We like trees AND fewer car trips.
Supporters of the Minuteman Extension are proud to also be tree lovers. We care deeply about the impact climate change is having on our community and our planet and are dedicated to taking active measures to mitigate the worst of the effects. Town meeting voters deserve clear facts to make an informed decision. Key points for informed voters to consider include:
Old growth trees and “significant” trees of unique value to the community will not be affected by the project
- The clearing along the existing Reformatory Branch Trail simply pushes back the forest and brush alongside the existing cleared trail. This is not a 30’ or wider swath that is being clear cut through an existing forest.
- Replacement trees (Maple, Birch, Sweetgum, White Pine, Arborvitae, Dogwood, Oak, and Linden) have been carefully selected to thrive in an evolving climate and will serve as food sources and habitat for the wildlife that is living here now
The boundaries in the tree removal plans and estimate of acreage to be cleared reflect work that is professional, thorough, and transparent. The dedicated town employees who will be supervising the work and signing off on each tree removed are our neighbors, who care as much about the town as any citizen.
The Minuteman Extension project is a clear win for our climate. Not only does it make a beloved town resource more inclusive and accessible to current and budding nature lovers, it will also result in measurable reductions in commuter trips. A recent study describes economic, health, transportation, environmental, safety, accessibility, and equity impacts of shared-use paths. One key Environmental finding is that users on the existing Minuteman path substituted 75,000 active transportation trips for one-way motor vehicle commuter trips during the 4-month study period. This led to measurable reductions in the social costs of greenhouse and other emissions. The study is here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/masstrails-shared-use-path-benefits-primer/download
Residents interested in understanding the actual impact of the project may now visit Lavender Lane, where trees and ground have been marked to note the limits of the area to be cleared. Also, DPW has published a new version of the tree plan that more clearly highlights the difference between the current and proposed tree lines.
Residents signing this letter: Mark Bailey, Laura Bergsten, Heather Black, Derek Blackburn, Sarah Blackman, Renu Bostwick, Jessica Brommelhoff, Leah Devereaux, Corinne Doud, Bob Doud, Patricia Fabian, Bob Fagan, Laurie Gleason, Terry Gleason, Sandra Hackman, Susan Harris, Rebecca Hazelton, Andrew Henderson, Barbara Hitchcock, Michelle Kahan, Kathleen Kass, Jim Katz, John McLain, Sabrina McClain, Rebecca Neale, Ken Prescott, Rich Razumny, Iona Ribaud, Adam Ribaudo, Lucas Seibert, Scot Shaw, Jan van Steenwijk, Moriah Tumbleson-Shaw, Mariana Winnett