The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 20, 2006


Greystone trail takes shape

A cooperative effort between the Trails Committee, Stamski and McNary engineers, and the Carlisle Department of Public Works (DPW) has produced a plan for a public pathway roughly bordering the 15-lot Greystone Crossing Conservation Cluster along Cross Street. The path follows an easement granted to the town by Greystone developer William Costello during earlier negotiations involving both the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission. At that time, Costello also offered to absorb the cost of building it.

Trails Committee representatives Louise Hara and Bert Willard were present as the applicants of record at ConsCom's October 12 meeting. Hara reported that, when complete, the trail would run almost half the length of Cross Street from South Street to within one lot of Bingham Road.

Portions of the work require the commission's approval, because they necessitate construction within the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland and laying of four wetland boardwalks. Hara explained that her group had flagged the route and then turned the project over to Stamski and McNary.

Considering the problems the Town has had with weed encroachment and the resultant deterioration of some other walkway projects, the commissioners' primary concern was the stability of the proposed surface material. Stamski and McNary engineer George Dimakarakos described it as a "crushed aggregate with an inert organic binder." He said it was the most natural-looking of all the available materials and is used and recommended by the National Park Service. Hara assured the commission that, "It looks like crushed stone" and is approved by DPW Superintendent, Gary Davis, whose department will maintain it.

Looking at the contour map of the hilly site, Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard asked about the maximum slope guaranteed by the manufacturer, and the engineer indicated that there would be a protective, grassy swale at the only critical point. As for the boardwalks, they will be installed with the usual ACQ lumber recommended by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Cross Street abutter, Bonnie Miskolczy, asked how many trees would have to be sacrificed and was assured by Dimakarakos that very few would be cut, and the contractor would be advised to avoid them wherever possible.

Just as it appeared the discussion was over, Commissioner John Lee returned to the matter of weed incursion on the pathway surface and asked about the practicality of using a rubber-based edging along the sides of the walkway. The engineer admitted that such materials exist but did not think Costello would be willing to include that in the project. To which Lee responded, "This could be a great test for us. Do you think Costello would be willing to try out a 30-to-40-foot test section in one vulnerable, sunny section?" Dimakarakos thought that approach might be feasible. Since the commissioners recognized that they had no jurisdiction over that particular aspect of the project, they decided to include a "request" to the developer to do them that favor. The hearing was then closed and a standard order of conditions issued.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito