Thanks to the Wetlands Protection Act, projects that alter wetlands must create new wetlands as mitigation.  Walkers at Norumbega Reservoir may spot this new wetland which was required mitigation as part of MWRA’s water supply improvement project.  (Photo by Michele Grzenda)

Wetlands are Wonderful!

Weston wetlands have a number of important values. They provide wildlife habitat, protect drinking water supplies, and create flood storage.  Wetlands can be ‘dry’ most of the year and therefore, you may be unaware that you have wetlands on or near your property.  The Massachusetts Protection Act regulates any activity proposed within 100-feet of wetlands or 200-feet of perennial (year-round) flowing streams, even on private property.  Over half of the recent wetland loss in Massachusetts is the result of illegal filling and alteration of this critical habitat.  If you are contemplating conducting any work on your land (i.e. cutting live or dead trees or shrubs, expanding lawn, re-grading, building), please contact the Conservation Office at 781-786-5068.  To learn more about the importance of wetlands, please visit:

Black Swallow-wort
Black Swallow-wort is an invasive plant that takes over fields

Massachusetts Prohibited Plants and Non-Invasive Alternatives

The 2016 drought in Massachusetts has caused damage to even established landscape plants. As plants need to be replaced this fall and in the coming year, it will be important to help customers understand that some plants in their landscapes are on the Massachusetts Prohibited Plants List and are no longer available for sale at nurseries and garden centers. Plants on the Prohibited Plants List are invasive in Massachusetts and are no longer permitted to be sold or grown in the state. Some of these are common landscape plants, and need to be replaced with non-invasive alternatives. Plants that are determined to be invasive can have the following characteristics:

  • Few or no natural enemies (insects or diseases)
  • Grow and mature rapidly
  • Spread quickly
  • Can flower and set seed over a long period of time (generally produce a lot of seed)
  • Thrive in many conditions
  • Difficult to control
  • Outside of natural range
  • Likely to cause harm to the environment or economy
  • Invade natural habitats
  • Outcompete other plants for resources (light, water, nutrients, space)

For more information, please see:

Weston is home to many Red-tailed hawks
Weston is home to several species of hawks, including this red-tailed hawk

Fall Hawk Migration has begun!

(From Mass Audubon Website)
Although fall hawk migration started in August with small numbers of migrating hawks already on the move, September is usually the best month for fall hawkwatching. Thousands of hawks that breed north of 
Massachusetts, along with the young of the year, move through Massachusetts in significant concentrations every fall.

Most numerous of these species is the broad-winged hawk, which at times can be seen in flocks, of hundreds or occasionally even thousands of birds,  soaring high into the sky in groups called “kettles." The next most commonly seen September migrants are sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrels, ospreys, northern harriers (a.k.a. marsh hawks), and turkey vultures. Get more details here:

MassWildlife Monthly September 2016 Newsletter

MassWildlife and MassDOT Work Together to Help Monarch Butterflies -   MassWildlife and MassDOT received a $21,500 grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to support efforts to increase habitat for pollinating insects by seeding highway median and roadside areas with a mix of milkweed and other native plants for pollinators. This 
project is part of an ongoing partnership between the two agencies.

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