26 North Street Medfield

See attached flyer for more details. Please forward this invitation to your personal networks if you can.

Wednesday, May 25th - 7:30pm
First Parish Unitarian Universalist - 26 North Street, Medfield
For more information: 508-359-4594,
A Light in the Darkness
Candlelight Vigil
Come join us for this outdoor candlelight vigil
that will begin on the steps of First Parish
Unitarian Universalist in Medfield.
We will mark the second anniversary of the killing
of George Floyd, and honor all of those
who have lost their lives over the past two years
to the devastating effects of racism.