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The Newton Conservators
NEWSLETTER
April 1998

IN THIS ISSUE:
You are invited to Annual Meeting
Wed., May 27, Noyes Hall

Andover-Newton Theological School

Watch for your invitation in the mail or call Sally Flynn at 965-6297.

Message from the President

Much will be happening at our Annual Dinner on May 27. Dan Driscoll, MDC Project Manager, will receive our Environmentalist of the Year Award for his development of the Charles River Pathway and Julia O'Brien, the MDC Director of Planning, will speak on the MDC Parks System. The Conservators will also be pleased to present special Directors' Awards to Helen Heyn for her decades of service to the Conservation Commission in acquiring and maintaining many of Newton's conservation areas, and to Leo Levi for his unstinting efforts to beautify Newton through tree and flower plantings and organizing Newton Pride.

The past year has been so busy for the Newton Conservators that I will simply list many of the major issues that have arisen here and let you read the details elsewhere in the Newsletter. Of the two large parcels of open space that came suddenly on the market, the Mayor has been dealing personally with the 40 acre Kessler Woods in south Newton and believes he has a commitment for the 13 acres of wetlands. Both the Conservators and the Bowen-Thompsonville Neighborhood Association have been negotiating with Hebrew College (HC) and Andover Newton Theological

Seminary (ANTS) concerning the 6 acres to be sold to HC and the additional 14 acres ANTS plans to sell to a developer. The MDC is also planning to develop their Grove St. site, but has not yet approached the city for permits to do so. The Mayor's Transitional Task Force on the Environment has presented their recommendations to the Mayor, several of which arise from initiatives of the Conservators. The Newton-2000 Task Force on the Environment should be making its recommendations in a month or so. Finally, the Conservators efforts in clearing the southernmost section of the Charles River Pathway have paid dividends in providing an incentive to transfer the 30 acre South Charles River Reservation to the Conservation Commission, which will become active in applying for Federal funds to place a footbridge across College Brook, which will make the area much more accessible, while preserving the quiet, wetland environment.

See you at the Annual Dinner!

Mike ClarkeConservators' Grants

by William Hagar

The Newton Conservators provide monetary assistance for projects that complement the goals of the organization. This funding program was established in 1992 to provide support for worthy environmental, education, and preservation projects. In the past six years, over $11,000 have been awarded to conservation programs, community groups, environmental education programs in Newton schools, and preservation and documentation programs. We continue to support such important efforts and have funded two grant proposals for environmental­based activities for the Countryside Elementary School and the Bigelow Middle School.

The Countryside Outdoor Classroom Project is organized by Lisa Carron Shmerling, Karen Spier, and Susan Sangiolo and involves the development of an outdoor garden linked to education and the environment. The project integrates environmental issues, science teaching, and classroom activities and consists of a series of dynamic gardens designed to have their highest botanical interest during the months school is in session. The garden plot was designed by a local parent/architect and is intended to be a resource for Countryside school. Participants have cleared an area behind the school for the garden. Several different types of plants are part of the vegetation with more to come. We look forward to viewing this garden and reading about the botanical interests of the students.

The Bigelow Middle School water quality study "A Comparison of the Chemical Composition of the Charles River in Newton Massachusetts with Freshwater Systems Nation and Worldwide" involves water quality testing that is being done in many freshwater systems across the world. Kari Gathen and her coworkers are planning to share their findings with others monitoring freshwater systems as part of a Global Water Study Project on the Internet. This is precisely the type of environmental monitoring and science education program that makes students and residents aware of possible problems, and provides an understanding of the scientific process. The Bigelow science group will also work with other environmental groups monitoring the Charles River and its watershed; particularly, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) located in Newton. They are involved in water quality testing all along the Charles River and will serve as additional support for their study. We look forward to reading about the results of this limnology study in the near future.

