Category Archives: Conservation Committee

Community at the Community Gardens

From Neal Sanders, co-chair of the Medfield Community Gardens, from his post on his blog, The Principal Undergardener at

https://theprincipalundergardener.blogspot.com/2020/04/garden-therapy.html

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April 12, 2020

Garden Therapy

Though I was not present at the meeting, apparently sometime toward the end of March, Medfield’s Covid-19 Response Committee discussed which additional community activities (in addition to schools, libraries, restaurants, etc.) could or should be discontinued in order to discourage unnecessary public gatherings.

CG-June Rivers and her porcelain pig
A returning gardener
carries in her plot’s
‘mascot’ – a terra cotta
pig

The Community Garden was one of the ‘group activities’ up for consideration.

I would not have known this except a town employee forwarded a copy of an internal email noting the Community Garden had been spared, and permitted to go forward on schedule.   A few days later, in one of my periodic ‘updates’ to the 75 families who have plots in the garden, I mentioned the decision in passing.

The response from gardeners was swift and vocal.  The most memorable one came from a wonderful lady whom I think of as giving the garden a certain ‘classiness’.  She is always in a good mood; she maintains a glorious garden; and she dresses better than any gardener I have ever met.  Her response was as follows:

CG-2-Community garden 4-12-20 7
Betty dispenses gardening advice from
a socially responsible distance

“So help me God, if they were to close the garden I would have a HUGE problem with that. The garden is my ONLY solace from home- schooling these animals, and my escape from the “office”.

The message concluded with a number of emojis, the exact translation of them I could not ascertain, but which appeared to threaten to visit some ancient Egyptian curse upon anyone who dared to mess with the status quo.

Betty and I have spent multiple hours the past few days at the Community Garden.  Betty answers questions (from a CDC-acceptable distance) about what it is safe to plant.  I introduce myself to the new gardeners (signup is via email) and explain why we recommend burying the bottom six inches of fences.

cg-3-Community garden 4-12-20 4
It’s too soon to plan anything but the
hardiest of crops, but everyone is
getting prepped

What we have received from gardeners is universal thanks.  Back in January and February, I was having trouble getting people to sign up for plots.  After the ‘shelter in place’ orders went out, demand exploded.  Not only were all plots filled; I had a wait list with eight names on it.  Everyone, it seems, is in need of some garden therapy.

A group of volunteers always stakes the garden at the end of March and we ask gardeners to have a fence up by the first weekend in May; a very reasonable four or five weeks to accomplish a task that provides ‘proof of gardening.’ Yet, in a ‘normal’ year, I have to don my Ogre costume to get people to meet the deadline.  This year, the first half dozen fences were in place the day after I put out a memo announcing that the garden was open.  Today (April 12) I counted just nine plots out of 70 that are not fenced, with the deadline still three weeks away.

cg-4-Community garden 4-12-20 13
Everyone is working on fences

Granted, people have far more time on their hands in the spring of 2020 than in previous years, but there is also a palpable sense of pleasure on the faces of everyone I see.  Moreover, there is more courtesy.  For example, every year, I grit my teeth as I find many of the three-foot walkways between plots have been prepared just half the width; gardeners figured they were responsible for only ‘their’ half of the pathway.  This year, whoever does the path puts down cardboard or paper plus bark mulch for the full 36 inches.  Another example: we discourage gardeners who share a full plot (dividing each 20-foot-by-30-foot space into two 15-foot-by-20-foot ones) from dividing the plots with an internal fence (it wastes space and promotes weeds). Last year, perhaps four of the 15 gardens bore just a length of string or row of flowers to ‘suggest’ a demarcation.  This year, I’ve seen just three plots with interior fences.

cg-5- Four plots being worked on
Four plots are prepared

Most of all, I’ve seen gardeners luxuriating in having a legitimate and ‘responsible’ reason to be outdoors.  There were 15 cars at the garden this afternoon.  A few had back ends bulging with fencing or stakes, but most people were there just to find something to do in their plots.  They were building raised beds, marking out rows, and creating obelisks on which peas will grow this summer.  Betty warned everyone soil temperatures are still in the 40’s, meaning it is too early to plant anything except the hardiest of ‘cool weather’ vegetables (spinach, onions).    Yet, people were hoeing or on their hands and knees as if a heat wave was expected, rather than the two days of cold rain forecast for early this coming week.

cg-6-Community garden 4-12-20 1
This is the earliest we’ve been busy.
Usually, early April is very quiet.

