Summer Star Update – June 25th, 2020

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk Released!

A juvenile red-tailed hawk that was successfully treated for anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis and underwent rehabilitation and conditioning in the Shalin Liu Healing Cage at Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University was released back to the wild on June 24th

A Great Horned Owl Admitted to Tufts Wildlife Clinic

A great horned owl nestling was admitted to Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in April. The owlet had fallen from its nest during windy weather. After examination by veterinarians, the owlet was determined not to have sustained significant injuries. After a short stay at the Clinic, the owl was able to be re-nested. 

Two juvenile red-tailed hawks are the new residents of the Shalin Liu Healing Cage at Tufts Wildlife Clinic

Photo: Dr. Maureen Murray, Director Wildlife Clinic, Clinical Associate Professor Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine TUFTS University

Inside the Cave Room at Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary, the live stream camera is showing these two Red-Tailed Hawks healing. Here is their current health condition explained by Dr. Murray:

Two red-tailed hawks are currently rehabilitating and conditioning in the Shalin Liu Healing Cage at Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University while veterinarians monitor their progress. They were originally brought to Tufts Wildlife Clinic on 3/26 and 4/16.  After examination by veterinarians, both birds were determined to have anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis, and both were treated with the antidote for this type of poisoning for four weeks. Once they each had shown proper improvement, the hawks were moved to the Healing Cage for rehabilitation and conditioning.

Summer  Star‘s  1.75  Miles  Trails  are  Open  and  Available  for  Your  Enjoyment

Photos taken by Nate Cooper

The trails will be open on Saturday, April 11th, from dawn to dusk, weekly Saturday through Tuesday.

The Trailhead House remains closed. We will still keep one staff member working inside the building.

To our visitors & friends, please follow these additional Public Health Guidelines:

  • Please stay home and rest when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people, using elbow to cover when you sneeze or cough.
  • Practice 6-feet social distancing on the trail to protect everyone’s safety.
  • Keep some of your books nearby, because books are always our good friends.

The health and well-being of all our visitors are of the utmost importance to us.

We can stand strong and get through this difficult time together.

— Shalin Liu, Founder and Manager, and the Summer Star Team,.

April 8, 2020

A  TRAIL  MAP     
The trails are quiet
With some uphill and downhill fun footpath winding through woodland, wetland, and beaver pond diverse forest scenery
The nature sounds of the brooks, winds, blue bird and wildlife
They will come to you when you find a nice spot for yourself

A Place Like Summer Star

Wrack Meadow Brook flowing through Summer Star Forest (Photos by Dan Stimson 2020)

Letter from Cyndi – March 23, 2020

I just want you to know that I work at the Memorial Hospital, and Summer Star has been my haven over the last few weekends. I work with a vulnerable population, and I need to keep myself healthy so that I can continue to serve them and not spread disease. After a long week in a stressful environment, I have gone out to Summer Star on weekends and enjoyed the peace and nature sounds.

These last two weekends it has been especially appreciated. On Saturday I was doing yoga and deep breathing on the trail!   Now the animals will be able to truly enjoy it, and that is a good thing too.

This place is truly a treasure, and I will miss it in the next weeks. Please stay safe, and I hope that perhaps some yoga or meditation sessions could be scheduled at the Trailhead House after we get through this thing, as we will all need healing.

Thank you for your wonderful grounds and facility,

Cyndi R.
Boylston, MA

Dear Cyndi,

Thank you very much for sending such a heartfelt letter. 

I appreciate your letting me know how you are doing. I care so much for our visitors especially someone like you who has been giving so much under such unthinkable circumstances.

I am so grateful to learn that a place like Summer Star indeed touched individuals and comforted us with its quietness and generosity—so that we know we are not alone.

Would it be possible for me to get your permission to post this nice letter on our website?—you spoke for so many others! You are a thoughtful and brave beautiful human being and your letter touched my heart. Thank you for the encouragement you gave us.  Stay strong and be well—-your letter helps us to continue to do our work.

Shalin Liu
March 25th, 2020

Red-Tailed Hawk Release

Click Here to Read About Our Newest Release!

Winter – Spring Wildlife Tracking at Summer Star

3/29 Wildlife Tracking by David Brown will be scheduled to a different date. Please stay posted for updates!

David Brown – Naturalist

The brief snow cover that easily reveals the passage of animals is gone, but the thaw has softened the earth and created mud, both of which record tracks. In addition animal droppings hidden beneath the snow are now revealed along with other ‘sign’ such as scrapes, chews, scent marks and burrows that can tell us not only that certain species were present but also what they were doing. This is ‘eco-tracking,’ relating the animal sign that is found and identified with its habitat: why was it here and what was it doing?

An indoor slide and cast presentation of about an hour will acquaint you with some of this sign. Following a lunch break, we will walk the trails of Summer Star for another hour or so looking for, identifying and interpreting wildlife sign while discussing the ecology of the Summer Star landscape.

Tracker-naturalist David Brown has been studying wildlife evidence for 30 years and is the author of two books on animal tracking as well as a set of portable identification cards.