The next period for grant submission will be April 30, 1998. The Newton Conservators will provide monetary assistance for projects that complement the goals of the organization. We welcome applications from schools, groups, or individuals for worthwhile projects in the environmental area. The Newton Conservators will provide specified funds for materials, equipment, books, speakers, transportation, documentation and other necessities. The grants awarded are generally modest in size; requests of between $250 and $500 may receive priority, although smaller and larger proposals will be given full consideration. Grant proposals can be for a single event, a longer term project, or for multiple year funding. Semi­annual deadlines for proposals are October 31 and April 30. Proposals must be postmarked by those dates to be considered with that group. Detailed information on submission and evaluation of grant proposals is available upon request from Bill Hagar, Grants Committee (248 Winchester Street; daytime telephone 617­287­6669, e­mail Hagar@umbsky.cc.umb.edu), or from any member of the Board of Directors (Newton Conservators, Inc., P.O. Box 11, Newton Centre, MA 02159). Other members of the Grants Committee are Stephanie Bacon and Vaunita Schnell.


Dan Driscoll and the Charles River Pathway

by Mike Clarke

Over a century ago, the famed landscape architect Charles Eliot provided a vision of a riverfront park from South Natick to Boston Harbor. For the past 10 years, Dan Driscoll, the 1998 recipient of the Newton Conservators' Environmentalist of the Year Award, has worked to develop this pathway on MDC land from Watertown Square westward. The ultimate goal is a continuous path from Newton all the way to Boston Harbor. A Newton Highlands resident who grew up exploring the banks of Charles, Driscoll has won over $2 million in federal grants and MDC money for design and construction of the first three trail segments and is beginning to focus on the next two. In Driscoll's hands, the century-old vision of Charles Eliot is being realized in a natural and beautiful way that re-connects residents to the delights of the river that wraps around Newton and courses through Boston.

The banks of the Upper Charles River Reservation from Watertown Dam to Hemlock Gorge were the focus of the first park land acquisitions of what is now the MDC. Historic parks such as Hemlock Gorge, Riverside, and Norumbega were created in the early 1900s. The Upper Charles River Reservation, in particular Riverside Park (with its sand beach pool and over 4,000 moored canoes) and Norumbega Park (with its zoo, rides, and the Totem Pole Dance Hall), became the most popular recreation site in metropolitan Boston.

Unfortunately the depression, industrial wastes and rapid development led to increased sewage and pollution that deteriorated water quality. This, coupled with the rise of the automobile, caused the public to lose interest in the Charles. The famous commercial parks were closed and the Upper Reservation public park lands entered a period of neglect and abuse. This began to change as the environmental movement of the 1970's stimulated a renewed concern for the Charles and its banks and led to public initiatives that significantly improved water quality. Since 1980, joint efforts between cities, towns, businesses, and the MDC have resulted in five new river bank parks, land gifts, and an extensive clean-up of the River's banks.

Early on in the development of the Pathway through the Upper Reservation, Driscoll faced a lack of accurate property bounds delineating MDC riverside park lands. A much needed property survey was completed in October 1992, which confirmed that the MDC owned enough land to develop the river corridor but also identified 90 encroachments on its property within this area. Many of the areas the walkway traverses had become trash-filled lots, asphalt parking areas, and other illegal encroachments. Driscoll worked with the state attorney general's office to amicably reclaim these parcels and earned praise as a "straight shooter" and fair negotiator by those who returned land to the MDC. In the process, he was able to keep his cool and persuasively demonstrate the real advantages of the project for area residents.

In proceeding to the next important step of developing a comprehensive plan with the primary objective of restoring the long-term ecology of the river corridor as a self-sustaining natural environment, the MDC hired Carol R. Johnson Associates, Inc. to prepare a master plan and design for an important 5.75 mile section from Watertown Square to Commonwealth Avenue in Newton.

The first phase from Watertown Square to Bridge St., which was completed in 1997, was an immediate success with walkers, bikers, joggers and particularly with those just wanting to take the family for a stroll along the river. This segment provided the first critical link between the lower Charles River Basin and the scenic Lakes District in Newton. The path features wooden causeways, observation decks, wetland habitats and fishing holes. Extensive plantings were made with species native to the river.

Driscoll has been creative in securing grants from the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) for construction of the new greenway. In addition, the MDC also expended $1 million in state funds. The next two sections of the pathway on the Newton side of the river from Galen St. to Bridge St. and from Farwell St. to Elm St. in Waltham should be complete by July. Full implementation of the plan will strengthen metropolitan Boston's claim of possessing one of the finest and longest urban river greenway corridors in America.

