Field, Forest and Meadow Preservation
A forest management plan that allows for the selective cutting of fire wood and saw logs has been implemented. By selective cutting and careful management, the town’s forests will ultimately be more productive and will provide diverse wildlife habitat. Land’s Sake, through a contract with the Commission, manages this program and has done work in the Highland Forest and Case Estates.
The Conservation Commission manages over 30 fields and meadows. Some of these fields are more actively managed as agricultural land through a contract with Land’s Sake Inc.; however, the majority of the meadows are mowed once a year and provide vital habitat for mammals, birds, and insects.
The Commission issues and annual contract for the mowing of 24 fields in town. This Field Mowing Guide (PDF) provides maps and access information for the fields provided for under the Weston Conservation Commission’s mowing contract.
Approximately 24 fields are maintained by the Conservation Commission and the Weston Forest & Trail Association. Over the years, several field edges have become overgrown. Since 2005, the Commission has utilized Community Preservation Act Funds to help restore several field edges that had become overgrown with shrubs, saplings, and invasive species. This generally involves work to cut them back to their appropriate boundaries - either stone walls or mature trees marking an old fence-row or woodlot edge. The fields preserved to date include:
- FY 2005: Highland Street/Dickson Fields along sidewalk
- FY 2006: Additional work at Coburn Fields, Highland Street/Dickson Fields, and Onion Field opposite Merriam Village
- FY 2007: 2 acre field at back of the Case Estate’s 40-Acre Field
- FY 2008: Dickson Fields
- FY 2009: Complete Dickson Fields, Sears Land
- FY 2010: Large field adjacent to Hobbs Pond, known as 80 Acres
- FY 2011: Complete 80 Acres, Glen Road and Wellesley Street
Ecological Management Plan
The Conservation Commission has engaged Mass Audubon’s Ecological Extension Services to draft an Ecological Management Plan (EMP) for the Case Estates in an effort to guide the maintenance and stewardship of this unique property over the next seven years. Additional information, including the draft plan, can be found under the Case Estates project web page.
Woolly Adelgid Treatments
In 2008 and 2009, the Commission utilized Community Preservation Act Funds and Land Management funds to treat four stands of Eastern Hemlock that were infected with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Treatment areas were chosen based on the viability and present condition of the trees.
Left untreated, the invasive Woolly Adelgid would probably kill most, if not all, of the hemlocks in Weston. This would dramatically change the species composition and habitat quality of Weston’s open space.