Just behind Old Connecticut Path near the Mass Pike overpass sits Reardon Park. A beautiful park and playground in north Framingham, there is a basketball court, a playground a baseball field and until yesterday lots of trees.
"For those that have visited Reardon it no longer looks the same. The large Cedar tree near the basketball court is gone, along with all the trees that were on the right side of the park," wrote Josh Mulready to Framingham Patch.
NSTAR started its maintenance tree trimming Wednesday, but according to the neighborhood they did more than trim.
"I live in the Oaks Neighborhood ... and I think they have taken it too far," said Mulready.
He is not alone.
"I agree with Josh, and the Oaks neighborhood that this year's clearing tactics by NSTAR have been haphazard and extreme. Very disappointing at the very least. There are also many nests and homes of local wildlife that are being blindly wiped out. Additionally, many old and beautiful trees have been cut down simply because they were in the way of their giant cutting machines. I understand the need for NSTAR to have access to their wires but this goes beyond reasonable clearing," wrote Kathy Spellman.
"It is nesting season for birds and other animals so they are definitely destroying nests (and whatever birds/animals are in them)," wrote Ronnie DiComo. "Also, the kids who use the playground as well as adults in the neighborhood are very upset about this. One of the kids' favorite trees, a large evergreen, was cut down and they plan to cut down more large trees."
"I've lived her for 14 years and have seen the every few year brush clearing that takes place in and around the Reardon Park area (as it does in other parts of the town). This time they have gone way over board and instead of the underlying brush, they have taken out major trees in the park (some of which were not close to the line). Now I do realize that the lines need to be free and clear of potential dangers, especially in light of the numerous power outages in town, but when does one have to use common sense and say this is too excessive," wrote Mulready.
(In fairness, Framingham Patch did not contact NSTAR prior to publishing this report as emails from the neighborhood began arriving after 10 p.m. Wednesday night.)
Mulready contacted Audrey Hall, a Town Meeting member for Precinct 3 and also the town's Parks & Recreation Director Robert Merusi, as his department maintains the park, for help.
Hall, in responding to the Mulready's and the neighborhood's concerns, sent an email to state representatives Chris Walsh and Tom Conroy, and cc'd Framingham Patch Wednesday night.
"NSTAR came in today and wiped out huge trees abutting Reardon Park (corner of Maymont Dr. and Laclede Ave.) and caused damage in the park itself," wrote Hall. "The Oaks Neighborhood Association (ONA) does neighborhood fundraising and puts a lot of community effort (in partnership with the Dept. of Parks and Recreation) into maintaining and improving that park."
"On behalf of the ONA I am reaching out for your help to get this addressed before they do more damage tomorrow (Thursday, May 24). It’s already too late to undo what happened today," wrote Hall. "If and when NSTAR resumes this work in the same manner tomorrow it will further devastate the aesthetics of Reardon Park in the Oaks Neighborhood."