Now that the pathway is well into Newton, attention can turn to the 1975 plan developed by the Newton Conservation Commission for the Charles River Pathway in Newton. There are two bright spots in both the north and south ends of Newton. Driscoll has already placed the Pathway's trademark blue heron granite markers on the footpath on the Needham side of the river from Highland Ave. to Kendrick St. opposite Nahanton Park. With the transfer of the 30 acre South Charles River Reservation from Newton's DPW to the Conservation Commission in April, 1998, the section from Nahanton St. to the Oak Hill Woods may be added. This link was cleared by members of the Conservators and other neighborhood groups in 1994. While perhaps the most beautiful section of the footpath, it is not heavily traveled because of stream obstacles. The pathway is also slated to continue as a footpath past the MDC Forest Grove Park into Auburndale Park. For both these segments, Driscoll plans to forge an alliance with Newton planners to garner ISTEA funds for the design of a walkway that will allow for quiet passage and maintain the vital wetland ecology of these areas.

A particularly difficult segment is connecting the two sides of the river between Riverside Park and Lower Falls. Fortunately, the MDC owns an old railroad bridge spanning the river at this point, but will need local support to accomplish this critical link. Beyond that, the pathway along Quinobequin Road will need improvement with guard rails to prevent automobiles from intruding into the area. The section from Hemlock Gorge to Highland Ave. will be the most difficult, as there is little public land along this section and a good deal of cooperation with local businesses and WHDH will be necessary to create a viable path.

Dan Driscoll grew up in Auburndale and now lives in Newton Highlands. He earned his BS degree in Recreation Management with a co-major in Environmental Studies in 1981 and a MS in Natural Resource Planning in 1985, both from the University of Vermont. In 1986-87 he was a Planner for the Harbor Islands and since 1987 he has been a Senior Planning Consultant with the MDC. In addition to planning the CR Pathway, Dan helped develop open space plan requirements for Mass. cities and towns and a state Geographical Information System for the EOEA. Among other projects, he is now working on the master plan for the MDC park system.


Annual Dinner Speaker: Julia O'Brien, MDC Director of Planning

The speaker at the Conservators' Annual Dinner will be Ms. Julia O'Brien, Director of Planning for the MDC. Ms. O'Brien is responsible for the development of short and long range plans for the preservation and enhancement of the Metropolitan Park System. Prior to coming to the MDC Ms. O'Brien was project manager for the "Open Space and Recreation Program for Metropolitan Boston" developed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. She assisted in the preparation of an open space plan for the State of Rhode Island and was staff to a Special Legislative Commission that proposed Rhode Island's first "Green Acres Bond" for the acquisition of park land. As a private consultant she worked on a regional plan for Cape Cod as well as numerous city and town plans.

Major projects now under her charge include the redevelopment of the "Lost Half Mile" of the Charles River in conjunction with the Charles River Crossing of the Central Artery; planning for a major urban greenway along the Neponset River from Squantum to Mattapan Square; programming for the implementation of the proposals of the Special Commission on the Boston Harbor Beaches; master planning for the banks of the Charles River in Watertown, Newton, Waltham and Weston, and the preparation of a National Register nomination for the historic park system. Since the MDC Planning Office completed a Land Acquisition Plan in 1992, nearly 2000 acres have been added to the park system.

In 1994 Ms. O' Brien was named "Public Servant of the Year" by the Environmental League of Massachusetts and received the 1996 LaGasse Medal for contributions to landscape architecture and open space by the American Society of Landscape Architects. In January 1997 the Boston Society of Landscape Architects awarded Ms. O'Brien the Award of Excellence for her "fostering improvements to the quality of the metropolitan area landscapes."


State Legislative Notes

The Watershed Initiative. The FY1999 Massachusetts budget will include nearly $2 million in new funding for the Mass. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) Watershed Initiative, a program which establishes watershed teams, comprised of citizens and local leaders from each river basin, whose function is to help agencies prioritize and address environmental issues in the watershed.

Contaminated Site Cleanup. The budget will also provide an increase of $250,000 in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) budget for oversight of contaminated site cleanups, bringing the total budget for this to more than $17 million.

Recycling. The budget will provide $7 million for recycling incentives, paid for by unclaimed bottle deposits.

Newton's Adopt-A-Space Program

The Landscape Maintenance Task Force sends thanks all who have participated in the Adopt-A-Space program this season. The benefits are evident to residents and visitors alike, with greener and cleaner spaces for all to enjoy. It's never too late to add your time and talent to this effort. To volunteer for an open-space adoption, call Andrea Kelley, Newton's Open Space Coordinator at 527-1467.


