I find there is no good way to start this conversation.
Please note that clearing and cutting trees within 100 feet of the shoreline must be approved and heard before the Conservation Commission and approval must be granted BEFORE any cutting/clearing takes place. In our neighborhood this virtually means the cutting down of any tree around the pond or the clearing of any shoreline plants is illegal. However, thinning a few lower branches and top trimming brush is allowed.
At the same time that the Martins Pond Association has been restoring the shoreline to a natural habitat and planting plants and trees, some have been cutting down trees and clearing shoreline in order to increase their view.
As an Association and as a Committee we cannot ignore this. There is good reason to leave the shoreline natural.
Clearing the shoreline results in: loss of habitat, increased erosion, loss of shaded waters for fish to escape to in summer, higher water temperatures and increased chances of algae blooms, loss of filtration of surface runoff which carries fertilizer and road runoff to the water which increases nuisance aquatic plants and also leads to algae blooms, and eroded shoreline disturbed areas give opportunistic invasive plants and easy place to take hold.
As we work with Conservation to have past tree cuttings replaced, we have encountered new cutting in the last 2 weeks and both the Police and Conservation were called. It appears that 3 trees were cut down, but because someone called police, it is possible that the cutting of a 4th tree may have been stopped.
Nobody wants to call the police on our neighbors. In this particular case the police were called as a last resort. So please, if you have a tree you need cut for some reason, go before the Conservation Commission and get approval first. The Police are aware of the situation, as a NRPD member also sits on the Conservation Commission.
Many of the shoreline trees illegally cut down in the past 3-4 years have been 30-80 years old. Even if we get them to replace them, it is likely they will replace them with 5-10 year old trees, too young to provide shade for many years to come.
Help us protect Martins Pond wildlife. Let’s get the word out so it doesn’t ever have to even come to this.
And if you want any trees to add to your shoreline, please email me, we may be able to provide them for you. If your shoreline is full of invasives(like loosestrife and thorns), and you’d like to remove them and replace with native plants, we can help you.
Janet Nicosia, Co-Chair
Martins Pond Association
Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee