News from Wellesley's Natural Resources Commission (NRC)
While warm weather might seem very far away, now is the time to sign up with a lawn care service for spring. Make 2024 the year you commit to greener lawn care practices. Finding the right provider can be challenging as the word organic is not regulated for lawn care professionals. To be sure you are getting a true organic lawn care professional NOFA has created an accreditation program. NOFA Organic Lawn Care Program works to foster professional competency in the area of organic landscaping and protect the public interest in responsible use of land care products and land resources. Click here to search a list of accredited organic lawn care professionals.
Another way you can green your lawn care practices is to conserve water. Are you interested in saving money on your water bill? Do you care about conserving water use? The NRC is looking to assess resident interest in holding a community rain barrel purchase program. The program would take place in early March or April with rain barrels delivered in late April or May. Email the NRC here to be put on a list for the Wellesley Community Rain Barrel Program. This program provides residents the opportunity to purchase a rain barrel at a reduced cost. More information will be provided to those who sign up.
Wondering why Wellesley is delaying mowing part of the lawn at Simons Park (by the Wellesley Free Library) during May? Its No Mow May!
By waiting until June to mow, they are allowing the grass to grow taller, clover to bloom, and other plants to flower and feed the pollinators.
Citizen scientists where do you see more pollinators on un-mowed or mowed lawns?
Download the Naturalist app, then go to project area and select join Wellesley, MA: No Mow Project. Then observe the pollinators on mowed and un-mowed laws. Post photos of the visiting pollinators to the Naturalist App to let us know what you see. Email any questions to NRC@wellesleyma.gov. Thanks to the Department of Public Works and Natural Resources for this campaign!
"Quest for Quiet"
Join a Lunchtime Conference Series presented by Quiet Communities
Environmental noise threatens the health of millions of Americans, especially those in low income and minority communities. Harmful noise emanates from sources including air, road, and rail transportation, construction, land care, industry and even recreation and entertainment venues. Often it is associated with harmful pollution.
The lack of effective federal and state programs to help abate noise makes it critical for communities to work together to share ideas, resources, and success stories and encourage our governments to re-establish noise abatement and control programs.
In this conference you will learn as well, as help build a community network that can work together to reduce noise in our communities. Brief speaker presentations will be followed by an interactive discussion.
Part 1 - Setting the Stage
Join the meeting if you are interested in making our communities quieter and healthier.
Yes; Quiet Communities -- the Mass. non profit -- are the ones that led Wellesley's Quiet, Healthy Yards, A Regional Residential Land Care Workshop last spring.
The Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) is helping cut carbon emissions with a significant investment in electric landscaping equipment. Starting this week, residents will see this new equipment in use in parks and open spaces and the entire Town will reap the benefits of these positive climate actions.
The department recently expanded its rechargeable battery-powered fleet, using funds from its Fiscal Year 2022 budget to purchase a large EGO riding mower and EGO brand cordless outdoor equipment including: two electric push lawn mowers, a pole hedge kit, six carbon fiber trimmers, and 4 leaf blowers. These new tools are in addition to other small rechargeable equipment like trimmers and leaf blowers that DPW bought in 2020. All are the same make and batteries for the equipment are interchangeable.
The purchases were spurred by panel discussions a year ago sponsored by the Town of Wellesley, Lexington DPW, Wellesley Natural Resources Commission, and Sustainable Wellesley in partnership with two nonprofits, American Green Zone Alliance and Quiet Communities, Inc.
Look for DPW crews using the new equipment at four established green spaces: Central Park near the Wellesley Square post office, Church Park in front of the Village Church, the Wellesley Police Department grounds, and the Tolles Parsons Center on Washington Street. These high-traffic parklands showcase pesticide-free landscaping and low-maintenance native plantings to foster birds, bees and other useful insects.
Because they run on rechargeable batteries, this equipment eliminates fumes and vibrations that are harmful to operators and passersby, and have lower decibel levels to reduce use noise. To keep equipment charged when away from power sources, DPW Director Dave Cohen is mounting charging stations on a trailer. “We are eager to see how this set up works and if the equipment can give crew members the sustained service that is required during long work days,” said Cohen.
According to Paul DePhillips, Assistant Superintendent of the DPW Park & Tree division, the team is also considering adding a solar panel to the roof of the trailer to provide some additional charging capability and reduce or even eliminate plug-in charging time. DePhillips’s crew has also added four electric chainsaws.
The most expensive piece is the rider electric mower, which retails for about $4,999 and can cut up to two acres on a single battery charge. The motor emits a sound that resembles a ‘faint whine,’ instead of a louder mowing noise.
In the coming months, DPW will be collecting data to quantify the benefits of shifting to electric equipment and will present this information to the Town to help inform future decisions about expanding the electric landscaping program.
Climate Action in Wellesley
The electric landscaping equipment program is helping support the Town’s climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% below 2007 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. Wellesley is currently developing a Climate Action Plan that will serve as a roadmap for reaching these goals. To learn more visit https://www.wellesleyma.gov/1584/Climate-Action-