Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Another Oddly Spring Day in Early February

7:00 a.m. conditions at the Lodge at Cascading Waters (elev. 730'):

54.7°F and steady;
97% humidity and steady;
29.68" of Hg pressure and steady;
Overcast, misting occasionally;
Cascades Brook has minimal flow;
Cascades are melting the ice and have minimal flow;
There is a gentle breeze.

By 8am the temperature and humidity were unchanged but the pressure rose to 29.77" Hg in a slow and steady creep. High pressure tends to bring sun.

It has been warm enough and wet enough where the smells of the soil and plants are pronounced in a dramatic way that just doesn't happen when the world is frozen or covered in snow and ice.

Never fear though!
Snow is predicted, so we still will get some white and soon!

This morning is timber hewing and sign routing for the crew from 9-12! If you are free or around drop by!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Grey Day after the Rains

Unlike yesterday's start, of heavy rains, today is cool, grey, and generally pleasant.

The biggest benefits are soils that aren't fine dry dust, and a brook that has FLOW! of Water! magnificent!

This morning is a sign and timberwork day here at the Lodge!






Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 54.5 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 74% and steady;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Skies are grey;
The air and leaves are moving quite a bit, but the higest recorded windspeed in the observation period was 1.0 mph;
The Cascades Brook has flow!!!
The Cascades has a little water!!!
The USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61.
Northeast wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Monday, September 28, 2015

More Sunny, Dry, Cool Weather

It is and has been very dry.
That might change on Tuesday night though.
The National Weather Service has a warning issued for Tuesday night:

PERSISTENT NE-WINDS FOR THE PERIOD WITH POTENTIAL FOR GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH. CONSIDERING FULLY LEAFED TREES...THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY FOR WIND DAMAGE WITH DOWNED TREE...TREE LIMBS...AND POWER LINES. FOCUS IS MOST ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE EAST AND SOUTHEAST COASTAL PLAIN OF MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND. MODERATE CONFIDENCE.

LOCALIZED HEAVY RAIN IS ALSO POSSIBLE LEADING TO FLOODING IMPACTS. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR RAINFALL AMOUNTS UPWARDS OF 4-INCHES. LOW CONFIDENCE.

What actually happens is anyone's guess at this point.

Also, rain is good, whereas flooding... not so much.

8:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elevation 630'):

Temperature is 54°F and steady;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 30.15" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
There is air movement but no speed registering;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades are dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MEDIUM.

National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 77.
Light west wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the morning.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Another Perfect Morning!

These tailing days of summer have been wonderful!
Cool, sunny, and not too humid.


Tractor 4 Worcester

GWLT now has 3 farms, Sibley, Donker, and Worcester Hospital.
We have logging roads and silviculture (tree harvesting.)
We have long networks of trails on big properties.

And at this point, having a tractor based here in Worcester is becoming a real need.

Take a Ride through the Trust Neighborhood with Executive Director Colin Novick and check out how a tractor would be really helpful for the Trust!


And then pop over here to help chip in!
https://www.razoo.com/story/Tractor-4-Worcester?referral_code=share


Yesterday was the United Way Day of Caring, and we had two amazing crews out at Sibley Farm. They hauled a lot of tools and gear. The built a tent platform from lumber to finish in no time at all. They built a door for the composting outhouse, hung it on hinges, and installed latches. They hauled in and unpacked the composter and began the install, including cutting a 12" diameter hole through 1" boards with a pocket saw! They refinished the outhouse and new platform in wood preservative. It was a full day!

A special thanks to Gordon, Mary, and Colin who were the GWLT project chefs on site that made the labors of many hands come together in so many simultaneous efforts.






Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 63.3 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 86% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
The wind is still;
Skies are clear;
The Cascades have no flow;
The Cascades Brook has no flow;
The USGS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:


Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southwest wind 3 to 7 mph.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beautiful Late Summer Morning & Cascades West Anniversary

It is simply wonderful outside.
Cool but not cold, and still short sleeve weather.
Humidity isn't terrible either.
Everything is green and lush, but there is a hint of turning leaves to yellow from the prolonged low level drought of missing rain (about 5").


