The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 13, 2009

ConsCom hears Fox Hill path request

Sandy Nash of Concord Street explained a concept for a safer cross-country running course for the Carlisle School team to use for practices and meets when she appeared before the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on November 5.

Nash is a substitute teacher at the school and a parent of a current team member. She volunteers with the cross-country program and frequently runs with the team. She said the students are running almost exclusively on paved roads and “there are a lot of different places on the course where the kids’ safety is compromised.” And she noted that “most of the schools that we compete against have 75% of their trails in the woods or on a track of sorts, and not on asphalt roads.”

The proposed loop would go from Spalding Field to the Banta Davis Land, circle around the edge of the Fox Hill Conservation Land fields, through Green Cemetery and along a short stretch of Church Street back to Spalding. (Until the boardwalk from Spalding to Banta Davis is repaired the runners would need to use Church Street.) The course would cross private land in one area; Nash said the owners are in support of the project. The areas where the students run would not be groomed or otherwise altered.

Nash came before the ConsCom about the portion of the course that lies on Town conservation land. Warren Lyman, principal author of the management plan for Fox Hill, said one of the management objectives is “to allow for limited passive recreation such as walking and horseback riding.” He also said that, while there is not one today, the plan encourages creating and maintaining a mowed perimeter trail around the fields. Kevin Brown, who farms part of Fox Hill, said he could make sure the perimeter gets an additional mowing before the start of the cross-country season.

The ConsCom agreed that a use permit would be needed, as is the case for other groups using conservation lands, and that this would be appropriate for the 2010 season, if the course becomes a reality. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito