Urban forests are vital to the well-being of any community, and Wellesley is fortunate to have extensive woodland areas. The Wellesley Town Forest is the largest conservation land owned by the town and extends along Rosemary Brook from north of Rt. 9 into the Town of Needham. It includes Longfellow Pond, the third largest pond in town, and a total of 221 acres of open space with a brook, vernal pool, woodlands, marshes, and steep eskers. The Town Forest also protects one of Wellesley’s main aquifers. Currently, Wellesley is developing a Town Forestry Stewardship Plan and Bird Habitat registry. The plan will guide management options for a 10-year period to achieve goals set out by the landowners. Maintaining the highest quality trail system is one of the stated goals for the plan, along with increasing biodiversity, ensuring water protection and assessing bird habitat.
The plan is also intended inform management strategies for the Town’s other woodlands. In 2015, Wellesley purchased 46 acres of woodlands north of Washington Street - commonly referred to as the North 40 – from Wellesley College. This area is managed by the Board of Selectmen and planning will begin soon to determine the future of this area.
Speaking for Our Trees: A Conversation About Wellesley's Leafy Infrastructure
As Wellesley considers a stewardship plan for the Town Forest and begins planning for the North 40, the 46-acre plot of land purchased by the town in 2015 from Wellesley College, this public event explored the changes in forest eco-systems that result from human and natural disturbances and how to apply those results to conservation management plans. Featuring Dr. David Foster, director of the Harvard University forest. Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Wellesley and the NRC.
Watch a video of Speaking for Our Trees on April 30, 2018