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Probably not.

trees at country club

But if they love trees like the rest of us then why is the Wellesley Country Club destroying so many of them?  The club has already cut down over 80 trees that were outside of the town’s jurisdiction, and is now headed to the Wetlands Protection Committee this coming Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. to ask for permission to remove another 67 trees that are in wetlands.

The club offers a number of reasons for this widespread tree removal – some of the trees are in decline, some interfere with play and some are invasive species.  But one driving force behind the plan seems to be a problem with fungus on the turf that they say can only be dealt with by either the application of pesticides or by removing trees so that better air circulation can eliminate it.

There is a problem with both of these strategies. First, using pesticides in a wetland area is not a healthy, safe approach. Secondly, if better air circulation creates a drier environment that will kill off the fungus, then it seems it will also dry up – and eliminate – the wetland.  Fungus is a naturally occurring growth and does especially well in damp environments – like a wetland.

At a time when people around our planet are working hard to save and plant more trees in order to stave off climate change, it just seems wrong to be cutting them down for “interfering with play”.

A quick look at articles in the USGA magazine, November 6, 2015 issue, reveals that this is a growing trend on golf courses nationwide.  Trees are viewed as obstacles to the game and not appreciated for the beauty, shade and habitat they provide (not to mention oxygen).  This outlook runs counter to common sense and treats trees as if they were merely furniture and not the living, breathing beings that they are.

The Country Club is a beautiful open space.  It’s beauty however, comes mainly from its trees.

If you are passionate about trees and preserving as many as we can in our town, please come to the wetlands hearing – Thursday, March 30 in the office of the Natural Resources Commission, Town Hall.  Public Voice begins at 6:30 p.m.

Phyllis Theermann

grass lawn

For those looking to have healthy lawns, grab the guide that Sarah Little,Ph.D., and Wellesley resident created when managing Wellesley’s original pesticide reduction campaign. The simple pesticide management guide is available at town hall. Sarah, and Integrated Pest Management expert Chip Osborne, along with Wellesley town arborist Cricket Vlass inspired many of us at the largest Green Collaborative meeting last week with ideas for pesticide-free alternatives for healthy, beautiful lawns which you can have too!

Wellesley College reported that all of its fields are organic. The College is moving towards that for the golf course too as they work for their The Audubon Certification. This award winning education and certification program helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf.  Wellesley Country Club’s new executive course is also striving for this certification.

The Town would like to start a peer group list of Organic landscapers. Please email us at info@sustainablewellesley.com with names of companies you recommend, and we will share the list.

Quentin

Wellesley Country Club CourseWellesley Country Club is approaching the town for permission to create a new six-hole golf course that is near one of Wellesley’s drinking water sources. Thus, some town residents and officials are encouraging them to use less chemicals so as not to drain into public drinking water.  An Audubon certification is an option that the club could go after that would require them to meet high standards for protecting
water quality, conserving natural resources, and providing wildlife habitats.

On Thursday, March 10th at 7:30 pm in the Juliani Meeting Room at Town Hall, the Zoning Board of Appeals will have a public hearing regarding this matter.

Weigh in on this topic and show support of safe drinking water by coming to the hearing and/or writing to the ZBA.