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Forest Forum With Determined Voices - December 2, 2008

Belmont Uplands Forum - Rep. Will Brownsberger states that the Belmont-Cambridge silver maple forest is critical open space to preserve.
Rep. Will Brownsberger

Forum and Rally Call For Belmont-Cambridge Forest Protection

Sue Bass- Belmont Citizen Forum:
"The land that O'Neill Properties plans to build on is only seven or eight acres, but it is in the middle of a much larger area of wetlands that will be spoiled if there's development at its very heart. Some of the surrounding area is formally protected and some not, but all of it is undeveloped and important to the wildlife in this rare urban wild."

Carmen Rodi - Belmont High School:
"As a young person I think it is necessary to take all of the actions we can to preserve our natural resources for the future. The ecology of the Reservation is critical to our town and to the region. Youth will use the area for their environmental studies."

Gerard Natoli- Little Pond resident:
"The Winn Brook area is already plagued with sewer and floodwater disruptions and damage, and this new plan can only exacerbate the problem. My neighbors and I stand strongly against development of our woods which have been here during the nearly 60 years of my lifetime."

Stanley Dzierzeski- Former Army Corps officer:
"We are working to ensure that the Chapter 40B law regarding health and safety be followed; that the Chapter 91 tidelands law be followed; and that the silver maple forest floodplain and great open space are preserved. As humans, we should ensure that our wild animals have their homes and are preserved. We welcome all citizens to join the Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands to help and ensure these endeavors."

Ellen Mass- Friends of Alewife Reservation:
"Our youth at the FAR annual ecology camp have utilized the Reservation as a learning urban wild center. We teach our high school youth to understand this bio-rich environment, and to conduct useful invasive removal and maintenance projects which teach these future citizens to appreciate woodlands and marshes as they work together for greater biodiversity.

Virginia Fuller- New England Wildlife:
"Within the Silver Maple Forest lives an astonishing variety of wildlife, ranging from common species such as grey squirrels to the unusual combination of both red and grey foxes in the same area, successfully competing, along with the coyote, for the same prey. It would be a tragedy to destroy this rare ecosystem."

Thomas Bracken- Attorney for the Civil Action case reported on the progress in the Land Court, Wetlands and Tidelands proceedings, challenging the development project, and expressed optimism that these legal efforts will result in saving the silver maple forest, flood plain and wetlands on the Belmont Uplands.

The Forum brought 50 persons to the Winn Brook School. Sponsors included Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands and Winn brook Neighborhood; Belmont Land Trust; Mystic River Watershed Association, Belmont Citizen Forum, Friends of Alewife Reservation.