Here is the presentation Dan did to the Planning board on 9/12/22

...Protection and Preservation of the Chestnut Forest...

I am here to talk about why it is so important to protect and preserve the Chestnut Forest Area.

For the past two years the residents have voted down planning board articles which would encourage the development of this area.

This is an area of natural beauty with an Atlantic White Cedar Swamp that took nature 10’s if not hundreds of thousands of years to create. It is the best and most economical water filtration system on earth.

Our 2019 master plan prioritizes the protection of the area North of Chestnut street through conservation easements. And calls for the “Protection of Ecologically Valuable Open Space and Overall “Woodland Feel” of the Community”

The Old Colony Planning Council designates this area as a Priority Protection Area

On BioMap2: MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program… maps this area as Core Habitat…For the Hessel’s Hairstreak butterfly, the New England Bluet, and the Spotted turtle…As you can see 500 Chestnut is in the Core Habitat. (BioMap2 is over the Google Earth map.)

This is also a greenway for wildlife and could be a greenway for humans as well… From Ames Nowell up through the Holbrook Town Forest, the Braintree town forest and beyond.

At the last town meeting the planning board worked hard to pass Article 14 to create a Marijuana Overlay District in this Chestnut Forest area. Several residents, including myself, voiced that it would be better to keep the MOD, as it was called, in the RT. 18 MOD district location to preserve this forested area.

The image below is from a satellite on Google Maps…Seen from space the whole area is clear cut except for a wetland area that was connected and previously naturally drained into the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp.

Right next to this area draining down stream from 500 Chestnut St., the rest of the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp is at 0 Chestnut…an area it is hoped will be conserved at our next town meeting….

New Jersey is a leader in protecting Atlantic White Cedar Swamps…This video and link to their website are both extremely enlightening…

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq-uaW6c720&t=46s

Website: https://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/forest/atlanticwhitecedar/index.html

I ask the planning board and all concerned residents to protect and preserve what is left of this beautiful and irreplaceable gem we call the Chestnut Forest…

I also call for transparency in the writing of articles so residents are informed at the earliest date about the plans that are being made for our town…My belief is that more and more people want to preserve and protect our environment…

Because, as in the case of Lady Abington…

”Once it is gone it is gone forever!”