Raccoon Tracks Observed

March 29, 2020 Sunday, 11am to 1:30pm

Trailhead House, Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary

690 Linden Street, Boylston MA 01505

Phone Number: 508-869-3434

Register by emailing to info@summerstarwildlife.org

New Blog Post

Linden Street Gallery Art Show: Tom Murphy Brings Yellowstone to Summer Star

Click the Image to View the Blog Post “Tom Murphy’s Art Show”

Deer Track —

The Deer are Making use of the New Boardwalk in Summer Star Forest

Credit: Dan Stimson, Sudbury Valley Trustees

Below are comments from guests who have attended events at Summer Star recently:

Lancaster Garden Club visit on Sunday, August 11, 2019

Shalin, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated our tour at Summer Star.

Mr. Brown was a walking encyclopedia of information on trees and nature, and the balance of things. Loved his style and approach. Never walked through the woods with that kind of appreciation before, but then I love a lot of information and history to understand things.

And your love and care for the center and the sanctuary shows in all that do and the way you do it.

Thank you so so much for a perfect morning. Everyone I talked to was very impressed and appreciative. Thank you again.

-Sue Billings

Music from Summer Star Forest Series on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Please pass on my Congratulations and a warm “Thank you” to Shalin Liu and Stephanie Woolf for, yet again, another great musical experience at yesterday’s concert!

This is our third concert at Summer Star.  My only regret is that we have a commitment on October 27th and won’t be able to attend our fourth.

Now for a bit on music trivia. I thought I recognized the musical style from Mai Nguyen’s amazing performance of Ian Clarke’s “Zoom Tube”.  Sure enough, there was a connection between Ian Clarke and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. They performed this piece together in 2009. Who knew?

Again, thank you for continuing this series and we look forward to enjoying more in the future.


-G. Anderson

Boylston Garden Club visit on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fourteen members of Boylston Garden Club visited Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary on a gorgeous day of September 29th. Dan Stimson, Assistant Director of Stewardship at SVT, was the guide leader taking the group for a whole 1.5 miles trail loop hike. We received a lovely card from Boylston Garden Club with a butterfly spreading wide its wings when opened.

Dear Shalin, Dan, and Craig,

Many thanks for a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Summer Star. Club members were thrilled to learn about the facility and enjoy the hike of the trail. Your generosity, time, and hospitality are most appreciated.

We are all very grateful. Warm regards

-Lynn Butler

Comment from Tuesday, November 5, 2019


It’s not often that we get to work on a roof garden! Thank you for everything.  Summer Star is always a fun and rewarding place to work and you make us feel so welcome and appreciated.

Julianne and Sandra Master Gardeners

Photo by Liam Hart

Scenes from the New Year at Summer Star. Photo by Liam Hart

Photo by Jesse Koyen
Photo by Jesse Koyen

Mission:  This forty-five acres of natural land is home to plants, streams, glacial boulders, and wild animals large and small. It is our mission to protect and care for wildlife habitats, trails, forests, streams, and wetlands.

The sanctuary is a place of tranquility and self-reflection.  It loves rocks, trees, and birds.  In that loving, we find nourishment for our spirits and our souls.

Summer Star is open to the public free of charge.  Please enjoy the beauty of nature, and in return kindly pay respect to all wildlife who have been keeping this land safe and peaceful for generations! Our goal is to bring new experiences and discoveries of the wonders of local wildlife and the joyful spirit of nurturing forestland to underprivileged children, senior citizens, and to all families in the community.

The sanctuary organizes a variety of events and projects to promote public awareness of science, nature, wildlife, and the environment, and aids in animal rescue and release in collaboration with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.  Throughout the year, the sanctuary also hosts various courses, lectures, conferences, and artistic and cultural events.


  1. Contiguous to Summer Star are hundreds of more acres of woodland – expanding and enhancing the area for wildlife free from commercial development forever…!

    • The long, narrow 45 acre parcel that Summer Star is located on was slated for a 40 house 40b development. Not only would that have totally destroyed the ecological wonders of the 45 acre parcel, but, even worse, the long parcel intrudes into the heart of one of the last, largest undisturbed areas in this part of Massachusetts; a true wilderness area.

      Summer Star not only rescued the 45 acres of wildlife habitat but also preserved the wilderness qualities of the large Wrack Meadow area. The frosting on the cake is Summer Star itself. All activities and events at Summer Star foster and strengthen an environmental ethic.

      I have attended a number of events there and am in 20 minutes headed there for a tracking seminar.

      • Shalin Liu is one who had a vision of what needs to be done to preserve the past in order to educate the future. That tie-in to surrounding parcels is now as permanent or as permanent as a mere human can make it.

  2. Congratulations Summer Star, for being awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s Massachusetts Chapter Project of the Year 2015. It is so well deserved for this beautiful, restorative place.

  3. We visited the sanctuary a few weeks back, and absolutely loved it. It is tranquil and the boys loved the Hobbit-feel of the woods.

  4. Walked the trail with Dan this morning and it was amazing and so interesting. Mike and Liam also made the morning so enjoyable. Thanks for the opportunity to be with nature so close to home and with people who are so interested in the area.

  5. I visited your amazing facility today with some fellow seniors. I am soooo impressed with what you have done. Thank you for making this such a comfortable place ot enjoy nature & the environment right in our neighborhood. Hopefully I will be able to visit often & bring my friends.

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