What’s Going on at the North 40

By Cathy Brauner
cbrauner@wickedlocal.com
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Posted at 3:01 PM
Updated at 3:02 PM

Residents who regularly visit the North 40 – and specifically, the part that was once a dump site – have noticed town employees in the area and heard rumors that trees are going to be removed.
The North 40 is an undeveloped parcel of land along Weston Road that the town
acquired from Wellesley College. In addition to community gardens, it includes walking trails and a vernal pool. The town leased 22 acres from 1955 to 1960 for a sanitary landfill.

So what’s going on? The answer, according to Meghan Jop, Wellesley’s assistant
executive director, has to do with evaluation and testing of the landfill, a process that began in 2014.

As part of this, she said in an email, “The town is continuing to work with
Environmental Partners Group Inc. to address environmental assessment activities
required to support a Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment and Phase III Remedial Action Plan under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).”
The site was classified as a Tier 1 site after arsenic was found in December 2015. The selectmen received funds at Town Meeting in 2017 to do the work , which will “install additional groundwater monitoring wells, do some additional test pits within the landfill area to delineate the thickness and extent of the landfill cover material, and install gas piezometers within the landfill waste to assist with determining the necessary cleanup/remedy for the landfill,” according to Jop.

The team will be at the site over the next few weeks doing the investigation. “Several trees may impacted or removed by DPW to get necessary equipment into the area,” Jop said.

What’s going on at Wellesley’s North 40?

The work is likely to begin in the next two weeks, “with larger equipment coming
towards the end of August,” she said. “Once the selectmen review the results, the town will have a better understanding of required remedial action and the goal is to return to the annual Town Meeting in March 2018 to seek funding to complete the work. Under the MCP all work must be complete by December 2019.”
Once exact dates are known, the town will be posting notices, including any information about closures of the aqueduct trail. “At present, we believe we can keep it open during the work,” Jop said.

Posted in News Articles on the North 40 | 3 Comments

Landscapes for Living: A Forum on Eco-Friendly Gardening and Lawn Care

Dear Friends of the North 40, 
 
​The vernal pool’s close proximity to roads and residences makes it especially vulnerable to stormwater runoff carrying pollutants, including pesticides and fertilizers. Come learn how to maintain your property naturally at this free event!
Landscapes for Living: A Forum on Eco-Friendly Gardening and Lawn Care
Saturday, May 13
10:30 am to 3 pm
Wellesley Free Library
 
Whether you are a beginning gardener or a long-time green thumb, you’ll find inspiration and information at this free forum on earth-friendly ways to care for your home landscape. Enjoy talks by nationally known experts Doug Tallamy and Chip Osborne, and participate in practical workshops on composting, ornamental edibles, and planting for pollinators! Come at 10 am and get advice on soil analysis from Cricket Vlass, Landscape Planner for the Wellesley DPW.
 
Event co-sponsors: Wellesley Natural Resources Commission, Sustainable Wellesley, Health Department, Recreation Department, and Wellesley Free Library.
 
Register here for light lunch and to be eligible for prizes: tinyurl.com/LandscapesForLiving
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Community Visioning Forum Invitation from the Friends of the North 40

Dear Friends of the North 40, 

Please attend the:

Community Visioning Forum

Saturday December 10

9:00 AM to 12 PM

Wellesley High School Cafeteria

What’s important to you? Come help shape the future of Wellesley!

Also:

Take the survey

Submit favorite photos of the North 40! 

Subscribe to Unified Plan news.  

Friends of the North 40 is a grass-roots organization. We rely on your activism and support. Thank you for being a part! 

See us online: 

FRIENDSOFTHENORTH40.ORG

Like us on Facebook

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Environmental Concerns in Town

I received the following email from a resident.  Although not specifically about the North 40, it does tie into discussions we had on the North 40 Steering Committee regarding reduction of open space in Town, as well as, the possible implications that the closure of Hardy may have on what gets developed (if anything) on the North 40.

The School Facilities Committee’s (SFC) recommendation is awaiting approval from the School Committee on building a new 536 student school where Upham is currently located. This new buildout requires blasting of considerable amounts of ledge and reduction of open space.   A decent amount of woodland and ledge would need to be removed. 

The School Committee will vote on this proposal this month (possibly at the January 26th meeting). 

NewUpham

 

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Message from the Friends of the North 40

Dear Friends of the North 40, 

On Tuesday, members of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) announced that they are seeking amendments to changes to the structure of the Natural Resources Commission being brought forth by the Town Government Study Committee at upcoming Special Town Meeting beginning Nov 2.

The NRC statement follows, and Town Meeting Members can be reached via the Town’s website.

