WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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the morning light slips in slowly on the Brook Path illuminating the tops of wild grasses and rhododendrons. As the sun rises, the mist that has gathered in the hollows and along the waterway melts away to reveal a meandering brook that pulses along, sometimes singing, sometimes quiet. The animals that make this park their home give way to the humans who enjoy it. Gradually this two-and-a-half-mile corridor in the center of Wellesley takes on its most familiar mantle: a quiet respite in the very heart of a humming Boston suburb. To a casual observer, this green space that begins at Maugus Avenue and ends at the Nehoiden Golf Course at Wellesley College seems enchanting and in no need of improvement. But to those who make it their business to understand the mechanics of water flow, drainage, and natural systems, Fuller Brook Park and the Brook Path that runs through it have been in a long, slow decline. To restore the vibrancy and efficiency of the park, Wellesley Town Meeting appropriated $5.4 million in 2014 (with the vast majority of those funds provided by monies from the Community Preservation Act, which collects a one percent surcharge on property taxes) toward a major long-term rehabilitation of Fuller Brook Park, a project that is currently nearly complete on time and on budget. "People saw it as an area that hadn't been tended to and was a bit neglected," says Diane Campbell, the chairman of the Fuller Brook Park Committee that was established at that Town Meeting. "It needed to be reha- bilitated to meet open space demands and the changing needs of the town based on development." Wellesley has long understood the value of green space. In 1897, the parks commission (now defunct) hired the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot to visit and evaluate potential area parklands. John Charles Olmsted vis- ited in January of that year and wrote a florid, impassioned assessment of the attributes and potential difficulties in constructing parks in the nascent town with a special focus on Fuller Brook. He worried that not improving low wetlands could lead to some dark outcomes. "The wetlands of a thickly settled town usually become its 58 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 Beauty R E S T O R I N G A L L I S O N I J A M S S A R G E N T writer

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