Had the garden been ‘disallowed’ because of coronavirus concerns, I could have made all the valid arguments in favor of reversing the decision (chief among them that opportunistic weeds would have swallowed the garden by the end of May), but the likelihood I would have prevailed was slim.  As a nation, we are trying to flatten the curve of a pandemic.

But, for 75 Medfield families, we are providing the best kind of therapy.  We’re offering hope.  I suspect the bins we put out to aid the town’s Food Cupboard will overflow this season.  I have a feeling disagreements will be settled amicably and (fingers crossed) vines may even stay inside fences come August.

 

I predict people will wave greetings to one another from their respective plots until it is once again safe to offer a hug.  In short, I think it’s going to be a great season for the Community Garden.

Posted by The Principal Undergardener at 4:53 PM

Survey for Medfield Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP)

From Mary McCarthy, Chair of the Conservation Commission –

town seal

This is for anyone who may have missed the other invites to complete the survey for whatever reason. Sorry if you have seen this already!

 

Friends and Neighbors,

If you attended the Town Wide Master Plan Public Participation Forum/Visioning on Sunday October 20, you know that the availability of Open Space is one of the most highly valued features of living in Medfield.

The Medfield Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) Committee, in collaboration with the Medfield Conservation Commission and Parks and Recreation, is putting the finishing touches on its updated OSRP. (A state approved OSRP is necessary for the town to be eligible to receive certain state funding.) A final step in this process is completion of a survey by residents on use of Open Space in town.

Please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey located here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KTS5NYY

Thank you for your participation!

Best regards,

Mary

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Mary McCarthy

Medfield Conservation Commission

Town Wide Master Planning Committee

Volunteer on a Town of Medfield committee

town seal

Resolve in 2019 to get more involved in your community

The following Town of Medfield committees are looking for new members:

  • Medfield Energy Committee 
  • Conservation Committee
  • Council on Aging 
  • Master Planning Committee
  • Transfer Station and Recycling Committee

 

The Master Planning Committee is only just forming, so joining now gets you in from its first meeting – then lay out for the rest of us how the town should both develop and look in the future.

BoS agenda for 6/5

The two files linked below have the background and informational materials for the 6/5 meeting of the Board of Selectmen next Tuesday.  Look at the detailed documents produced by both the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield for the 40B projects and the Conservation Commission on the applications before them – that is a lot of volunteer time and input to make our town be well run.

20180605-materials

20180605-Information

TOWN OF MEDFIELD MEETING NOTICE POSTEC (μ..J)---TOWN CLERK POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF M.G.L. CHAPTER 39 SECTION 23A AS AMENDED. Board of Selectmen Board or Committee PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME Town Hall Chenery Meeting Room Tuesday June 5, 2018 @7:00 PM AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) Announcement Disclosure of Video Recording We want to take a moment of appreciation for our Troops serving in the Middle East and around the world Citizen Comment Appointments 7:00 PM Economic Development Committee, Pat Casey Downtown Medfield Parking Study Presentation Committee Appointment Discussion 7:30 PM Public Hearing I Verizon Contract renewal William Solomon, Consulting Attorney 7:50 PM Pocket Park Study Committee, Jean Mineo Committee Appointment Discussion Action Items DPW Director Maurice Goulet requests the Selectmen vote to sign two Chapter 90 Project Requests: • Paving Main Street from Causeway Street to Millis Town Line $113,000.00 • Paving North Street from Pine Street to Dover Town Line $330,000.00 DPW Director Maurice Goulet requests the Selectmen vote to sign contract with Vanasse, Hangman, Brustlin (VHB), Wethersfield, CT for professional engineering and material testing services for one year and in the amount of $25,000.00 Vote to award Medfield State Hospital Landscaping Bid to Shady Tree Landscaping for a two year period and in the amount of $93,500 Facilities Director Jerry McCarty requests the Selectmen vote to award and sign contract with Dynamic Cleaning Company MINUTES Acceptance and/or correction of minutes for December 5, 17, 19, 2017; January 2 and April 10, 2018 Licenses and Permits (Consent Agenda) Cystic Fibrosis Foundation requests permission to ride through a part of Medfield on Saturday October 6, 2018 for their 21st Annual Charity Bicycle Ride Charlie Harris, organizer of the Medfield on the Charles Car Show requests permission to place two directional signs at Route 27 and Hospital Road June 10 to June 24. Also requests a one-day liquor license for the event Town Administrator Update Selectmen Report Informational Thank you letter from New Life Furniture Bank regarding 1 st SK Trail Run at hospital site OSHA, another unfunded mandate Copy of Zoning Board public hearing notice regarding 45 West Street ZBA decisions number 1330 and 1336 Packet of information from Medfield Conservation Commission - _.. . ex> c_ c: 0 z I :?» ~ ::c -.. (;.) e920180605-agenda_Page_2