Zoning Change Will Allow Hebrew College to Cluster New Campus with Andover-Newton Theological School

by Mike Clarke

For the past 175 years the land at the top of Institution Hill has been held in good stewardship by the Andover Newton Theological School. Generations of children have explored there, adults have found it a place of respite from the hassle of the city, families have picked blackberries in the summer and sledded down the hill near Bowen in the winter. This green space also constitutes a wildlife corridor that links the Webster/Cohen Conservation areas, the green spaces around Bowen School and those between Cypress St., Ridge Rd and Bow Road, which in turn connect to the Weeks Field Park. Since a ledge of Roxbury pudding stone underlies the entire area, the trees and vegetation are also important to slow the runoff, which would otherwise flood even more basements along Ripley, Langley and Cypress during heavy rains. Now that the Andover-Newton Theological School (ANTS) has committed 6 acres of this land to Hebrew College (HC) and placed another 14 acres on the market for development, it is important that as much of these 20 wooded acres as possible be preserved.

In the initial phase of the negotiations, an amendment to the zoning ordinance was hammered out allowing for a cluster campus between HC and ANTS. The ordinance specifies that religious/educational institutions in Single Residence 3 zoning be allowed to build directly alongside one another upon jointly applying for a special permit. The setback separation between the institutions can be removed, providing that obviated area be added to other sides as an open space buffer. On Institution Hill, this clusters the buildings near the top with the at least the area of removed setback being applied to a wooded buffer zone on the remainder of the 6 acre plot. The ordinance specifies that the increased setbacks shall be set aside as permanent open space and shall be restricted by either recorded deed and/or conservation restriction. The board of aldermen may designate that the public shall have permanent public access to the land set aside or any part thereof. This phase was completed when the Board of Aldermen passed the amendment on April 6.

In the second phase, HC/ANTS applied for the required special permit. At a hearing of the Land Use Committee on April 14, the Newton Conservators have urged that the Board of Aldermen plan comprehensively for the whole parcel. Particular concerns are:

At least 70 feet of reserved setback from the Ripley and Langley Roads sides of the proposed Hebrew College campus should be preserved under permanent conservation restrictions with public access and with deed restriction on a perimeter of 20 feet immediately adjacent to the buildings to allow for a cleared area during construction and landscaping afterwards. The conservation restriction should include the HC frontage on Langley Road.

This greenspace should be made continuous with a similar area that would wrap around the rest of the parcel to provide a "U-shaped" buffer on Langley Rd., Langley Path and Cypress St..

A green swath between the joint Hebrew College and Andover Newton Campus and whatever is constructed on the south end of the parcel near the Bowen School should be preserved in order to maintain the view of the Blue Hills, as indicated in the Newton Open Space Plan, and a wildlife corridor.

An inventory of vegetation should be undertaken before construction and used to restore the area afterwards.

Comprehensive planning must include the 14 acres presently placed up for bid in addition to the 6 acres committed to Hebrew College.

In the next phase of the process, ANTS will present the top proposals under consideration for development of the 14 acres presently up for bid. Proposals will center on the 10 acres between ANTS and the Bowen School. On Thursday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. at Stoddard Hall, ANTS will present the proposals for comment. On Thursday, April 30, 7:33 p.m. in the Bowen School Auditorium, the Bowen-Thompsonville Neighborhood Association discuss the proposals. On Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Stoddard Hall, ANTS will receive comments concerning the development proposals from neighborhood residents.

The pending sale and development of the 20 acres of wooded land surrounding the Andover-Newton Theological School will result in years of disruption of the adjacent residential neighborhood. Repairs to the bridges over the MBTA tracks will begin shortly, Phase 1 construction of HC would probably start in the fall or spring, an addition to the Bowen School is likely, there will be heavy development on a 10 acre tract now under bid, and Phase 2 of HC will be started as soon as funds are available. After so much disruption, the Bowen-Thompsonville neighborhood should be restored as much as posssible by preserving a large part of the wooded area not at the top of Institution Hill.


Mayor Supports Tree And Landscape Budget Increases

By Doug Dickson

In his first budget speech to the city and the Board of Aldermen on April 6, Mayor Cohen clearly and unequivocally acknowledged the need to increase spending for maintenance of city trees and playgrounds. After recommending additions to the operating budget for schools, human services and the library, the mayor turned to trees. "For too long that asset [trees] has been taken for granted," he said. "The result has been the premature death of too many tress and excessive tree loss due to storm damage."