Today is the Anniversary of the preservation of Cascades West, with the hill top, the amphitheatre, the grove of beech trees, and the vernal pools.

Prior to the preservation of Cascades West, all there was was Boynton Park and Cascades Park on Cataract Street. Sure some folks walked through the area, but it was two isolated parks that didn't connect as conservation land.
It was the belt that was created that inspired all that followed...
Cascades East...
Cascading Waters...
Cook's Pond...
Southwick Pond Brook...
Muir Meadow...
Cook's Brook...
Donker Farm...
all of that was to come, and all of that took shape with the linking of Boynton, Cascades West, and Cascades Park.

In a sense today is the birthday of the Four Town Greenbelt, as well as being the birthday of Cascades West.


Tomorrow is the United Way Day of Caring and we have teams coming to join us at Sibley Farm to work on projects on the vast property!
Today we prepare for that work.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 62.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 87% and steady;
Pressure is 30.18" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
Wind is still;
Cascades have no flow;
Cascades Brook has no flow;
The USGS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 82. 
West wind 3 to 6 mph.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cool, Breezy, Clear Skies!

A big weekend for the Trust!

Friday saw us install a property sign out at Elmer's Seat.

Saturday saw us out at Canalfest promoting public access and building a timber project.

Saturday night and a bit of Sunday saw the rains the forest and brooks so desperately need right now.

Today's cool and shifting winds make it an amazing day for getting outside and enjoying the late summer.


Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 9:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 84% and steady;
Pressure is 29.74" of Hg and falling,
Skies are clear;
Wind is moving but not registering mph;
Cascades have no flow;
Cascades Brook has no flow;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Partly sunny, with a high near 67. 
West wind 13 to 15 mph.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Welcome Rains & a Property Sign Install!

Yesterday's rains are very very welcome!
The vegetation is absolutely responding!
The soils are no longer dust!
Though, leaves have started to fall, between the stress of the drought, and the closing of the summer season.


This morning we are headed out to Elmer's Seat to install a property sign at the Boylston property atop Pleasant Hill.

This small gem of a property has a wetland system, native plants, exposed bedrock, and a height that affords it views of Mount Wachusett. It is also a bit of an experiment for the Trust in that it is only a few acres in size and it is in a subdivision. The property is very photogenic, and undoubtedly any kids growing up with this spot in their neighborhood are lucky to have it set aside. The Trust came to hold this property through a gift from an investor in the subdivision. Today's sign will indicate an entrance for the neighbors so that it is accessible not just to the people whose backyard back up to the property.

We have a crew ready to drop in to Cascading Waters at 9 to load up, and we will head out!


Trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 60.3 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 95% and steady;
Pressure is 29.62" of Hg and steady;
Wind is moving but did not register in the observation period;
Skies are overcast;
Cascades Brook is not running;
Cascades are not flowing;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:


A slight chance of showers before 1pm.
Patchy fog before 11am.
Otherwise, cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71.
North wind 8 to 10 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cloudier, Muggier, & Damper

Not so sure that last night's fleeting rains made any improvement in the overall weather this morning.

The plants and trees were desperate for water, and while this wasn't enough to fix that it sure helps to not have the soils as dust, and the leaves drooping.

On the upside, more storms are possible and a National Weather Service Advisory promises to help us not reach the temperature highs of the last few days.

THERE IS A LOW RISK FOR LOCALIZED URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE
FLOODING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE REGION THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.
SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL
WILL DEVELOP ACROSS WESTERN AREAS DURING THIS AFTERNOON...THEN
PUSH EAST TONIGHT. THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL IS EXPECTED ACROSS NORTH
CENTRAL AND WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS INTO NORTHERN CONNECTICUT.

