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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traps sediment," says Schmitt. "It provides habitat for fish and other critters that might be in there." It is important to shade the brook directly from harsh summer sun so where the banks are being restored, there has been an investment of anchoring plants directly into the soil. "We have these bio logs, called coir logs that are made up of ground-up coconut shells, and we plant shrubs directly into them," explains Jackson. "The idea is that in three or four years when the logs decom- pose, the shrub's root system will take over to shore up the embank- ment." Jackson estimates that there are thousands of new plantings: approximately 200 trees, 500 shrubs, and thousands of perennial plugs. Some of these species go directly into creating bio basins or rain gar- dens in areas that are too wet to act as typical parkland. Residents might notice two unmowed meadows that are overgrown with grasses and wildflowers. These wet spots are ideal for bird habitat and act as filters and catch basins for rain water after big storm events. In order for these new arrivals to thrive, however, the park planners needed to get serious about tackling invasive species. "The stream had become degraded with invasives," says Schmitt. "Some of them are very hard to deal with. Wellesley is a leader in not permitting pesticide use so it makes it challenging to deal with these stubborn plants." One radical method to halt the unchecked growth of Japanese knotweed was to dig out the top layers of soil, cover the area with heavy black plastic, and leave it alone for up to four years. This draconian method only weakens knotweed, it doesn't eliminate it. "It will need to be mowed continuously for it to finally give up," observes Jackson. Other similar onslaughts are underway to eliminate oriental bittersweet and Norway maples, among others. What is clear about the Fuller Brook Improvement Project is that it is unlike any building or engineering undertaking in town. It is a living biosphere that doesn't pay much attention to stop dates or wishful thinking. "We need to maintain these improvements," says Kurt Somerville, a member of the Fuller Brook Park Committee and the president of Friends of Fuller Brook Park. "Nature is relentless and it doesn't stop growing just because you cut it once." There is 64 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 Restoring Beauty F U L L E R B R O O K P A R K W A S M A D E P A R T O F T H E N A T I O N A L R E G I S T E R O F H I S T O R I C P L A C E S I N 2 0 1 3 . P H O T O S C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y D P W / A E R I A L C O U R T E S Y O F B E T A G R O U P , I N C . 1 3 2 1 Boardwalk through wetland near Forest Street 3 Park entrance and bio basin near Abbott Road 2 Caroline Brook near Caroline Street