Mayor Cohen announced his intention to request that $100,000 in free cash be set aside this summer to augment the $200,000 currently included in the operating budget for tree maintenance. In making this announcement, Cohen said, it is not so much an expenditure as an investment in an irreplaceable resource.

Next, the mayor turned to playgrounds and athletic fields. Noting that these facilities provide places for family activities as well as for organized sports for kids and adults, Cohen indicated that the budget has not kept pace with improvements to these fields. In six years, the acreage of irrigated and renovated playgrounds has more that doubled while the budget has remained static. The mayor stated his intention to request $50,000 from free cash this summer to supplement the $50,000 currently included in the operating budget.

This is great news for friends and advocates of Newton's trees and open spaces. While it doesn't meet the full range of needs that we have identified, it demonstrates an extraordinary act of leadership by the mayor and an important commitment by city government to invest in these resources at a time when the fiscal challenge facing the city is greater than ever.

Many of you have conveyed your concern about city-owned trees and landscapes to Mayor Cohen and the Board of Aldermen. Now is a perfect time to thank them for their support and to encourage them to follow through on this critical step forward.

Messages you might wish to emphasize in your conversations and letters include:

a) Your appreciation for this courageous first step in responding to a genuine community need.

b) The importance of maintaining trees and parks as a priority throughout the budget process as it moves from approving the operating budget to developing the capital budget. (The $150,000 earmarked by Mayor Cohen for tree and playground maintenance will come from the capital budget this year.)

c) The importance of integrating these expenditures into the operating budget next year, if possible. Typically, capital budget items are one-time- only expenditures. Maintenance of trees and landscapes is an ongoing need.

d) The need for related priorities to be funded, including the development of horticultural and landscape management expertise to improve our ability to plan for and maintain all city-owned property, comprising nearly 10% of Newton's total area.

News from the Conservation Commission

by Norman Richardson

At the April meeting of the Conservation Commission, the Friends of the Waban Kettle Pond requested an Amended Order of Conditions to allow chemical treatment of nuisance purple loosetrife and duckweed in the recently dredged pond. Concerns about herbicide application and the need to reduce particulate and nutrient loadings to the pond were discussed. The Commission approved an order permitting glyphosphate application to control the loosetrife and aluminum sulfate to remove micronutrients that encourage floating plant growth (duckweed). The Friends will increase their educational efforts to encourage alternatives to fertilizer use in the pond watershed.

Stephanie Bacon of the Friends of Hammond Pond presented the findings of a recent study of Hammond Pond. The consensus of the discussion was that no permanent improvements were possible without reducing the sediment and nutrient loadings to the pond. Primary sources include particulates and dissolved salts in storm water from Rte 9 and the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center; resident geese and pigeons are contributing bacteria and excess nutrients that encourage eutrophication. Recommendations included collecting additional information to assess the hydrological budget of the pond, continued public education to minimize geese feeding, and meetings with the Massachusetts Highway Department and Mall management to discuss actions to reduce stormwater drainage into the pond. Stephanie Bacon and Martha Horn will also look into the availability of follow up grants.

Pending issues for the May 28 meeting include improvements at Dolan Pond, use of the Mt. Ida College pond for sports field irrigation, the status of the Hemlock woolly adelgid infestation and treatment options (particularly at Houghton Gardens), and proposed filing fee schedule changes. The public is encouraged to attend.

Environmental Task Force Recommendations

The Mayor's Transition Environmental Task Force was chaired by Louise Bruyn of the Green Decade and included a dozen others active in environmental, open space and natural resource issues throughout the city. Mike Clarke, represented the Conservators and Marty Sender, a member of the Conservators Board of Directors also represented the CRWA. Among the key recommendations are were the following concerning the development of environmental and open space policy.

The appointment of a temporary commission to study and coordinate the varied land use issues of the Rumford Depot/Flowed Meadows/Forest Grove Park and the 30 acre South Charles River Reservation between Wells Avenue and the River. The commission should include representatives from the Conservation Commission, DPW, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the MDC, local neighborhood associations and be in close liaison with the ward aldermen. Also recommended is a budget for a naturalist survey and a conservation management plan for each area, which should be carried out in conjunction with the MDC.

