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Town, NSTAR Agreed to Tree Cutting at Saxonville Beach in June

NSTAR filed a landscape plan on tree and scrub plantings for Saxonville Beach with the town; copies are attached to this report.

Back in June, the Town of Framingham and NSTAR reached an agreement on tree cutting at Saxonville Beach, according to documents obtained by Framingham Patch.

The mutually agreed upon plan, decided at a June 6 meeting, called for NSTAR to refrain from "clear cutting the area" until after the beach season.

While it is "shocking to look at," we mutually agreed for NSTAR to stop cutting trees until the beach season over," said Parks & Recreation Director Robert Merusi. "We asked that the leave the beach alone, until after it closed for the season."

"We did appreciate NSTAR delaying the cutting at the beach, until well after the beach season; and during that time they committed to a landscaping plan," said Town Manager Bob Halpin.

During the summer months, NSTAR was allowed to remove "selected trees that pose an immediate threat to the transmission lines through traditional tree management methods. These trees have been generally identified, include large oaks, locusts, and other mature trees and approximate 3 to 5 in number. None of these trees are in the public access area."

Also during the summer months, NSTAR was allowed to prune "large oak trees located near the electrical distribution box and at the approximate edge of the NSTAR easement."

After the closure of the beach for the season in late August, NSTAR, under the agreement, was allowed to continue "pruning and removal of all non-conforming vegetation within the wire and buffer zones of the NSTAR easement.

According to the agreement, that work included:

  • Removing the majority of the current growth along Lake Road at the entrance to the beach parking lot.
  • All linden trees along the road leading from the parking lot to the bathhouse.
  • Removal of a majority of the trees on the hillside to the right and left of the road leading from the parking lot to the bathhouse including birch, pine, etc.
  • Removal of a majority of the trees and vegetation in the property to the right of the bathhouse, between the beach and Old Connecticut Path.


Under the agreement, NSTAR agreed to clean up the area and do remediation work in the Saxonville Beach area, said Merusi.

Remediation plans calls for:

  • Clean-up efforts will be conducted in the public areas of the beach running from the streetscape to the right side of the bathhouse. Clean-up in this area will include:
  1. Grinding of large diameter stumps, particularly in the heavily trafficked
    areas.
  2. Additional cutting to further reduce the height and potential hazard of
    brush stumps in areas adjacent to the generally accessed public areas.
  3. Removal of large pieces of brush and limbs.
  • Prior to conducting this phase of operations, for Saxonville Beach, NSTAR has agreed to provide the services of a certified landscape architect and present a replanting plan to the Town. (Editor's Note: the plan is attached to the report.
  • The plan is agreed to include sustainable species that conform with NSTAR easement requirements, and consist of trees and shrubs of a reasonable caliper or height to have an immediate impact on the aesthetics of the recently cleared areas.
  • The area to the north of the beach going toward old Connecticut Path is intended to be allowed to regrow naturally. This area is not intended to receive significant remediation in term of plantings. NSTAR believes the remaining species will fill innaturally in a short duration.
  • NSTAR herbicide plans include a follow up program targeting specific undesirable species.
  • ¬†Prior to the herbicide program, NSTAR will submit to the Town in around January of 2013 a timeframe for the applications and Material Safety Data Sheets for all products to be used. These applications will be in conformance with all State environmental regulations.

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