This means that we should end up with a livelier and happier forest by the time we are done with the series of passing storms, even assuming we only get a few of the possible showers predicted.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters:

Temperature is 72 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 86% and steady;
Pressure is 29.77" of Hg and steady;
Skies are overcast;
Wind is still;
Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is also dry;
USFS Fire Danger Class is LOW.


National Weather Service Forecast:

A chance of showers before 11am,
then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 11am and 2pm,
then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 2pm.
Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 75.
Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 60%.
New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Pleasant & Quiet Morning at the Trailhead

Gentle wind stirring and then falling, under clear skies, and cool temps here at the Lodge.
A great Labor Day for getting outside.
Things have been quiet here at the trailhead as folks adventures and BBQs pull them elsewhere, but the woods are fantastic.

Enjoy Your Labor Day!


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 10:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 75.4 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 49% and falling;
Pressure is 29.94" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring but not registering mph;
The sky is clear;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 88. 
West wind 9 to 11 mph.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Clear & Cool Start to Labor Day Weekend

What a great sleeping weather evening!
& What a great clear and cool start to the weekend!
Labor Day Weekend is off to a great start!

Yesterday we got field reports in from Southwick Pond.



Other than needing to choose your footing in a few spots to avoid poison ivy things are in good shape out there.



Trailhead conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:35 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 58.6 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 81% and steady;
Pressure is 30.15" of Hg and steady;
No wind is recorded;
The sky is clear;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.

National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81.
East wind around 6 mph

Friday, September 04, 2015

Cool, Light Clouds, Occasional Wind

Cool, Light Clouds and Occasional Wind
Not a bad start!

Yesterday saw a lot of activity here at Cascading Waters!
First, to help reduce some of the confusion, a sign was mounted on the Cascades East trailhead end of the Cascades Trail to clarify the main trail as some folks were getting confused and walking down the path where the restoration work has been taking place thinking it was the main path.

The hanging of this sign was complicated by a snapped bolt (steel just isn't what it used to be!), and a whole that stripped itself, requiring an upsizing of the bolt being used. Poor Harold and Gordon had to make 3 trips to get this one sign in place. Thanks guys!


Meanwhile there was tracing, routing, and sanding work going on at the Shed!
Lisa swung by to discuss Donker Farm projects.

There are small things that make a huge difference.
With the heartbreaking closure of Bhadon's Gift Gallery in Tatnuck there is a ray of sunshine. The Fords who owned and operated Bhadon's donated the wooden racks that were used to hang the hand dipped candles. These wooden racks are now a tool rack out in the Shed! Getting this stuff organized and put away so that they don't get wrecked! The tools kept ending up in semi sorted piles that migrated around, sometimes ending up in the most unlikely places.

Thank you to the Fords!



Finally, and this was a BIG project, we loaded the Elmer's Seat sign into the trailer for the trek out to the property for installation. This is a four person job for folks with real lifting strength! Ultimately it took 7 of us to get it onto the trailer with folks holding onto the trailer and the tailgate for the hauling crew.


It was a great day for projects! Thanks to everyone! Gordon, Harold, Paula, Ben, Lisa, Peg, Mary, & Colin!



Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.1 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 65% and steady;
Pressure is 29.97" of Hg and steady;
Wind is presently still;
Skies are cloudy;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry,
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 77.
Northeast wind around 9 mph.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Clear, Cool, Sunny, Just Fine!

The weather is simply splendid!
No other words need be said!


Thursday morning at the Lodge at Cascading Waters at 9-12 there will be sign, timber hewing, and trailwork! Come join in the fun! 


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 9:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 72.7 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 74% and falling;
Pressure is 29.88" of Hg and steady;
Wind is moving slightly but not registering wind speed;
Skies are clear;
Cascades are dry;
Cascades Brook is dry;
USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 86.
West wind around 7 mph

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Cooler, Less Humid, Clear Start

Yesterday was a busy one!

First, the Trust is exploring the acquisition of a tractor to assist with property maintenance and some of that was going on yesterday. Hopefully this is something which will become part of the Trust's arsenal for maintaining the conservation properties.

