Hydration Stations in the Schools

water fountain

Initiated by the Upham Green Team and generously sponsored by the PTO, Wellesley Schools’ facility maintenance staff installed a new hydration station at Upham. These have been a huge hit at Wellesley High School, saving thousands of plastic bottles from landfills. The School Department plans to request at least one in every school as part of our FY16 capital plan.

WICKED HIGH TIDE: A SHIPBOARD CONVERSATION ABOUT BOSTON’S CLIMATE RESILIENCY EFFORTS

wicked high tides

As with other major coastal cities, Boston is confronted with increasing challenges from hurricanes, heightened storm surges and growing flood risks as a result of climate change and sea-level rise.

Join your fellow Wellesley neighbors for an exciting & educational boat tour of Boston Harbor, where you’ll see first-hand how the city is managing and planning for anticipated impacts on it’s coastline, harbor and ports. Enjoy this informal discussion with a city official, while taking in the views of beautiful Boston Harbor from sea.

Light snacks are included and a cash bar is available. Tickets are limited. Sign-up today!

Speaker: Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy, & Open Space, City of Boston
Date: Sunday, September 14
Time: Departs from Long Wharf. Boarding 2.30-3.00, sailing 3.00-6.00
Cost: $45; checks payable to Wellesley Congregational Church
Experience: Priceless!
Contact: Mary Gard (mgard62@gmail.com) or Cynthia Curtis (cyn.j.curtis@gmail.com)

Sponsored by The Wellesley Village Church Environmental Ministry

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WELLESLEY’S NORTH 40 & 5 YOU CAN DO

save north 40 photo
No doubt you’ve seen bright orange signs sprouting in front yards all around town that say “SAVE THE NORTH 40.” And you may have already heard that Wellesley College officials announced in April that they intend to sell an undeveloped property known to generations of Wellesley residents as the “North 40.” But you may be wondering, “What is the North 40 and why do we need to ‘save’ it?”

Here are some important facts gathered with the help of Sustainable Wellesley intern and Wellesley High School student Matthew Hornung:

1. The North 40 is a 46-acre parcel of land located near Morses Pond and bordered by Turner Road, Weston Road, and Route 135.

2. In 1873, this property was donated to Wellesley College by Henry Fowle Durant, co-founder of the college, with the stipulation that the land be used as “farm lands, pasture, woodlots, mowing fields, as well as pleasure grounds and cultivated lands.”

3. On May 2, 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court lifted Durant’s restrictions on the property, allowing Wellesley College to proceed with its intention to sell.

4. This spring, the Wellesley Board of Selectmen appointed a North 40 Steering Committee to consider whether the town should attempt to buy the North 40. The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from eight Town boards, along with two neighborhood representatives. All meetings are open to the public.

5. The North 40 is the most forested, contaminant-free portion of the wellhead protection area for the two wells that provide Wellesley College with its water. In 2003, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a “Source Water Assessment & Protection (SWAP) Report for Wellesley College,” and directed the college to “work with the town and planners to control new residential development in the water supply protection areas.”

6. A recent report by the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission found that 60 percent of the open space in Wellesley – including the North 40 – is privately owned.

7. The North 40 is home to a diverse array of wildlife species, including amphibians that live in a vernal pool at the corner of Weston and Turner Roads.

8. The western section of the Crosstown Trail goes through the North 40, following the Cochituate Aqueduct. The Wellesley Trails Committee has recommended that the North 40 be preserved as conservation land.

9. Wellesley residents have been farming the community gardens along the eastern edge of the North 40 for many years and gardeners regularly donate extra produce to nearby food banks. There are 60 residents on the waiting list for the gardens.

10. Wellesley residents can save the North 40, and it’s going to take a town-wide effort to make it happen.

For generations, foresighted Wellesley residents have worked to protect open space in our town for the good of all. Think what our town would look like and feel like without Centennial Reservation, Fuller Brook Park, Boulder Brook Reservation, and many other smaller parks and conservation areas. Think of the energy and foresight it required to make sure these areas were protected for our enjoyment. And then decide what you can do to “Save the North 40.”

5 IDEAS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER:

1. See for yourself: The Wellesley Trails Committee is leading guided walks in the North 40 from 9:00 to 10:00 am on Saturday, August 9, and Saturday, September 13. Meet at the gate to the Town beach at the end of Turner Road, .3 miles west of Weston Road.

2. Attend meetings and speak out: Meetings of the North 40 Steering Committee are open to the public. Next meetings are Tuesday, August 5, and Tuesday, August 12, 8:30 am, at Town Hall. See meeting schedule here.

3. Write letters and send emails expressing your views: Contact your Town Meeting members, the Board of Selectmen, the North 40 Steering Committee, the Wellesley College Board of Trustees, State Representative Alice Peisch, State Senator Cynthia Creem, and State Senator Richard Ross.

4. Request a yard sign and help spread the word: Visit here to request a sign and to download information on the North 40.

5. Stay in the loop: On Facebook, “Like” the Save the North 40 page. Follow the Save the North 40 blog here.