conservation connections winter 2019 issue
bay circuit trail

Weston Joins the Bay Circuit Alliance

On October 27th, Weston officially joined the Bay Circuit Alliance, a partnership of organizations and individuals, both public and private, working to complete the Bay Circuit Trail & Greenway (BCT). The BCT is a permanent recreation trail and greenway extending through 37 towns in eastern Massachusetts, linking parks and open spaces in 57 Boston area communities. It travels more than 230 miles around Boston from Plum Island to Duxbury. 

Over the past few years, the Conservation Commission, in conjunction with Weston Forest and Trail Association, planned and marked a spur trail, approximately 3.3 miles long, off the main BCT that travels through Weston. This spur offers an alternate option for BCT hikers following the Concord/Lincoln/Wayland section of the BCT (known as Section 7). The “Weston Spur” starts after the boardwalk at Old Sudbury Road in Lincoln and travels through Ogilvie and Jericho Town forests in Weston before entering Wayland on the Mass Central Rail Trail.
On Sunday, November 4, Weston Forest & Trail Association led a trail walk on the newly marked BCT Weston Spur, which had a record attendance of nearly 40 walkers (and one dog). The Bay Circuit Alliance was created in 2012 and falls under the management of the Appalachian Mountain Club. The Club is in the process of updating the Section 7 maps to include the Weston spur. It, along with other the other section maps and an interactive map of the entire BCT network, will be available online. 

Trail maps of all Weston conservation land can be purchased through the Weston Forest and Trail Association’s website at or at the Conservation Commission office in the Town Hall. Online maps of Weston’s trails are also available. Weston Forest and Trail Association assists the Conservation Commission with managing the nearly 100 miles of trails on our nearly 2,000 acres of conservation land. This wonderful organization can be found on Facebook @WestonForestTrail.  

Learn more about the BCT at or check out Chronicle’s recent segment on the BCT.  The Conservation Commission would like to thank Kristin Barbieri, who is serving as Weston’s representative to the Bay Circuit Alliance and advocate for the Weston Spur.
case estates parking map

Trail Walk at the Case Estates

March 3, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

The Weston Forest & Trail Association will conduct its next monthly trail walk on Sunday, March 3rd at 2:00 p.m. Ann Wiedie and Maryann Pappanikou will lead the exploration of the Case Estates, one of the newest open spaces in Weston. Walkers will meander through established rhododendron groves, see specimen hollies, walk the new Legacy Trail before it becomes paved, view remnants of 19th-century estate buildings, enjoy the cool of a pine forest, and see the construction of a new boardwalk over a wetland.  
Meet at the lower lot of the Community Center where parking should be plentiful. Dress appropriately for the day, as these trail walks are rarely canceled for inclement weather. As the Norwegians say, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing." 

You do not have to be a member of the Weston Forest and Trail Association to join the walk, but please consider becoming a member. Dues support the maintenance and preservation of Weston’s open space. Please bring your friends and family along, too; children are encouraged! Well-behaved dogs are welcome but must be on leash. Tail-gate refreshments will follow the walk.

bark rangers wanted

Wanted: Volunteer Bark Rangers

Do you love walking trails? Engaging with others? Or have a passion for the environment? Help us keep Weston’s trails and open spaces enjoyable for everyone.

The Town of Weston is actively seeking volunteers to assist the Conservation and Animal Control departments in spreading awareness of the Town's rules and regulations for dogs and dog owners.

Volunteer responsibilities will include hiking our trails, engaging and educating visitors about their dog walking habits, and collecting data, all while modeling good dog walking behavior. 


  • Attend a 2-hour training on Monday, March 25th from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
  • Commit to monitoring at least twice per week for at least 1 hour per visit 
  • Submit a data collection report after each outing
  • Be willing to approach strangers and provide positive reinforcement when good dog behavior is observed 
  • Provide gentle reminders and suggestions when dog owners are behaving badly
  • The ideal candidate would also be interested in providing outreach information at various community events (such as Spring Fling on April 27th) and/or greeting visitors at trailheads

Want to make a difference in your community? If so, please visit to learn more and to fill out the online volunteer application.


Case Estates Update

Progress continues on the development of a new network of pathways that will connect two large open space areas - the Case Estates and the Weston Reservoir - with Case Campus, which will provide a safe pedestrian route between these beloved community resources.

The paths to be constructed include the Legacy Trail, a 0.3 mile asphalt path crossing the Case Estates, two crushed stone connector paths (0.3 and 0.1 miles) also crossing the Case Estates, and a 0.3 mile sidewalk along the portion of Ash Street between the Case Estates and Weston Reservoir.  

