Proposed 2013 Board of Directors
Vote on the proposed board at the Annual Meeting on April 24th at the Wellesley Community Center at 7 pm.
Seeking New Board Members
The Wellesley Conservation Council is looking for new board members. We are particularly looking for a person skilled in marketing and fund raising. As we are a non- profit organization which we rely heavily on gifting as our source of income which we need to maintain our properties. We own several properties in Wellesley which total approximately 40 acres of open land in town which is used by the public. We are an eleven person board which meets monthly from September to June at the main library (Wellesley Free Library).
Join us in the love for nature and its continued protection and maintenance of Wellesley's open spaces in becoming a volunteer and member of the Wellesley Conservation Council. We need you!If interested, please contact the Council at 781-237-2009.
NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Board has been busy all winter planning for our various activities which start in April with our open meeting on April 25th with the highly acclaimed speaker, Warren Leach. He will present a program on the sustainable landscape. I would like to report that for the first time we had a table at the Wellesley Marketplace last November. We displayed our book, “Walks In Wellesley” and some unique birdhouses made in Maine by a local craftsman out of recycled materials. Christine Larsen, a member of our Board, drove all the way to Maine to pick them up. Both were good sellers and we hope to do it again in November, 2012.
I’m happy to announce that Whole Foods in Wellesley has offered the Wellesley Conservation Council one of their 5% Days. Four times during the year Whole Foods offers local, non-profit organizations (501c3) 5% of 1 day’s net store sales. As they mention in their guidelines, they’re dedicated to helping organizations that have “grand intentions along with small budgets.” OUR DAY IS TUESDAY, JUNE 19th. We urge all our members (and please bring your friends) to do their shopping at Whole Foods on that day. Not only is it a great store but you will be helping our organization as well. We will have a very high profile in the store on that day and look forward to seeing all our members with their shopping carts full of food. In addition, we will again host the Fairy House event at Pickle Point, Cronk’s Open House and march in the Wellesley Parade.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all who are members of the Wellesley Conservation Council and, as you fill out your 2012 membership forms, remind you to fill in your email address on the form. We, like other organizations, are hoping to go electronic in the very near future. It is a great way to send out our Newsletter as well as other bulletins throughout the year. It is cost effective for us and green for the environment.
“WALKS IN WELLESLEY ” - A New Revised Edition
Almost 40 years ago, the Wellesley Conservation Council published its first edition of Walks in Wellesley. Since then, four new editions and one extra printing have been published. Several years ago, more than ten years since the last printing, the Council decided to undertake a new, revised edition entitled Walks In Wellesley: Exploring Open Space and Trails.
The first task was to walk the trails and actually explore Wellesley’s preserved open space with fresh eyes to revise the text of the old book. Members of the Council undertook this task. Then, last fall, a Book Committee was appointed to bring the new material together and publish a new revised edition.
Publishing a new edition requires funds for professional assistance and printing. Quotes were obtained and a budget was established. We quickly realized that this venture would not have been possible without generous contributions that were provided by The Bailey Family Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and members of the Wellesley Conservation Council. For this thoughtful support, the Council is indeed grateful.
Walks in Wellesley – Not Just a Walk in the Woods
MINI-GRANT TO MIDDLE SCHOOL
In support of our mission to promote the enjoyment of the natural environment through preservation, scientific study and education; the Wellesley Conservation Council is proud to provide the Wellesley Middle School Science Department with a grant of $250. The grant is being used to purchase jeweler's loupes (eye lenses with a 5x magnification) to be used by the seventh grade science classes for a new unit of study on ecology.
Thank you to the Bailey Family Foundation which has been very generous in its grants to the council – the current one to be used for the revising and republishing of “Walks in Wellesley ”.
Thank you also to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grants program) for its wonderful gift will also help us in the reprinting of the new revised edition of “Walks in Wellesley ”.
Bailey Family Bench at Pickle Point
Wellesley Conservation Council dedicates a bench in memory of Nancy and Hamilton Bailey
On a beautiful Sunday morning, October 14, 2007, a multigenerational Bailey Family gathered at Pickle Point along the shores of Morses Pond for the dedication of a bench in memory of Hamilton and Nancy Bailey. The Baileys were avid walkers throughout Wellesley 's reservations and sanctuaries. In later years one could meet Mr. Bailey often accompanied by his daughter, Ann Melanson, bringing a chair along for a well needed rest, making his way to Pickle Point, a peninsula along Morses Pond. Pickle Point was formed when the glacier retreated and this point we call Pickle Point remained. Maples, oaks, wild cherry, alder, dogwood, azalea and witch hazel are abundant and very different from other areas along Cochituate Aqueduct
The Wellesley Conservation Council hopes that many weary walkers will find rest and renewal along the banks of Morses Pond, especially at Pickle Point. Click here to see a map of Pickle Point.
Each board member has adopted a WCC sanctuary. Four times a year, the sanctuaries will be visited to clean-up trash and check the general condition of each sanctuary. We would appreciate it if you spot a problem in a sanctuary to let us know so that we can quickly remedy the situation.
Coveside Bank Sanctuary
The board of WCC has decided to clean up the sanctuary on Stonecleve Road that overlooks Morses Pond. The property is a very small parcel of land; it is a bit over grown, especially with an invasive knotweed, and the bank leading down to the water has been deeply eroded. On the street side of the bank, storm water run-off has created compacted gullies that allow excess water to flow down the street. For several years the board has been working with the neighbors of Coveside to clean up the property and prune selectively existing vegetation. While our ultimate goal is to stabilize the bank, our immediate goal is to open up the view to the pond, and to return the street-side land to a more natural people and wildlife-friendly park. The board wants to thank the town DPW for the help it has given us. Shredded bark and compost will be supplied by the DPW, and the town has also assisted us in tree pruning and removal. Kip Wilson, a local landscaper, has volunteered to help with additional pruning. Once the heavy work is completed, we will start implementing our landscape plan that will include paths, seating areas (boulders) and native plant re-vegetation. We hope to turn this eye-sore property into a lovely neighborhood pocket garden.