Considerations of the environment and planning for a sustainable environment should be universally incorporated into decisions made in city government. Toward this end, the Mayor should develop an environmental policy with standards and guidelines against which decisions, initiatives, etc. can be tested in order to determine if they conform to the city's environmental policy.

The appointment of a committee to consider the creation of a full-time position of Environmental Affairs Coordinator. The functions of this position would include: 1)coordination between the departments managing the city's natural resources,2) promoting recycling and sustainable technologies, 3) coordinating acquisition, maintenance and use of open space, 4) monitoring and measuring Newton's progress in: recycling, reducing the use of pesticides and other toxic materials and maintaining and expanding our natural open spaces, 5)resource conservation (energy, water and residuals, recycling grey water)and minimizing CO2 emission, 6) integrated pest management (IPM), 7)serving as an ombudsman for the environment, 8) coordinating environmental health issues with the Public Health Commission, 9) participation in the Sustainability Commission, and 10) reviewing the annual environmental reports from city departments in order to assess compliance with the city's environmental policy.

All city departments to should submit annual environmental reports, the form and content of which would be determined by the environmental policy.

The formation of a Sustainable Newton Commission which would: 1) identify benefits and beneficiaries for this new approach; 2) identify the stake-holders who would benefit from sustainability approach to specific problems and involve them in planning initiatives, 3) develop policy initiatives involving sustainable planning, and 4) determine measurable indicators of success of these initiatives.

More public involvement in the open space plan to: 1) strengthen the constituency for wetlands and open space, 2) to better provide for land acquisition and maintenance, and 3) to construct a plan that is more responsive to community interests. Newton open space and environmental plans should be circulated to local environmental groups for comment.

Newton should systematically set aside funds (or consider bond issues) to acquire lands that institutions, utilities or golf courses will eventually divest and/or private land contiguous to existing city open space parcels. In conjunction with this, a mechanism whereby the city would pay survey and legal costs for receiving bequests of land should be established

Newton should work with institutions, golf courses, etc. to perform naturalists surveys of the few remaining large open space parcels to assess their value to the environment and as passive recreational space for the community so that priorities for open space acquisition can be set.

The Parks and Recreation Department should integrate its planning to view the park lands as more than a collection of spaces for athletic programs, and better involve neighborhoods in planning for park and playground development.

Protection of the river and water resources by: i) encouraging ways to keep runoff water out of storm drains, thereby keeping it in the ground and re-charging the aquifer; ii) pursuing a capital plan to upgrade sanitary and storm sewer lines to reduce inflow and infiltration; and iii) reassessing the use of salt and sand consistent with public safety.


NEWTON 2000 TASK FORCE DRAFTS ENVIRONMENTAL VISION;

LOOKS FOR YOUR INPUT

By Doug Dickson

The Newton 2000 Environmental Task Force has met monthly since November 1997 in an effort to articulate a vision of Newton's environmental future that can serve as a framework for decisions and projects over the next 25 years or so. More than 50 individuals have contributed to this effort and a draft vision statement has been produced for review and comment by the community.

Once this vision has been modified to reflect the views of various groups and individuals, it will be incorporated into a comprehensive vision for the City of Newton that covers a range of issues, including the environment. It will also be supported by goals and initiatives that can help us take concrete steps in the direction of our collective vision and measure our progress.

One group the Task Force wants to hear from is the Newton Conservators. Though many of you have participated in the discussions so far, we welcome comments from all of you, whether or not you have attended our meetings. Please review the following draft statement and forward your ideas and reactions to Doug Dickson (dgdickson@aol.com or 17 Oxford Road, Newton 02159). We're anxious to receive input from as many of you as possible.


Newton 2000: DRAFT Environmental Vision Statement

The City of Newton envisions a future in which its citizens and their children enjoy a healthy and pleasant environment that provides recreational opportunity, ecological balance and aesthetic enjoyment.

Because we recognize that our quality of life is directly linked to the quality of our environment, and because we acknowledge that changes are needed for ongoing improvement of Newton's environment, we therefore declare this vision as a statement of our purpose and intent as we set an agenda for building a sustainable future for ourselves and succeeding generations.

