Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Consultant presents proposal to lower dam crest

This Saturday 1-3 p.m.: Fyfeshire Living History Day

Last Tuesday, the Conservation Commission hosted a presentation at Town Hall by Christopher Cullen, Engineering Consultant at Fuss and O’Neil, to discuss the proposal to lower the dam crest.  Cullen went through the relevant history of the project:  the state’s determination that the dam is unsafe and that the town needs to do something about it, the past proposals to remove or repair the dam, and the latest proposal to lower the crest of the dam. (For more about this proposal, see posting New alternative would keep the Fyfeshire Ponds intact.)

In addition to making the pond safer, Cullen pointed out that this latest proposal, called “partial dam removal,”

-         Is the least expensive alternative of the three
-         Removes the dam from state jurisdiction
-         Maintains normal pond water levels

The Bolton Board of Selectmen has voted unanimously in favor of this option. The town will vote on this proposal at Town Meeting on May 7—it is item #14 on the warrant.  (See posting Fyfeshire Dam to be discussed at Town Meeting)  The Group for the Preservation of Fyfeshire Ponds supports this proposal and encourages all eligible Bolton residents to go to town meeting and vote "Yes" on #14.

Cullen’s Powerpoint presentation is not yet available on the town website--we will update this posting to link to it when it becomes available.  The meeting was recorded and you can view it at this link:   Conservation Commission meeting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meeting re. Fyfeshire. Also: Living History Day coming up.

Don't forget to attend the meeting at Town Hall tonight re. the proposal to lower the crest of Fyfeshire Dam.

Also mark your calendar for Living History Day:  April 28 1-3 p.m.
Living history day April 28 1-3 p.m.

Getting Fyfeshire ready for Living History Day

A volunteer maintenance crew cleared trails on Saturday in preparation for Living History Day on April 28.  Here are a few photos documenting their work.  Many thanks to all four for working so hard to make hiking easier and more enjoyable for all.

From left: Leonid Ablavsky of Wattaquadock Hill Rd., Tatenda Mudeke (Ablavsky family friend visiting from Boston), Alex Ablavsky, and Rona Balco of Green Rd., Bolton clear a tree that had fallen into the small pond. 

Before:  This is the tree that had partially fallen into the small pond.

Leonid and Tatenda haul the tree out of the water.
The tree has to be trimmed and cut into smaller bits to move.
Alex hauls a log from the tree to the woodpile.
Rona wields the chain saw to cut the tree into smaller logs.
The cut trunk reveals a colony of ants.

After:  Here's the same view after the crew cleared the tree away.

Fyfeshire Dam to be discussed at Town Meeting: Article #14 on the warrant

 The town warrant listing all the items to be discussed at the upcoming town meeting on May 7 was sent to Bolton residents last week.  In case you missed it, here is Article #14:

Article #14: Fyfeshire Dam

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds the sum of $250,000 (Two hundred fifty thousand dollars), pursuant to any applicable statute, for the lowering of the Fyfeshire Dam, and to meet this appropriation, the sum of $247,402 (Two hundred forty seven thousand and four hundred two dollars) be transferred from the Assessor's Overlay Account, and the sum of $2,598 (Two thousand five hundred ninety eight dollars) be transferred from available funds, and further, that the Conservation Commission be authorized to file on behalf of Town of Bolton any and all applications deemed necessary for grants and/or reimbursements from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and/or any others in any way connected with the scope of this Article; and further, the Town of Bolton and the Conservation Commission be authorized to enter into all agreements and execute any and all instruments as may be necessary on behalf of Bolton to effect said lowering; or do or act relating thereto. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Consultant will present proposal to lower the dam

Tuesday, April 17
7:00 p.m.
Bolton Town Hall

As you are probably aware by now, the Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety has determined that the Fyfeshire Dam (the lower dam) in the Fyfeshire Conservation Area has been determined by the Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety to be a “Significant Hazard Dam in an Unsafe Condition.” There is a proposal on the table to lower the dam crest. We believe this will improve dam safety while keeping the ponds intact. The Bolton Conservation Commission invites anyone who is interested to attend a meeting this coming Tuesday, where Engineering Consultant Christopher Cullen, of Fuss and O’Neil, will present this new proposal.

Please come if you can. The Conservation Commission has submitted a warrant article for the Annual Town Meeting (May 7) to lower the dam crest of the lower dam in the Fyfeshire Conservation Area. That means (I think) the people of Bolton will be asked to vote on this proposal. Here is your chance to learn more and ask questions.

For a more detailed description of the proposal, see our posting New Alternative Would Keep Fyfeshire Ponds Intact.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Living history day at Fyfeshire

Mr. Fyfe, 18xx, gave Fyfeshire its name
Saturday, April 28 (Rain date Saturday, May 12)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Fyfeshire Conservation Area
516 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton

Take a stroll back through time and learn a bit of Bolton history.  Go back to Post Civil War Bolton and meet Mr. Fyfe, talk with his descendant Helen Plummer, who donated the area to the town in 1969, and learn about the button factory that stood near the small pond, all while enjoying a walk along the water’s edge on a (fingers crossed) lovely spring day. Finish off with an old fashioned  picnic in the park (bring your own blanket/basket). Light refreshments will be provided to complement your picnic basket.  Come in costume if you wish.

For a “total immersion” history experience, plan to drop in and see the corresponding collections at the Historical Society after your visit to Fyfeshire. They are holding special hours:

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Sawyer House
676 Main Street (Rt. 117), Bolton
Always wanted to work at Old Sturbridge Village? This is the next best thing. We could use a few volunteers to play the role of farmers and townspeople from the 1800s. (NHS students earn community service credit.) Call 968-365-6867 or send an email to
Sponsored by the Group for the Preservation of Fyfeshire Ponds and supported by the Bolton Conservation and Historical Commissions 

P.S.  If the weather looks threatening on April 28, check this blog after 9:00 a.m. to see if the event will be held, or call 978-365-6867.