Latest News 10-8-17

Oct. 8 2017 Bees Trees Teens Numerous reports of canine & human bee stinging in close proximity to high use trails. Under cover of darkness they are gone – public safety preempting nature. Park users have seen teen bikers cutting smaller diameter trees & building ramps in south parcel mid section north of south fireplace. NPD has been advised, we have warned youths, inappropriate activity continues, spoke with P&R Commish DeRubeis – suggests Youth officer Panica intervention. Youths are usually in park on weekends, please let them know if you meet them.  Mayoral selection coming Nov. 7th – both are friends to our park lifestyle.

Aug. 13 2017 Mayoral candidate walk thru The 3 city councilor mayoral candidates Sangiolo, Lennon, and Fuller toured Edmands engaging in conversation on the history, workings, and community involvement.  Understanding the sense of responsibility for the betterment of the park, we are fortunate in knowing that whichever of the 3 occupies the corner office, we have a partner in support of the Edmands’ model.

July 1 2017 DCR OL program mirrors Edmands’ model  DCR Stony Brook OL proposal . Compliant RUS (Recreational Use Statute) policy – free to public, funded by operational budget, public/private enterprise with ‘Friends Group’ for stewardship. Enhanced socialization, self policing, partnered responsibility, model for heightened awareness of environment, natural cultural shift of privilege & responsibility transitioning from ‘me’ to ‘we’.

June 28 2017 BC soccer field construction BC’s general contractor Tim Walsh conducted a walk thru of the construction which is underway at the immediate abutting soccer field. New light towers with CAD spotlight focus on the field will improve upon the neighborhood throw-off light. The existing lights were installed prior to the Newton light ordinance, and as many park users & neighbors have noticed affect the quality of life.  A new press box, restrooms, and water main feed-in will improve the BC spectator experience.  As always, BC has been an excellent working partner neighbor contributing to the betterment and maintenance of Edmands.

Also, per park user request, we judiciously cut protruding trail roots which many have for years stumbled over on the south section.  Erosion, tree growth, and increased foot traffic have created this safety concern.  Please contact us if there are other safety matters in the future.

May 1 2017 Newton Serves park cleanup success  We had for the first time a Newton Serves at Edmands; targeted in the southeast ‘Black Swamp’ sector. In response to canine cut paws from glass over the many years, we put out the call to help pick up glass, trash, and the homeless encampment.
Not only did we have off-leash walkers, on leash walkers, but also 7 BC students.

This needed doing 30 years ago, but thanks primarily to the devoted off-leash park users (Dick Blazar included) a truckload of debris was hauled from the park.

April 25 2017 Canine cut paws from glass   Please help April 30th to pick up broken glass and trash in the south section near Mill & Blake St.   Canine paws have been cut by sharp protruding pieces of glass.  Mill St. over the fence for decades was a dumping ground, coupled with BC keg parties. Newton Serves

March 3 2017 Animal Control Officer directed patrol  NPD ACO Officer Torres has been in Edmands responding to RP (reporting party) complaints re: canine (owner) behavioral issues.  Please make sure you have your leash at the ready. Officer discretion for $50. citation issuance. You might also notice new leash law signs at the Colby Rd. east entrance at BC.  They are there to help us in our self policing efforts.  Common courtesy, mutual respect for all park users is not a trait found in all visitors.

We had a few tree/limb down during this past winter; if you spot a potential safety issue, please email or phone.  Our interactive you tube video of the trails will note digital point for reference – see park map page:

Dec 8, 2016 Newton North High School salamander study  Surprising good news from the forest floor barometers.  ‘a reasonable estimate of the population size of red-backs at Edmands Park is likely between 150 and 250 individuals.’ ‘ The observation rate under ACOs in October (average rate: 0.14 salamanders/ACO; maximum rate: 0.20 salamanders/ACO) was similar to that of second-growth rural forests in north central Massachusetts in October (both average and maximum rate: 0.20 salamanders/ACO) (Mathewson unpublished thesis).’ A healthy woods report even with free ranging canines – wonder if there is any correlation?  Thank you Brooks Mathewson for bringing this together along with NNHS staff & students.  see the entire report on the Newton Conservator’s webpage.

Sept 15, 2016 BC fire line water break  Torrents of water filled Edmands Brook from 3 pm til 8 pm. Boston College west campus had a Newton Fire Water line rupture.  BC Grounds crew in conjunction with Newton DPW remedied the situation.  Odd that a day after we are under the level 4 ‘extreme drought’ status, we have too much water! (Pennies from heaven)

August 18, 2016   ‘Canine Caution List’??   As part of our self-policing continuum, certain dogs have repeatedly displayed overly aggressive behavior toward other dogs & humans especially. Our park user popularity, primarily due to internet visibility, has created a mecca for canine handlers with behaviorally challenged four-leggers. Irresponsible or clueless handlers appear to not respond in a considerate respectful manner to other park users. Under discussion is whether we should engage in listing these dogs and/or handlers. This list is an attempt to be an intermediary step before ACO’s (animal control officers) Ralph & Lisa are engaged in the formal complaint process. Your discussion and feedback on this is welcomed.