ConCom letter to MDEP re LCB

The second page of this letter did not scan as part of the meeting materials posted last week.

Medfield Conservation Commission Town Hall · 459 Main Street · Medfield, Massachusetts 02052-2009 (508) 906-3028 · Fax (508) 359-6182 · lwillitts@medlield.net November 28, 2017 Denise Child Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 8 New Bond Street Worcester, MA 01606 Re: Medfield LCB Senior Living Project, 561-563A Main Street, Medfield, MA DEP File No. 214-0635 Dear Ms. Child: I write on behalf of the Medfield Conservation Commission ("Commission") regarding the !September 13, 2017 letter from Massachusetts Historical Commission ("Mass Historical") regarding the referenced proposed Project. Mass Historical determined that the Project will have an i'adverse effect" on the Peak House, Clark Tavern, and Main Street Area through the inuloduction of visual elements that are out of character with and will alter the setting of a state Re~ister Property. Mass Historical indicates that it will be consulting with the MassDEP, the Applicant and the Medfield Historical Commission to explore alternatives that would eliminate, :rn:hlimize or mitigate the proposed Project's adverse effect of the visual impacts. The Commission shares the concerns of Mass Historical in addition to its concerns about the Project's impacts to the protected interests discussed below. The Commission would like to participate in ; ' these discussions as they relate to a proposed Project within its jUrisdiction. The Commission denied the proposed Project concluding that the Applicant failed to rebut the presumption that Vme Brook is perennial pursuantto 310 CMR 10.58(2)(a)l.a .. Approximately half of the Project is within Riverfront of Vine Brook and the Applicant failed to ovyrcome the presumption that the area is significant to protected interests. As a result, the PrJject fails to comply with the general performance standards at 310 CMR 10.58(4). The r Applicant filed a request with MassDEP for a Superceding Order of Conditions which the Cmpmission opposes. See attached February 3, 2017 letter addressed to Marielle Stone's attention from the Commission's Special Environmental Counsel. Given the size of Applicant's parcel, approximately 13.78 acres, adjusting the footprint loc~tion and or size of the facility footprint CQuld eliminate, minimize· or mitigate the adverse visya1 impacts identified by Mass Historical, as well as the unacceptable impacts to the wetlands resburces that resulted in the Commission's denial. Any adjustments of Applicant's plan should alsq comply with the wetland bylaw and ensure protection of the vernal pool in the Project area. i Th~ Commission requests the opportunity to discuss any proposals and to review and comment on any plans submitted by Applicant. The Commission reserves all rights and by its i participation does rrotwaive any rights, responsibilities or defenses. Please let me know at your earliest convenience how the Commission may further participate in these efforts. s£~ l;. p ~/'~ Ralph A. Parmigiane, Chairman Enclosure Cc: Brona Simon, Mass Historical Commission · Medfield Historic Commission /Medfield Board of Selectmen Mark G. Cerel, Medfield Town Counsel Margaret R. Stolfa, Medfield Special Environmental Counsel20171128-ConCom-ltr to MDEP-LCB_ConComletter_Page_2