Over the fall and winter, the Town worked with the engineering firm Howard Stein Hudson to design the path, host public meetings, complete permitting, and seek funding through both the Community Preservation Act and the state’s MassTrails grant programs. Three sections of the path are currently out for bid - the Legacy Trail and its two connectors - and the Ash Street sidewalk is in its final stages of design. Pending funding, the hope is for construction to begin on the pathway network in the summer of 2019. 

The pathways have been designed to meet accessibility standards so that they are easy for everyone to travel on, including people with limited mobility, families with strollers and young children, and those who feel more comfortable on smooth surfaces than on traditional trails. The Legacy Trail, in particular, will feature a paved surface, pull-off landings with benches along its steeper sections, and rest areas at both the beginning of the trail (across from the Council on Aging and Community Center) and its terminus. The terminus rest area will provide a lovely view over the Case Estates and display engraved pavers with the names of those who contributed to the Weston300 fund. 

Look for an opportunity to support funding for this new pathway network at Annual Town Meeting on May 6th. Design plans for the path network are available on the Town's website. Questions can be directed to Emily Schadler, the Town’s Conservation Stewardship Coordinator, at 781-786-5067 or 

kid on bike on trail

Walk When It’s Wet

A note from Joel Angiolillo of Weston Forest and Trail Association

Weston Forest and Trail Association (WFTA) was founded in 1955 to acquire and preserve open spaces in Weston for the enjoyment of current and future generations. To provide access to the 2,000 acres of open space in town, WFTA built and maintains over 90 miles of trails, many of these on land owned by the Town and managed by the Weston Conservation Commission.

Many people do not realize that WFTA spends over $50,000 a year to keep our trails in good shape. We are proud of Weston’s trails, and we love to see people using them: walkers, runners, bikers, skiers, dog walkers, equestrians and bird watchers. All users add some strain on the trail system. This is unavoidable. Here I’d like to address impacts to trails from bike riders.

First of all, I want to say that many members of WFTA are bike riders, including some of our best volunteers, and indeed myself. However, riding through wet areas uproots the fragile vegetation and creates ruts that hold water, increasing the muddiness of the trails for all. This holds true in any season when we have wet conditions. For this reason, the Conservation Commission’s Land Use Regulations discourage bikers from using Weston’s trails in wet weather when the ground is soft (the same goes for horseback riders).  Some trail systems do not allow bikes in wet seasons, or only allow bikes on a limited number of trails, or even ban them completely. In Weston, we greatly appreciate that most bikers avoid riding on wet trails and encourage all bikers to do the same.  

The message is simple: If your tires will leave a rut, then walk. 

If you would like to help WFTA build and repair boardwalks and stone walkways in wet areas, please contact us at 

three deer in the woods

Wildlife: If You Love Them, Don’t Feed Them

It could be tempting to feed wildlife during the cold winter months.  It may feel like an act of kindness but in reality, it is a disservice to the animal. From adaptability to habitualization, Weston’s Animal Control Officer, Rachel Hoffman, writes about why you shouldn’t feed wildlife in the winter in her latest blog post on the Town's website.

The blog is updated monthly. Subscribe to the Animal Control Corner blog to receive the next post via email or text at

bobcat caught on night vision camera

Bobcat in Weston Caught on Camera

In December, a Weston resident caught a photograph of a bobcat in Weston using a motion-activated wildlife camera mounted in a backyard. Bobcats are secretive and elusive animals that travel alone and therefore are rarely seen by people. Although bobcats are known to inhabit nearby areas, they are not common in Weston, and catching this one on camera was unexpected. 

Bobcats are the only species of wild cat in Massachusetts. They have been adapting to suburban areas as their habitats become increasingly developed, but they rarely cause conflicts with human activities. Bobcats most commonly prey on rabbits and squirrels but will eat mice, skunks, opossums, muskrats, birds, and snakes. Read more about these fascinating creatures online by Mass Audubon.

Weston's Open Spaces and Recreation Forum Notes and Video Available

On October 25th, the Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee hosted Weston’s first Open Spaces and Recreation Forum to help those working on overlapping projects to better connect and support each other.

Goals for the upcoming year were shared among 14 community organizations, boards, and committees as they identified ways to benefit from the support of one another. It was inspiring to hear about all of the conservation- and recreation-related work underway in Weston and to see a picture emerge of the ways these groups could better collaborate and strengthen their efforts. Notes from the forum are available on the Town's website and the Weston Media Center recorded the event

A special thanks to Joel Angiolillo for being the emcee for the event and to all of those who presented and participated. 


Weston Forest and Trail Association PSA on Weston Media Center

The Weston Media Center recently ran a Public Service Announcement highlighting the Weston Forest and Trail Association and the excellent work it does to protect the forests, fields, and trails of our town. If you missed it or want a chance to view it again, you can see it on the Weston Media Center's website


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