July 20, 2016  The latest poop from the City: 32 gallon waste containers with lids. There will be signs affixed to the containers that state, “Pet Waste Only”. They will be anchored at each site by a post that will be attached to the container.  The city’s 2 proposed Edmands’ locations: one at Blake north (main entrance); one at middle Blake entrance.
32 gallon – Not enough capacity for the park, which will once again result in bags of feces thruout the park. There appears to be a communication vacuum at the ‘Hall’, with a ‘poop pot’ being sited outside the Hall.  So if you park users have too much and feel the urge to share, certainly feel free to make a donation at the Hall.

July 2, 2016   During previous ‘dog waste’ discussion with Commissioner DeRubeis, he conceded to allow us to have 2 biodegradable green poop bag dispensers. We asked him over 3 years ago for it, stating we would pay for and self-maintain. He said he would order them, we would install. Should biodegradable bags be an exclusive franchise of the dedicated OLA’s (off-leash area)??   Friends, please give me your feedback on the environmental consciousness. –

June 25, 2016 Within the past 6 weeks 2 reported daytime sightings of coyotes in the ‘black swamp’ area (southeast corner of Edmands). Please watch smaller canines, esp off-leash.

South fireplace has been home to evening party, trash & broken glass evidenced; thinking of a barrel there.  North fireplace barrel has been successful in curbing trash, broken glass, and has served well as poop drop point.

The usual seasonal activity once again.  But those of you regulars might notice how much more use the park is getting, primarily from non Newton residents. Why is that? for one, we notice greater Boston websites which recommend and rank Edmands within the top ‘best places to take your dog off-leash’.  And also the park beauty and friendliness has taken on more commercial meaning in advertising for the professional walkers.  Have you noticed the film crews in Edmands the past 2 months?

Our philosophy is: ‘the more, the merrier’ – our public parks, like the library, should be just that, open to all.  Bring your ‘to-be tired canine’, we’ll adjust.

As we have for generations maintained, we as humans do not walk Fido; Fido walks us – regardless of whether on-leash or not.

your tax dollars not at work…

June 9, 2016 Park users are upset with Parks & Rec Dept.’s removal of the 3 blue 60 gallon trash carts which filled every week with predominantly canine feces.  Newton’s CEO Maureen Lemieux  & Commissioner DeRubeis admittedly did not plan the options to the city’s new big belly solar compactors, or how they would handle canine feces.  P&R pulled all three blue carts without notice or replacement options. As a consolation the Commissioner has placed a token single blue cart back at the main north entrance on Blake. He has indicated that he is exploring a special ‘dog waste’ contract with a potential vendor – don’t hold your breath. He told me over 3 years ago that his environmental affairs was researching a special dog waste receptacle.

Meantime the Friends of Edmands’ have placed barrels at the north fireplace, the middle & south entrances on Blake to supplement the city. We have taken on the responsibility for emptying and periodic pine-sol disinfectant application. The South barrel was donated by Mal Salter.

We are exploring the collection of canine waste with a methane digester to be sited at the middle entrance on Blake St. opposite Adam London‘s home (Barbara Spivak). The methane gas potentially could illuminate a memorial remembrance light for Adam and the 3 teen suicides of 2013-14. The methane digester could be designed and constructed within the NNHS greengineering dept.

For more, please contact Harry:

June 15, 2014 As happens most years about this time, an inordinate amount of items are illegally dumped in the park.  This year we have seen 9 matresses, pressure treated decking, and construction debris.  The particular trouble spots are along the unimproved section of Blake St.  Newton PD has received the incident reports but no witnesses have viewed license plates.  We could use your help – if you see suspicious activity, please email or phone so we might be able to curtail the activity. Newton PD is 617 796 2100.

June 3, 2014  If you haven’t heard, a couple of prominent park-users were standing speaking to one another at the Colby Rd. culvert crossing when a loud crack occurred.  An old 2′ diameter tree came down right between them! Fortunately no one or canine was hurt.  But this brings up an interesting point of safety. One of the incident bearers: ‘had my ear buds been in like I usually do, I might not have heard the distinctive tree cracking’.  Tree cracking is the deep noise which occurs when the tree bends enough to shatter the wood fiber. Cracking usually sheds bark.  The cracking process can go on for many years, often witnessed by perceptive humans. – If a tree cracks in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound for safety?  Nature is telling us, are we astute enough to listen?  We occasionally staple ‘cautions’ to a tree which has repeated cracking.  A number of other tree safety locations exist thruout north & south parcels, but our endeavor is to not blight the park with signs.  Getting the word out for safety is daunting without interrupting the wilderness experience.