Open Space. We envision a city with a carefully planned balance between development and the conservation of open space; with an expanding network of open spaces offering active and passive recreational opportunities within walking distance of all citizens; and with a reliable funding mechanism for acquiring, preserving and maintaining our open space.

Linking Villages and Open Spaces. We envision a Newton that is recognized for its alternative transportation network, with linear parks, walkways, bikeways, and canoe access points that provide realistic options for reduced reliance on automobiles in linking our parks, villages and transportation junctions.

Resource Stewardship. We envision broad support for and practice of water and energy conservation with much of our energy needs supplied from renewable sources and with a significant improvement of our ponds and waterways, including the Charles River.

Quality. We envision a city whose air, water and soil meet high standards for health and purity, and whose air, water and soil quality are greatly improved through the reduction of pesticides and other toxins.

Sustainability. We envision a city that leads the state in managing a sustainable environment for our children and our children's children, by markedly increasing reclamation of waste products, reducing the waste stream, and steadily increasing recycling of household and hazardous waste. We also envision growing acceptance and practice of generating one's own food and energy using solar and other technologies.

Aesthetics. We envision our Garden City reclaiming its heritage with an abundance of healthy, appropriately placed trees and other flora and with carefully maintained parks, grounds and other public places; with private landowners contributing to the city's beauty through thoughtful and consistent care of their landscapes; and with a multi-year program in place by the beginning of the next century to bury overhead utilities, screen unsightly structures, reduce noise and improve traffic flow.

Process. We envision a community that is actively involved and well-informed, with accountable leadership though city government that, in recognition of our interrelationship with other communities, speaks and acts forcefully on local, regional, national, and global environmental issues; with extensive educational programs at all levels; and with broad participation by business and institutions as well as homeowners and residents. Finally, we envision the care of our city's environment as an open, participatory process in which all of our citizens are encouraged to play a direct role and to take personal responsibility for the collective benefit of our community.

Depot Day Festival

Exciting changes have transformed the old Rumford Avenue Landfill area. With the capping and reseeding of the landfill, demolition of the incinerator, and upgrading of the Recycling Depot, a transformation is taking place which will restore the whole area for recreation, expand access to the river, and connect with bordering conservation areas. Activities at the Recycling Depot have been expanded and upgraded. Residents can now get free paint, books and magazines, compost and mulch.

To celebrate the completion of this project, the Newton Recycling Committee, through the Department of Public Works, is sponsoring a Depot Day Festival to be held on Saturday, May 16, 1998 (rain date May 23) from 10:00AM to 3:00PM at the Rumford Ave. Recycling Depot in West Newton. Come explore the changes that have taken place; see how the City carries out its extensive recycling operations.

Volunteers from the Newton Conservators will lead tours of the nearby nature trails and conduct canoe trips between Ware's and Purgatory Coves along the Charles.

Come and learn about the River Walk being developed along the Charles and see where it goes through this area. Meet the many dedicated folks who have made all this happen--while you enjoy a family festival of music, exhibits, activities, demonstrations, and much more to celebrate the restoration of a valuable resource for all residents of the City of Newton. This is also a good opportunity to bring your recyclables with you, and pick up free compost, books, magazines and paint. If you'd like more information, please call Ruth Leabman, Chair, Newton Recycling Committee, at (617)-527-9189.


Depot Day At The Rumford Ave. Resource Recovery Center

May 16, 1998 (rain date May 23)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Participants

Schedule Of Events

10:00 AM Greetings from Mayor David Cohen
10:30-11:30 AM Earthtunes
12:00 noon - 2:00 PM Reiner Family Band
Hourly Tours

Activities

Exhibits

>Newton Conservators Spring Walks '98

Saturday, May 9, 10 AM -1 PM

Ordway Park Clean-up

In March, arborists pruned the trees and removed dead wood from this small neighborhood park and garden, which was bequeathed to the Newton Conservators by Miss Priscilla Ordway. Come see the work that was done and help us now tackle the understory and winter's toil. Ordway Park is at the corner of Grant and Everett Streets in Newton Center. Call Carol Lee Corbett (332-4015), Chair of the Conservators' Ordway Park Committee for more information. If you can, bring gloves and small gardening tools.

Sunday, May 10, 8 AM

Mother's Day Bird Walk at Nahanton Park

The mix of woodlands, wetlands and meadows along the Charles River migration route make Nahanton a wonderful place for spring birding. Enter the park at the Nahanton St. entrance next to the river and meet at the Nature Center. Parking available inside the park. Trip leader is Paula Chasan (965-2752), an experienced birder from Friends of Nahanton Park.