Second, the Trust continues to work on negotiating for property and that was very much going on yesterday.

Finally, Third, the Trust had a work project last night up on Asnebumskit clearing the Asnebumskit Ridge Trail as it passes through the area of the forestry cut to regenerate oak. A regenerating forest cut is VERY VERY thick with vegetation soaking in the sun to grow by leaps and bounds, so keeping a trail open through that is a challenge until the regrowth matures. Add to that the fact that we have to hike a distance and all up hill to get to the area that needs attention AND that the cutting is more grass whipping dense vegetation and less clipping with loppers, and you have a challenging project!

Luckily we had a great crew for the work! Ron, Gordon, Paula, Mary, Tim, Lisa, and Colin (along with Tim's loyal Chesapeake Retriever Lola) headed up along the trail in the evening and I am happy to report that the route isn't just passable, but it is in good shape!

So, today promises, hopefully, to be a slightly less busy day to allow the tending to the various things that cry out for some work.


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 67.5 degrees and steady;
Humidity is 80% and steady;
Pressure is 29.91" of Hg and steady;
The skies are clear;
The air is still;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is listed at LOW but we are finding it unchanged since yesterday (especially as it relates to the relative dryness of the material on the ground and otherwise we would be leaving the sign at MODERATE. The reduced wind and temperature are probably the controlling factors in their decision.)


National Weather Service Forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 81.
Northwest wind 3 to 6 mph.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Clear, Humid, and Warm

Yesterday saw 55 Clark University Outing Club Members hiking the Cascades through Cascading Waters. This was the laregst crew of folks form the Outing Club we have seen in their kick-off weekend in the many years we have been partnering with them.

We also saw a solid amount of regular hikers for a busy day here at the trailhead! Great stuff.

Today the weather is a little warm and a little humid to be considered perfect, BUT it is less warm and less humid than downtown Worcester, so, in a sense it is pretty dang close to perfect, so we are going to round that off at really nice.


TONIGHT'S WORK PROJECT

Tonight we will be meeting at the Asnebumskit Ridge Trailhead on South Road in Holden and clearing the final section of the trail. This is our third outing, and this one promises to be fairly straightforward as most of the distance has been tackled. We are meeting at the trailhead at 5:00 pm and hitting the trail a little after 5:15 pm. For more information contact Mary at mary@gwlt.org


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 8:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 70.3 degrees F and rising;
Humidity is 85% and rising;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Skies are clear;
Wind is still;
The Cascades are dry;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.
West wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Cool and Sunny Start & Nick's Woods Anniversary

It is a cool and sunny start to the day.
There is a nice breeze running through the forest.
The humidity is way way down.
It would be hard to ask for nicer weather.


NICK'S WOODS

Today is the Anniversary of the conservation of Nick's Woods (which is between Rt. 122A Grove Street and Brattle Street on the Worcester/Holden line.)
Nick's Woods (64.76 acres) is named after Nick Chase who donated a Conservation Restriction on most of the property, and later sold the whole property to be used for conservation.

The property has a brook that goes by four different names, depending on who you ask! We tend to use Sargent's Brook, as Emerson Brooks, a long time resident of the area, and former farmer in this part of Worcester, says that's what they called it when he was a kid. Good enough for us!
Along the banks of the brook is an old cart road, and this is the old road between Worcester and Holden from before Rte. 122A being carved out of the side of the hill.
This old cart road is fairly level and makes for a great walk or in snow a cross country skiing path.

For a map of the property click here: http://www.gwlt.org/maps/nicks-woods.pdf


Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters at 7:00 a.m. (elev. 630'):

Temperature is 61.7 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 73% and steady;
Pressure is 29.85" of Hg and steady;
Wind is stirring and peaked at 0.5 mph;
Skies are clear;
The Cascades Brook is dry;
The Cascades are not running;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is MODERATE.


National Weather Service Forecast:

Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.
West wind 7 to 9 mph.