On another area, Mr & Mrs. Mallard have a nest hidden in the pond area not far from the stinging nettle.  The stream-side trail which runs from the meadow to the north fireplace will often see the couple exiting from the marsh into the stream.  Please try to keep off-leash canines close at hand along that section of trail.  We hope to see a proud couple with ducklings emerging soon.

Interesting for birders:  As I and others have experienced, seated on the bench on the bridge for a half hour or so, the red-winged blackbirds will come within 15′ – they have that distinctive call almost like a frog.  Also sighted are Baltimore Orioles over the spillway trees.  Haven’t spotted their distinctive hanging sack-like nest.

May 10, 2014  Beautiful early morning freshness after rain.  In pond area Red-winged Blackbird  are plentiful – I counted 9. – this number is up from previous years.  Robins abound in and around north parcel.

A special thanks to Faye Goldman of Peet’s Coffee Newton Centre for donating the rolling lidded trash barrel placed by the north fireplace chimney overlooking the stream.  The teens regularly use the barrel for bottles, cans, and trash – good stuff.

In case you didn’t notice, we removed the homeless encampment concealed in the ‘black swamp’ area adjacent to the BC campus.  It had been there for over two years and became an unpleasant eyesore aromatically ingratiating those who passed by .  In cooperation with the BC police, you might find a periodic bicycle patrol, say hello to Garrett.

Thanks to all who pick up trash and dog waste of others, please let us know if there is something we might help you with toward the cause.

Winter weather brought a couple of trail-blocking trees, they were cleared a short while afterwards – you probably didn’t even notice.  Newton PD has hired another AC officer, her name is Lisa Mikoleit and she will be working a seasonal 6 month period.  AC Ralph Torres is still on the job, but serves other duties besides animal control.  Hope to see you on the trails -HMS

Apr. 9 2014  Thanks to all the devoted caring park users for the ‘poop pickup patrol’ (PPP) who annually silently scour meadows, trails, and frequented locations for canine fecal remains, glass, and debris.  It really shows – every year as we await wildlife’s return, basking in the sun, ingratiated that we have this bounty of refuge in spirit and form.  see you on the trails.  BTW if you notice something askew and in need of attention, please feel free to ring me up at 617 390 3454.  HMS

Dec. 6, 2013  Attention all parkusers:  Today in the OLDAWG (off-leash dog advisory working group) meeting  Parks & Rec Commissioner DeRubeis stated that he has submitted to the mayor a request to allow his part-time off-leash (OL) specialist Jason Roberts to issue $50. citations for your dog being off-leash in Edmands, and that he intends to target Edmands.  Coming out of the Mayor’s office the docket item will first go to the Board of Aldermen’s Program & Services committee then since it is a finance matter to the Finance committee.  This is the first step in the City trying to take away your ability to walk with your dog off-leash at Edmands by attempting to modify human behavior through enhanced enforcement.  This effort is supported by OLDAWG members: alderman Susan Albright, Amy Koel, and Lee McIntyre.  The Commissioner believes that he can modify human behavior through financial penalties and an outstretched arm of the Law; devaluing & minimizing the self policing aspect which we at Edmands and so many other parks exhibit.  Please write your Mayor & your aldermen letting them know you want to keep Edmands’ just the way it is ‘status quo’ without being corralled into a flawed OL program.  The future of Edmands’ is in your hands..

Nov. 6 2013  We placed a rolling lidded trash barrel at the skate pond chimney in the hopes that the broken glass bottles and waste will be placed inside instead of ending up on the ground where canine paws might be cut.  We responsibly empty it into the Park barrel on Blake St. which is usually picked up on Thursdays.

Oct.25 2013: As a number of park-users have noted, Edmands Pond has newly overturned trees and flattened pond flora.  Unfortunately this is the result of the state police search helicopter which hovered for a prolonged period of time over the park in the search for Karen Douglas.

Friday Oct. 4th found us in the park at 8 a.m. searching for NNHS senior Karen Douglas. We covered the entire 33 acres and detailed obscure places.  Later in the afternoon police cordoned off the entire park with police tape for hours. A command center RV was set up at the intersection of Blake and Withington.   ATV’s, K-9 units, task force search teams from afar along with a state police helicopter.  Quite the neighborhood concern.

Sadly Karen was found in Natick woods Sat. evening.   Foul play is not suspected.

Our phase 1 wildflower garden on Edmands’ northernmost section will hopefully be named in her memory should the family so decide. She loved sunflowers, may her sunshine and exuberance forever grace the serenity we share at Edmands’.
Our prayers are with her and her family during this difficult time.