Cronk's Rocky Woodland
Fall 2011 Clean-up
Chris Wilson, Ingrid Carls, Art Falvey and Samantha
Arbor Day 2011
WCC helped the globe on Arbor Day 2011 by planting 6 beautiful shrubs. This will not only help the earth but will help Cronk’s wildflower garden in its restoration program. We are very grateful for the generous donation of the Wellesley Garden Study Group for making this possible.
The sanctuary garden located at Crown Ridge Road is kept in a natural state to preserve its wildflowers, plants and trees. Lady's- slippers are about to bloom with many native New England wildflowers. There is interest in the garden in every season. This high, rocky woodland was given to the Wellesley Conservation Council in 1977 by Mrs. Corydon P. Cronk in memory of her husband.
National Arbor Day is the Tree Planter's holiday, and has been celebrated since 1872. It began in Nebraska, a largely treeless plain back in the 1800's. It is a day to plant and dedicate a tree to help nature and the environment. Millions of trees are planted on this day.
Earth Day 2010 - Dedication of Flowering Dogwood
Wellesley Conservation Council celebrates Arbor Day with planting a new tree at Cronk’s Rocky Woodland, the Council’s wildflower garden on Crown Ridge Road (across the Street from 21 Crown Ridge Road) on Friday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. “The Garden Study Group” will participate in the ceremony and will help sponsor this tree panting event. This generous gift helps to beautify the sanctuary with a wonderful spring blooming tree.
Board members Kent Fox and Peter Rovick have adapted our rain
Click here to see a link to a map showing how to get to Cronk's from Town Hall.
Conserve Water, Time and Energy with “No-Till” Gardening
With ‘no-till' gardening (also known as “lasagna gardening”), once a bed is established the surface is never disturbed. Items such as compost, manure, peat, lime and fertilizer are added to the top of the bed where watering and subsoil activities will allow them to be absorbed into the subsoil. Mulch is added to the top layer and therefore, weeding is not necessary. By adding material in layers, the underlying soil surface remains spongy, making it easy for the young roots of newly planted seedlings to work through the soil. This is similar to the way soil is formed in nature.
Traditionally, gardeners turn over the top layer of soil before planting to get rid of weeds, and prepare for fertilization and planting. The act of tilling the soil is often the most arduous of a gardener's tasks. Digging into the bed can actually interfere with the natural symbiotic relationship that exists between the surface soil and the underlying micro-organisms. Tilling can also cause soil erosion and compaction and force dormant weed seeds to the surface where they will likely sprout.
Benefits of no-till gardening are many:
Promotes natural aeration and drainage via the tunneling of worms
Saves water as the thick layers of mulch allow water to easily pass through and provides shade to the soil.
Reduces the need to weed since dormant seeds are not disturbed and exposed to light during tilling.
Helps soil retain carbon as nutrients are released in a slow and steady manner.
Helps to reduce soil erosion as topsoil and fertilizers used in traditional gardening are often washed or blown away.
To get started, you will need to establish a good, fertile soil structure by removing all rocks, roots and any such obstructions. Once the soil has been cleared, organic items such as peat, lime and compost may be added. A thick layer of mulch is essential to keep the soil from drying out and crusting over.
If you plan to adopt the no-till gardening method there are many detailed online resources that will be of assistance.
Last year the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences studied our Guernsey Sanctuary pond as part of its Vernal Pool Project in the Charles River and Taunton River watersheds. We are pleased to report that Manomet gave the Guernsey vernal pool a good report card. Click here for an interesting article on this project.
Vernal pools are small temporary ponds, with no inlet or outlet. They hold water for only part of the year and contain no fish. They are essential for a healthy ecosystem because certain amphibians must live in a vernal pool for some part of their lives. These species include wood frogs, spadefoot toads, spotted salamanders, and fairy shrimp. Other animals may use vernal pools but can live in other habitats as well. There are many vernal pools hidden around Wellesley including one in WCC's Guernsey Sanctuary. To find a vernal pool in your neighborhood, click here to look at the Wellesley Wetland map.
Yellow/blue spotted salamanders, spring peepers, fingernail clams, caddisfly larva, and dragonfly nymphs were all found in the Guernsey vernal pool.
Guernsey Sanctuary is now part of the Wellesley Trails Network.
As part of his duties for the Wellesley Trails Committee, Jim Eliott has been monitoring the Sudbury Path which runs adjacent to the Walker Woods. Jim notified us of dumping on the property and later returned with Peter Rovick to remove Christmas trees as well as glass and metal objects. Peter also visited some of the neighbors on Fuller Brook Road to ask for their help in preventing dumping and promoting protection of the Walker Woods natural state.
Visit the Morses Pond web site at www.morsespond.org.
Natural Resources Commission
Visit the Natural Resources Commission web site to find out more information on Wellesley's parks, conservation, recreation, and open spaces.
Wellesley's Pesticide Awareness Campaign
WPAC - Find out how to eliminate or reduce pesticide use on your lawn, see listings of local events relating to environmental health, sign up for email updates on talks, research articles and legislation relating to pesticide reduction in Massachusetts, discover many good books and references and related links.
Wellesley Trails Committee
The Wellesley Trails Committee sponsors a series of free, guided trail walks. Enjoy some of Wellesley's beautiful open spaces and discover new trails that will expand your recreational options.
Visit the Wellesley Trails Committee web site to find out more information about the walks and new trail projects and to download maps and guides to the Wellesley trails.
Last Revised April 22, 2012