The Depot Day Festival

Saturday, May 16, 10 AM - 3 PM; May 23 rain date

The Newton Recycling Committee is celebrating the exciting changes happening on Rumford Ave. The incinerator was dismantled, the old landfill capped and turned into attractive open space, and the Depot recycling center has been expanded and upgraded to include an area for free paint, books and magazines. Festivities at the Resource Recovery Center on Rumford Ave. include hourly tours of the depot area and adjoining conservation areas, music, art activities for kids, and exhibits.

Saturday, May 16, 10 AM - 3 PM

Canoeing on the Charles.

In conjunction with the Depot Day Festival, we invite you to canoe along the Charles River through the scenic Lakes district, exploring the beauty of Purgatory and Ware's Cove. We will launch periodically throughout the day from Wabasso St., where Brunner Brook used to enter Purgatory Cove and travel to Ware's Cove and back. There is parking here for several cars. Trip Leader Mike Clarke (965-5074; E-mail clarke@bc.edu) will supply some canoes, but please call as soon as possible if you need either a canoe or partner.

Wednesday, May 20, 5:30 PM

The new MDC Charles Riverwalk

In the cool of the late afternoon, alewives migrate up and over the Watertown Dam, pursued by stalking night-herons. MDC planner Dan Driscoll (727-9693, ext. 268) will take us along Watertown section of the new Charles River Pathway, completed only this past October, and back along the nearly completed Newton (Nonantum) section. Distance approx. 2 miles. Park at the MDC parking lot off Pleasant St., Watertown, adjacent to the Sasaki Landscape Office sign and meet at the stone pillars on Galen Street.

Sunday, May 31, 2 PM

Newton Cemetery Tree Walk

Created in the 19th century naturalistic style of Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, the Newton Cemetery is beautifully landscaped. Join board member and avid horse-chestnut grower Frank Howard (244-7269) on a walk that will focus on the variety of specimen trees within the cemetery. Meet inside the entrance off Walnut Street.

Sunday, June 14, 2 PM

Wells Avenue footpath

Did you think Wells Avenue was only an office park? The city has just designated a thirty acre parcel along the Charles River, south of Nahanton Street, as conservation land, protecting it from future development. Explore this little known open space with trip leader Judy Hepburn (964-1137) from Friends of Nahanton Park. Parking at either of the two Nahanton Park lots off Nahanton St., just opposite the pathway.

Ordway Park Update

We have been busy and completed a great deal of tree work at Ordway Park. All Conservators are urged to stop by and admire the daffodils, newly mulched trail, and the more open feeling produced by tree thinning.

During the late winter, Doug Dickson tirelessly supervised Lupien arborists as they trimmed branches and removed several diseased or dead large trees. The Board of Directors voted the $3,800 cost of such massive work. We saved 15% by hauling our cut branches to the berm ourselves for the chipper to make mulch. Thanks to the strong volunteers, especially Mike and Aron Clark, who came March 7th to haul all those branches. Thanks also to Bill Hagar, Frank Howard and Karyn Powers for bringing equipment and

March 28th in 88 degree weather, Norm Richardson and Judy Hepburn joined Doug and myself to face the mountain of cut wood chips. Doug mulched the main footpath from Grant Avenue to Gibbs Street. Norm made a grand mulch skirt at the base of our giant beech. Judy tirelessly assaulted saplings and volunteer tree roots.

To everyone who assisted in restoring our park, we thank you. To other Conservators seeking an opportunity to help, we will have a cleanup day in May to tidy the rest of the park floor and continue the necessary pruning. See walks schedule.



Board of Directors Meeting Dates Members are welcome to attend the open meetings of the Board of Directors of the Newton Conservators, Inc. Meetings are usually on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Scheduled dates are:
Wednesday, April 29 (5th Wed) Rm. 202, Newton City Hall
Wednesday, May 27 Annual Meeting, Andover-Newton Theological School



Annual Meeting

CENTER>May 27, Noyes Hall

Andover-Newton Theological School

6:30 Social Hour -- 7:00 Dinner -- 8:00 Business Meeting -- 8:15 Speaker
Also, please join us for Spring Walks--details inside.

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