Wellesley outdoors: ‘Very robust’ lawn conversion plan taking shape; Conservation Land Trust updates

Catching up on some of Wellesley’s outdoors-related news:

‘Very robust’ lawn conversion plan taking shape

The Natural Resource Commission this spring will begin expanding upon the lawn conversion pilot rolled out last year at Simons Park next to the main library branch on Washington Street. The effort is designed to show the beauty of ditching plain old lawn for a variety of native species in a habitat more friendly to at-risk critters, including bees and butterflies.

NRC Director Brandon Schmitt shared an update during the NRC’s Jan. 5 meeting (see Wellesley Media recording about 12 minutes in) and acknowledged being both excited and concerned about what he described as “a very robust plan” that will include a meadow, bee nesting strip, flowering grassland, and more. It sounds as though the ambitious project will be done in phases, with trees and “woodies” planted early in the process.

NRC Commissioner Michael D’Ortenzio said he’s excited about the project, which he described as a “see to believe” kind of concept that could win over people across town.

Among those likely to be most excited about the project are rabbits, who were all over the pollinator garden planted near the police station, said NRC Commissioner Laura Robert. So steps will be taken to ensure the bunnies don’t mess things up at Simons Park.

About 10,000 sq. ft. of the open space will be used for the project, leaving plenty of traditional grass for other uses.

Conservation Land Trust updates: Pickle Point work, leading guided walks, board openings


The Wellesley Conservation Land Trust seeks volunteers to help carve out a new entrance trail to Pickle Point Sanctuary from the Crosstown Trail on Morses Pond.  Some of the work will be heavy labor, and includes raking, brush removal, bench cutting, digging, and hauling. Weather permitting, the work is planned for Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 26-28, from 8am to 12pm each day. All tools will be provided, but bring appropriate work gloves.


The Land Trust is also launching a 4-session training program for Leading Guided Nature Walks. No prior experience or skills required—just an enthusiasm for nature and helping to share it with others. Upon completion, participants will be expected to volunteer to lead at least 2 future guided walks on Land Trust sites. Training will take place in Wellesley open space over the winter and spring.  Additional training programs (Invasive Removal training and How to Monitor Conservation Properties) are in development for 2023. Fill out this form if interested.

The Wellesley Conservation Land Trust has 2 openings on its 11-seat board. Members must attend monthly evening meetings (the second Tuesday of each month except July & August), volunteer on various committees, and perform activities between meetings. In you’re interested in joining the board or have questions, please email info@wellesleyconservationlandtrust.org.