Weston is blessed with some 2,000 acres of protected conservation land, including farmland, forests, and open fields. To help preserve this great resource, over the last several years Land’s Sake has been working on behalf of the Community Preservation Committee and the Conservation Commission to maintain several of Weston’s open fields. The work of preserving these fields is some of the most daunting, but rewarding, that I have been involved in while at Land’s Sake.
Most recently, we have been working at the 80-Acres field at Cat Rock to push back the field to its original stone walls and clear all the “tree islands” of overgrown invasive vines and debris. If you’ve hiked or walked your dog at Cat Rock over the last six months or so then you have probably seen the slow transformation that’s taken place. When we first started the project last year, most of the trees were completely entangled in thick walls of bittersweet, multiflora rose, and (my favorite) poision ivy! Each day we attacked these massive invasive entanglements with chainsaws, loppers, and hauled it away with our tractor.
For the larger trees and debris that needed to be removed, we brought in a large chipper to grind them up. Once removed, the brush was either burned or hauled into the woods and cut down low to decompose. Although the work was difficult and often left our crew with cuts and scratches from thorny brush all over their arms and legs, it was always incredibly rewarding to look back at the newly cleared sections of field and see our progress.
And this spring, after months of hard work, we finished our work clearing the 80-Acres field. If you haven’t been to the field, we encourage you to take a walk, check out our work, and enjoy all that Weston’s conservation land has to offer. A map of Weston’s extensive trail system can be found on the Weston Forest and Trail website – you may be surprised to find that nearly every area of town has access to this great trail network.
For more photos of our work at 80-Acres field and the Dickson fields on Highland St, click here.
In all, Weston has 24 fields that are maintained by the Conservation Commission and the Weston Forest and Trail Association. For updates on how Community Preservation Act funds are being used to preserve Weston’s fields you can visit the Conservation Commission’s website.
– Dave Quinn