Wetland Issues at Memorial Forest

Stream banks and associated wetlands are often susceptible to damage at trail crossings. This can cause erosion and siltation into the streams in addition to damaging wetland vegetation. Over the last couple of years we have observed a marked increase in damage to banks and wetlands at our trail stream crossings. Beaver activity is exacerbating this problem at the Hop Brook crossing.

In early January, the Sudbury Conservation Commission issued a violation notice to SVT. We are obligated to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Please help us to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again.

We have met with the Dutton Downs stable owners and are proceeding with plans to improve the stream crossings for horseback riders at Cranberry Brook, Trout Brook and the small tributary near the burn area. The tributary crossing will be rectified easily and quickly. The other bridges will take more work and we do not expect to do the construction on those until spring or summer.

The parking lot on Dutton Road and the trail leading from it to the bridge over Hop Brook are on the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts (GFWCM) land. SVT owns and maintains a pedestrian easement there, and at this time the GFWCM does not wish to allow horseback use on their land. Because of this, the hiker’s boardwalk near Hop Brook was not designed for riding, and so biking and horseback riding is not allowed between Dutton Road and point “J” in SVT’s reservation.

Dogs are welcome on our properties as long as the owners follow the dog walking regulations posted on our kiosk. Dogs going into the stream at Hop Brook and Cranberry Brook have significantly damaged wetland vegetation and altered the banks. Please leash dogs before you arrive to a stream crossing or do whatever it takes to keep your dog out of the stream. We realize that dogs enjoy going into water, but we cannot allow that at this property.  

Bicyclists are prohibited from riding through streams or wetlands. You must walk your bicycle over bridges.

As you may be aware, we have problems with illegal ATV and motorbike use which exacerbates the damage to streams and wetlands. Unfortunately, SVT does not have enforcement authority to arrest or issue fines. We have been working with the Towns of Marlborough and Hudson in trying to apprehend the motorized vehicle users who we have identified as coming from those towns. We have recently asked the Kinder-Morgan gas company, who own an easement on the gas line, to assist us in installing some barricades. Kinder-Morgan is willing to assist, but the terrain will dictate if there are locations where this is feasible. ATV and motorbike users will always go around barricades if they can find a way to do so and that would only make the situation worse.  

Thank you very much for your cooperation.