School News: The new Hardy/Hunnewell/Upham Facilities Project Page on the Town Website can be viewed here. The School Superintendent and members of the School Committee also appeared last night before the Advisory Committee and referenced the North 40

NRC Seeks to Retain Independent Role to Protect Public Open Space and the Environment

To supporters of the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission:

Last night, the members of the Wellesley NRC voted on final language for three amendments to the Town Government Study Committee (TGSC) proposal that will be considered at the Special Town Meeting convening on November 2. The TGSC is proposing sweeping changes to Wellesley’s form of government after a review of the current structure. The members of the NRC are concerned that the proposed changes will compromise the ability of the NRC to accomplish its mission to protect the environment, conserve open space, and promote recreation in Wellesley. 

Through our amendments, we will ask Town Meeting Members to allow the NRC to retain the independence granted by an act of the Massachusetts State Legislature when the NRC was created in 1978. This independent status is similar to the status accorded to the School Department and the Municipal Light Department and their respective boards.

The structure proposed by the TGSC would place the NRC’s department in a new “Planning and Land Management Division,” several layers down in the Town organizational chart, under the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, and a Deputy Town Manager. The responsibility for supervising, hiring, and firing the NRC Director would also be shifted from our board to a Deputy Town Manager who would function as the director of this new division. We are deeply concerned that this structure will compromise the independence of the NRC and restrict our ability to execute our environmental mission. For nearly 40 years, the NRC has been an independent voice for environmental concerns in Wellesley, helping maintain the Town’s natural beauty and quality of life. We had hoped the changes proposed by TGSC would allow the NRC to continue to function independently. Ultimately, we determined that the proposal of amendments was our only option.

We wholeheartedly support the concept of a town manager and would like to follow the example of other towns, such as Brookline, Winchester, and Weston, that have very effective town managers who work in collaboration with independent elected boards. In looking at comparable towns, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all structure for town government – each town has worked out its own particular solution, and we would like to find a balanced solution for Wellesley.

The NRC was created in response to public dissatisfaction over how open space was managed in Wellesley. In 1977, Town Meeting Members voted to consolidate the management of open space in an elected Natural Resources Commission with a broad mission of stewardship over conservation land, parks, and natural resources, including public education and advocacy. NRC projects include:

  • the successful campaign to purchase and preserve Centennial Reservation
  • the Integrated Pesticide Management program, which limits the use of pesticides on public land, including parks and playing fields
  • the restoration of historic Fuller Brook Park
  • the ongoing restoration of Morses Pond
  • the protection and enhancement of the Town’s tree canopy through the Tree Planting program for which Wellesley has received the Tree City USA Award for 32 consecutive years.

The pressures on Wellesley’s natural resources and open space are increasing with every passing year. As more and more private open space in town is lost to development, we must continue to preserve and protect our public open space. 

We ask you to support the NRC as an independent voice for the environment and open space, and we ask all Town Meeting Members to vote to approve our amendments.

To learn more about the NRC’s position, please click here.

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School changes may make way for development on North 40

Letter from Hardy Principal

Dear Hardy Families:

On Tuesday night Matt Kelley, one of the School Facilities Committee representatives presented their recommendations regarding the future of Hardy, Hunnewell and Upham facilities. A link to the presentation is below:

http://www.wellesley.k12.ma.us/sites/wellesleyps/files/file/file/hhu_presentation_final.pdf

Dr. Lussier and Matt Kelley will be at Hardy to share these recommendations with the Hardy parents on Monday, Oct. 5th at 7:00 in the Hardy gym.  

A summary of the recommendations and timeline are below:

Recommendation:

  • Build new Upham while continuing to occupy existing building
  • Move Upham students into the new building and temporarily relocate Hunnewell students
  • Renovate and expand Hunnewell and provide additional parking
  • Close Hardy
  • Redistrict into six schools
  • Total student capacity: 961
  • Estimated total cost: $105M
  • Estimated initial annual operating cost savings: $550K

Proposed Schedule Milestone Date

  • TM appropriation for feasibility and schematic design for both schools ATM Spring 2016
  • Feasibility and schematic design May 2016 – March 2017
  • TM appropriation for detailed design and construction for both schools ATM Spring 2017
  • Debt exclusion vote May 2017
  • Detailed design and permitting June 2017 – Dec 2018
  • Construction of new Upham December 2018 – June 2020
  • New Upham opens,
  • Hunnewell students are relocated September 2020
  • Renovation of Hunnewell July 2020 – January 2022
  • Renovated Hunnewell reopens September 2022
  • Hardy closes September 2022

Thank you, 

Charlene Cook, Principal

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North 40 Closing scheduled for Tonight!

All interested parties should attend tonight’s closing where the Town of Wellesley purchases the North 40.
Monday June 8th 
6:30 PM
Wellesley Town Hall
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