See more information about Habitat in the links to the left.
To guide our stewardship of the North 40, we advocate that the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission's Centennial Reservation Land Use Plan be adopted for the North 40.
We recognize the benefits this land presently holds for the Town. In addition to important historical and cultural components, the North 40 is contiguous to Morses Pond and other waterways and wildlife corridors in Wellesley and beyond. It’s an important piece of an environmental puzzle, and its fragmentation will have negative consequences. A look at bio-maps, natural heritage areas and bird atlases for Massachusetts tells us that the largest decline in forest and habitat is in our southeastern suburbs. The North 40 is and has been a functioning ecosystem providing all three components of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
In addition, the North 40 sits atop an aquifer, is part of a Zone II Mass DEP Wellhead Protection Area, and contains a sensitive vernal pool. The North 40 is currently providing the exact same values to our town as Centennial Reservation, Town Forest, Fuller Brook Park, Boulder Brook Reservation and other neighborhood parks.
Despite all the comfort we take in Natural Resource Protection Development, and Dark-Sky lighting, these protections only make a development situation less terrible. By considering development, the Town risks the potential 50% loss of a beloved open space and natural resource; the introduction of any artificial nocturnal light will harm if not destroy plants and animals.
(See "Lighting" link at left.)
Article 6 Permitted Exceptions: Future Development Conditions
6.02 (a.) The Buyer will maintain in perpetuity no less than fifty percent (50%) of the total Property area as open space, which may include playing fields, wooded areas, paths and trails and other active and/or passive recreational areas and facilities. For the purposes hereof, the term “open space” may also include conservation land, forested land, recreation land, agriculture land, corridor parks and amenities such as small parks, green buffers along roadways, undeveloped land with particular conservation or recreation interest, or any open area that is owned by an agency or organization dedicated to conservation. Without limiting the foregoing, that portion of the Property that lies between Route 135 and the Cochituate Aqueduct (as each of the same currently exists) will remain in a wooded and natural condition, provided that this requirement will not be deemed to restrict periodic clearing of invasive vegetation and other care and maintenance measures that are consistent with sound forestry management practices;
(Note: The six acres located between Route 135 and the aqueduct will count towards the 50% open space requirement. Note also that open space can mean playing fields, and facilities to support the fields, such as bathrooms and parking lots.)
Explore the North 40 Weekend!
The Wellesley Conservation Council, Natural Resources Commission, and Wellesley Trails Committee are teaming up for two great ways to get outside and Explore the North 40 this weekend:
Saturday, September 28th (10-11AM)
Explore the North 40 trails! Use the new boardwalk to visit the vernal pool, check out the community gardens, and hike though woodlands and a pine forest on this easy and enjoyable walk. Meet at the gate to Morses Pond, located at the end of Turner Road. Please park on the wooded side of Turner Road. Sponsored by Wellesley Trails Committee.
Sunday, September 29th (1-2PM)
Calling citizen scientists of all ages! Help us inventory the bio-diversity at the North 40. Download the iNaturalist app to your smartphone, then photograph insects, plants, and animals. iNaturalist online scientists will identify, map, and record your findings for future research. Meet at the gate to Morses Pond, located on Turner Road. Please park on the wooded side of Turner Road. Presented by the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission and the Wellesley Conservation Council.
The North 40 was purchased in part with $10 million dollars of funding from the CPA. The Community Preservation Committee had a discussion of the North 40 deed restriction at its September 11 meeting.
The skies cleared for a beautiful ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the boardwalk at the North 40 Vernal Pool, which provides both access and protection to this important resource.
Selectman Jack Morgan and NRC Director Brandon Schmitt addressed the large crowd in attendance, and lead volunteer Bill Giezentanner had the honor of cutting the ribbon. The boardwalk was funded by the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and built with over 500 hours of volunteer labor.
See the video about the boardwalk here.
There's even a video:
Over 500 People Explored the North 40!
Frank Lloyd Wright