Watertown’s Hidden Wetlands Could be Possible Community Preservation Projects

Walker’s Pond, on the Westside of Watertown, is one of the town’s hidden wetlands and a possible place for the Community Preservation Funds to be spent. With “water” such a prominent part of the name of the town, one might expect it to be flush with wetlands. The Charles River, of course, is Watertown’s most significant body of water, but there are several others that are not as visible. Some can be seen from roadways around town, if you know where to look, others are tucked into the woods, and a number are surrounded by graves. Leo Martin, chair of the Town Conservation Commission recently took Watertown News on a tour of the town’s wetlands.

OP-ED: Details of Mass. Senate’s Climate Change Bills

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, who represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston:

The Senate Ways and Means Committee just released a bold, thoughtful and comprehensive package of bills designed to accelerate our move away from fossil fuels. The package is being well-received by many environmental leaders and I look forward to voting for it very soon. Back in 2008, I had a hand in passing the Global Warming Solutions Act which set the state on a course to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The present package recognizes the latest science and amends the GWSA to set a stronger long-term target – net zero emissions in 2050. 

The package makes the planning process stronger by making the emission reduction targets more detailed: It requires definition of stringent short and medium term targets for each sector of the economy.  It also requires more timely reporting on progress. The package mandates that the Secretary of Environmental Affairs implement “market based compliance mechanisms” to achieve emission reduction goals. “Market based compliance mechanisms” include carbon fees and cap-and-trade systems that put a price on carbon emissions. Most economists believe that this is the most effective kind of approach to transforming our economy – letting people and businesses make their own price-informed choices in the market as to how to reduce emissions.

Recycle Your Styrofoam at the Watertown DPW Event

Recycle your Styrofoam at the special DPW event. Just in time for the post-holiday cleanup, the Watertown Department of Public Works will host a styrofoam recycling event. Watertown residents will will also have a chance to shred paper and to get rid of tires (no rims). I.D. will be required. It is not open to businesses or commercial entities.

School Building Committee Looking at Costs of Creating Net Zero Energy Schools

An example of a rack that holds photo voltaic panels. Similar racks are planned to go in the parking lots of Hosmer and Cunniff schools in an effort to generate electricity. Architects designing Watertown’s new elementary schools are searching for enough space to place solar panels to make them net zero energy schools, however the biggest challenge to meeting the energy efficiency mark could be the project budget. Scott Dunlap, project architect for the three elementary school projects, showed the School Building Committee plans for Hosmer to place enough photo voltaic panels to cover the school’s energy use, while at Cunniff architects still need to find space for more panels. Lowell School will be renovated, so designers are not seeking to make the school net zero.

NewRep’s “Oliver!” Features Actor with Watertown Ties

Andy Papas, who has ties to Watertown, makes his New Rep Theatre debut in the current production of “Oliver!” Andy Papas has starred on stages across the country, but the actor and singer will be making his debut in the town where his family has made a name in a different arena. Papas will play Mr. Bumble in the New Rep’s production of Oliver! The play started its run Monday, and will be on the Mosesian Center for the Arts’ MainStage through the end of December. Papas grew up in Winchester, but his father, grandfather and uncle are from Watertown and were famed for their accomplishments on the football field.

Find Out About Composting at Forum at Watertown Library

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, a free public forum on the how and why of composting will be held at the Watertown Public Library from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Almost half of the “trash” thrown away in the U.S. could be composted instead of taken to landfills, and almost half of that is food. It is estimated that American families produce an average of 20 pounds of food waste per month. If not composted, all of this waste has to be transported from individual homes to landfills, a process that requires a large amount of fossil fuel; once the food waste reaches the landfill, it is sealed in airtight enclosures that emit greenhouse gases. Every pound of food thrown away results in 3.8 pound of greenhouse gas emissions. Composting is one way for ordinary people to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel and the production of greenhouse gases.

What It Would Take For Watertown to Have Net Zero Energy Schools

An example of a solar array canopy with a timber frame in a parking lot. They can be made of other materials, including metal. Architects showed the School Building Committee what it would take to make Watertown’s new elementary schools net zero — so the campus would generate enough energy to cover the electricity used to run the building. Watertown will be building two new elementary schools — at Cunniff and Hosmer — and school officials seek to make them not only green schools, but are looking at possibly making them net zero schools. Wednesday night, architect Scott Dunlap of Ai3 Architects, told the committee overseeing the project that the energy would be generated by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Entries being Taken for the Watertown Mall’s Scarecrow Contest

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Mall:

The Watertown Mall is hosting its 28th Annual Scarecrow Contest. Scarecrows can be entered individually or in groups, and there is no entry fee. Your group could be family, friends, co-workers, classmates, teammates, or business. This is a great way to get ready for the Halloween season, show off creativity, and get involved in your community and even advertise and promote your business! The scarecrows will be up for display from October 18 through October 31, 2019.