Background: A private company has proposed building 276 housing units right next to the portion of the Blue Hills, called Fowl Meadow on Brush Hill Road in Milton. The five-story buildings are proposed on what the state calls an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern.” We call this forested land ‘critical’ because the plants and animals of Fowl Meadow’s wetland depend on this area for food and habitat. Plus the higher land filters the water that runs down to the wetlands and Neponset River. When the existing forest is bulldozed to create 276 units, the wetland animals and plants will suffer. By destroying the land near the wetlands of Fowl Meadow, wildlife food and habitat will be destroyed and the water supply will become contaminated.
Representative Walter Timilty has introduced legislation that would prohibit building within 1,000 feet of Fowl Meadow to protect this sensitive habitat of the Blue Hills.
What You Can Do
I. Write or call the Co-chairs of the Natural Resource Committee to tell them that we need to protect the wetlands in Fowl Meadow. Let them know that development at Brush Hill Ave would harm the sensitive habitat and endangered species of Fowl Meadow, the portion of the Blue Hills that abuts the development. Ask them to give a favorable report to Bills H.818 and H.819 from the Chairs of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
II. Send a thank you to the legislators leaders on this issue: In addition to encouraging the Chairs of the Natural Resource Committee to address this issue, please thank the legislators who have been working on this issue: Rep Walter Timilty, Rep William C. Galvin, Rep Bruce J Ayers and Senator Brian A. Joyce. You’ll find their contact info at the bottom of this post. Let them know you appreciate their efforts!
Sample Letter (Contact info for Co-chairs Gobi and Pacheco below.)
Dear Chairwoman Gobi (or Chairman Pacheco):
I am writing to urge you to support bills H.818 and H.819 with a favorable report out of committee.
[Add something about how important the Blue Hills is to you. Personalizing your letter makes all the difference!}
H.818 and H.819 would prevent development within 1,000 feet of the portion of the Blue Hills called Fowl Meadow. Development close to Fowl Meadow would constitute significant environmental risk to the sensitive habitat and endangered species of Fowl Meadow, the portion of the Blue Hills. These bills are essential to protecting land like that found in Fowl Meadow in the Blue Hills Reservation. They would help protect Fowl Meadow’s sensitive habitat by:
1. Protect the endangered species of Fowl Meadow depend on the ‘critical habitat’ that surrounds it. The development is proposed on land that the state identifies as ‘critical habitat’ because species in Fowl Meadow rely on it for a source of fresh water as well as a source of food.
The area proposed for development contains several areas identified by the state as ‘critical habitat.’ The ‘critical habitat’ is considered ‘uplands’ which is essential for healthy wetlands. Many species use more than one habitat and need to move in between them. A protected area with multiple habitats will support a greater diversity of animals and plants than an isolated habitat of any type. The land where development is proposed also provides clean, fresh rainwater for the Fowl Meadow wildlife, a critical natural resource for the health of Fowl Meadow and its inhabitants.
2. Safeguard the health of the Fowl Meadow ecosystem depends, in part on preventing habitat fragmentation. Fowl Meadow is healthier because the adjacent land is not ‘fragmented’ or broken up. The construction breaks up the land surrounding the wetlands. This ‘upland’ habitat extends over a number of acres, including Little Blue, Green Street up to Brush Hill Road. This expansive large area is unique in that it has the marshy Neponset floodplain, a mature upland forest, and open fields. Maintaining the uplands as much intact as possible is important in guarding the health of Fowl Meadow.
Thank you for helping us protect one of the largest parks in the metropolitan Boston area.
Legislator Contact Information
Chairman Marc Pacheco
State House, Room 312B, Boston, MA 02133
Chairwoman Anne Gobi
State House, Room 473F, Boston, MA 02133
Please Thank These Legislators
Particularly, if your legislators are among those who have been working hard on this effort, please THANK them: Rep Walter Timilty (bill sponsor), Senator Brian A. Joyce (introduced other legislation on this issue), Rep William Galvin and Rep Bruce J Ayers.
Representative Walter Timilty
State House, Room 167 Boston, MA 02133
Senator Brian A. Joyce
State House, Room 109D, Boston, MA 02133
Rep William C. Galvin
State House, Room 448, Boston, MA 02133
Rep Bruce J Ayers
State House, Room 167, Boston, MA 02133