Trails Committee

Name Title
Miguel Lessing Chair
Denny Nackoney Vice Chair
Heidi Gross NRC Representative
Bob Brown Member
Joan Gaughan Member
Diane Hall Member
Steve Park Member
Jared Parker Member
John Schuler Member
Ekaterina Zemlyakova Member

Mission

Develop, promote, and maintain the Town's trails network.

What We Do

The Trails Committee, as a subcommittee of the Natural Resources Commission, is responsible for developing new trails and enhancing the trails network. We explore ideas for interconnecting Wellesley's open spaces, work with the NRC and DPW on new trail development, and negotiate trail access with organizations, state government agencies, and adjacent towns. We evaluate trail routes, consider safety issues, address parking and access, mark new trails, decide on new map house locations, and revise the trails map to reflect additions and changes.

We are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the trails. We organize work parties, assign committee members to monitor trail segments, replace missing trail markers and posts, stuff map boxes with trail maps and guides, clear brush from trails, and work to keep the trails litter free. We coordinate DPW assistance to provide trail mowing, removal of large downed trees blocking trails, map house installations, and any other heavy-duty maintenance support.

Goals

Our goal is to provide a user-friendly trail system that encourages residents to enjoy the open spaces, parks, and conservation land in Wellesley. We want to give people the opportunity to see a different perspective of Wellesley by walking our town paths and trails, and exploring parts of the town never seen from the roadways. We promote the trails by providing a comprehensive website, distributing trail maps, providing trail pamphlets, maintaining the map houses, running walks and jogs, sponsoring public events and cleanups, setting up and staffing booths for town activities and celebrations, and giving presentations.

We foster community involvement by identifying projects and tasks that can be done by youth organizations and volunteer groups, and we coordinate and monitor their work. We encourage residents to become members of the Friends of the Trails to participate in our events and projects.

Meetings

During the meetings, we discuss the status of ongoing projects, plan new projects, schedule work parties and activities, update our trails projects list of current and future tasks, and report on problems and discuss solutions.

History

Promotion of a Biking and Pedestrian trails system in Wellesley was originally conceived and promoted in 1975 by the Wellesley Celebrations Committee as a Bicentennial Celebrations project. Financing was authorized by the 1975 Town Meeting and work progressed over a two-year period with much help from the Wellesley Public Works Department. In 1993, the Natural Resources Commission established a special committee of sixteen, known as the “Bikeways and Walkways Study Committee”, devoted to “planning trails for the 90’s and beyond” throughout the community. John G. Schuler was the Chairman of both the Celebrations Committee in 1975 and of the Study Committee in 1993.

In 1996, the newly formed Wellesley Trails Committee, appointed by the Natural Resources Commission, developed a plan for the Crosstown Trail to provide east-west connectivity along the Cochituate Aqueduct.  A demonstration trail between Woodlawn Avenue and the Schofield School was constructed in 1997.  This was met with enthusiastic public support for completion of the Crosstown Trail and set the stage for development of a town-wide trails network.