Conservation Team
Team Leaders
Charlie Hamlin, Founder
Katya Portnaya
Master Gardener
Team Specialists
Tim Gavin,
Marilyn Hirsch
Susan Howards
Mark Messina
Saplings Project 
Betsy Millane
Rob Mosher
Finance & Budget
Joy Viola
Florence Nagadya
Special Projects
Conservation Projects


Adoption is challenging work. We have adopted the Sears Field in Weston and we are reclaiming it for the pollinating insects. All are invited to clear these invasive plants so that in year three of our five-year project we can begin to plant the plants that are good for the pollinators. Join us to work hard, release some energy on the invasive plants, have a good time, have good conversations, and have good refreshments. Navigate to 27 Crescent Street and park at the Melone Homestead (see map below).



Renewed Plan for the Sears Field: Year Three – The First Planting Year

Now that we have removed the invasive plants that hinder the pollinators, we are ready to begin planting for the pollinators.
Present in the Sears field are milkweed and goldenrod. Our intent is to support these native plants such that they will continue to thrive and propagate further into the field.
In addition:
The plan for this coming year is to develop “islands” of native plants for the pollinators, along a grassed path that will be developed from the south entrance to the field to the northern end where the honeybees will reside.
We are inviting all interested Weston Wayland Rotary Club members to design their island of native plantings for the pollinators.
Here below are some great resources for application to island creation. As you know, some of the important criteria for the design are season / period for sowing / planting, temperatures, soil types, soil moisture levels, sunlight and shade durations, and soil type. The following are resources for you to choose your native plants for your island design and eventual planting. Use these resources and others to understand the environmental requirements for each species.
Native Pants for Pollinate North Hampton. Lincoln Land Conservation Trust provides a very good set of Toolkits and Plant Kits for fields. Please review and apply those as well. The last is from Mass Audubon, which provides an overview of native Northeast Plants.
Perhaps the most useful resource for our field is the first one, Native Plants for Pollinate North Hampton – This document is available on the Conservations Team’s Google Drive. If you do not have access, please contact Charlie at and he will provide access to the Drive, or will email the document.
Lincoln Land Conservation Trust provides a very good set of Toolkits and Plant Kits for fields: Toolkits and Plant Kits - Lincoln Land Conservation Trust and Rural Land Foundation ( In fact their entire site is helpful.
The last is from Mass Audubon, which provides an overview of native Northeast Plants. Plant a Native Pollinator Garden (
Of special note, it is understood that we are planting in a natural environment, not a backyard where a water hose might provide plentiful water. So let’s communicate and work together on the watering requirements for plant choices and how those will or will not be met.
Where to buy native plants that the pollinators will go to for food and egg laying:
  • Johnny’s Seeds
  • Fedco in Clinton ME
  • Garden in the Woods, Framingham MA (Native Plant Trust)
  • Lincoln Land Conservation Trust might have a limited supply, but they sell to their members first.
  • Let’s start a kickstart workshop within the Conservation Team meetings to get these islands going!


Conservation Team Fundraising

We're developing plans to launch a fundraising initiative to generate broad support from organizations and individuals to underwrite the direct expenses of reclaiming and rejuvenating the Sears Field to make it into a paradise for pollinators. If we're wonderfully successful, we'll realize the vision of a lush paradise that provides a platform for learning about the plants, animals, and insects that enliven and rely upon preserved open spaces.  Click on the image above to see the current draft of our fundraising letter/case statement. 

The Seedlings Project

At the start of his term, Ian Riseley, Rotary International President declared 2018 The Year of the Tree and challenged the 1.2 million worldwide membership of Rotary to plant a tree for each club member on Earth Day. The Weston-Wayland Rotary Club embraced this challenge and expanded the program to include distributing Green Giant Arbor Vitae to first graders in Weston.

The project was so well-received, and so much fun for our Club members, that we made it an annual activity for our club. In 2019 we expanded the distribution to all first graders in both Weston and Wayland. In 2020, when Covid disrupted the school year we canceled our distribution. However, in 2021, when schools were back we created a video and doubled our order to 800 seedlings so we could catch up and get seedlings to both first and second graders. In 2023, we will be back in the classrooms and will distribute 500 seedlings in our community which will bring our total distribution to 2400 seedlings since the program started. 

Our plant of choice is the Green Giant Arbor Vitae. It was selected for its resistance to both insect pests and deer as well as its beautiful green color and fast growth.  They can grow up to 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide and can live for up to 100 years. When a Green Giant Arborvitae seedling is planted in full sun it may grow about 1 foot per year for the first five years, then about 2 feet per year for the next 5 years, and after 10 years it will grow up to 3 feet per year!

In late April of each year Rotarians, friends of Rotary from middle and high school students, and business networking contacts gather to prepare the seedlings for school distribution for Earth Day. The seedlings are delivered to the Wayland elementary schools of Happy Hollow, Loker, and Claypit Hill as well as Weston elementary schools of Country and Woodland.