Wellesley Trails Committee braves great outdoors for public meeting

There was no more appropriate town organization than the Wellesley Trails Committee to forego Zoom and hold its latest public meeting outdoors, between Town Hall and the Crosstown Trail.

The meeting was called to order at 7pm and we easily had quorum (I’m a member of this committee).

trails outside

Town Clerk KC Kato swore us in for another year of trails stewardship, and the meeting went on.

Chair Denny Nackoney got a few words out before a commuter rail train went blasting by. He uttered a few more, and then a red-tailed hawk grabbed our attention by swooping into a bush nearby, then flying to a perch near a back window on Town Hall to take in the rest of the meeting. That led to an aside by one member who once saw a hawk snag a golf ball from a course she was playing.

town hall hawk
Photo courtesy of Ekaterina Zemlyakova


We withstood a couple more trains, fire engine and police car sirens, and constant birds chirping. But really, was this any more distracting than the bangs and grunts from the boiler or whatever makes those noises in the bowels of Town Hall where we usually convene?

Nackoney had marked off a socially distanced seating arrangement with little orange flags, and most of us brought our own chairs to plant on those markers. We all wore masks of course, and hunkered down on a perfect bug-free night for the meeting.

Topics covered included our fall slate of guided trail walks, which may or may not happen based on pandemic guidance a couple months from now.  We also discussed laying out a loop trail on the North 40, and other assorted trails clean-ups.

We got the latest from Trails Committee member John Schuler on flower boxes planned for the bridge over the Charles River in Lower Falls (these are ready to go, but installation’s on hold due to the pandemic). Discussions also covered tidying up the stairs that go from the Waban Arches to the Guernsey Path, the latest on Wellesley College’s resident ban (which affects access to trails), and the potential for smoothing the dirt path on Rte. 16 on the opposite side of the street from Elm Bank Reservation.

The next Trails Committee meeting is set for Sept. 2, when the sunset will come at 7:17pm. If we’re going to meet outside, that means we’ll need to start earlier than 7pm, or wear headlamps.