Sunday, February 20, 2011

Boston Conservation Commission defends the harbor

Wednesday evening, February 16, I attended the Boston Conservation Commission meeting to observe their hearing concerning the Barry Playground. The advertisement read:


6:15 PM Notice of Intent from Boston Parks and Recreation Department for improvements to Barry Playground, including the construction of a new ball field and skate park, and associated fencing, lighting, pathways, site grading and irrigation system, as well as repairs to an existing seawall and replacement of a stormwater outfall, Medford Street, Charlestown, Little Mystic Channel (Coastal Bank, 100-foot Buffer Zone).


Barry Playground is just west of the Tobin Bridge on the south side of Little Mystic Channel, a finger of water extending to the west off an inlet which appears to feed to the Mystic River and then Boston Harbor. Eyeballing on Google Maps, the distance is 500 to 1000 feet to the inlet.

Little Mystic Channel is mostly lined with public recreational uses. On the western end is a football field and a large recreational area with a baseball diamond at one corner, plus tennis courts. The northern side has a boat dock plus parking.

On the south side, Barry Playground is between a housing development and the Tobin Bridge. Ball diamonds are formed on the southern and western sides. The northern side is broken for access to the water.

The workers planning the remodeling spent considerable time talking about the drainage system which drains into the Channel. They will be digging up and reseeding grass. They mentioned intent to use fertilizer on the grass.

I asked the obvious question.

I am concerned about the Charles River. We have a lot of grass which has survived the better part of a Century without use of fertilizer. Why allow fertilizer use here?

The board immediately picked up on the point and ordered that fertilizer only be used to establish the grass and not for regular maintenance.

Very good, very responsible board.