History

 
The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force was formed by consensus at a September 4, 2003, town hall meeting attended by more than 100 community residents. It has become a subcommittee of the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association (LANA), an established community organization with a record of impressive accomplishments. The Task Force represents hundreds of area residents concerned about the future of the wetlands.The Task Force’s mission is to work with community residents, city government, environmental organizations, and businesses for the benefit of this unique natural asset, including...
  • Wetlands preservation
  • Plant and wildlife protection
  • Habitat protection
  • Open space preservation
  • Stormwater management
  • Flood control
  • Public access compatible with these considerations
The house and land at 104 Walter, and the huge parcel to the rear, were acquired in 2000 for only $365,000, the cost at the time of a single family residence alone.This "low" price would appear to reflect the fact that earlier would-be buyer-developers walked away upon discovering deep deposits of unstable peat in the back parcel. After neighbors saw engineers surveying this parcel and adjoining sections of the wetlands, a town hall meeting was organized in September 2003. The meeting drew more than 100 residents from throughout the Longfellow Area neighborhood. In response to the strong and widespread concern voiced there, the Roslindale Wetlands Task Force was formed. Its mandate is to represent community interests and keep the community informed about issues related to this unique natural resource.

The Task Force’s first major achievement was the transfer of 26 unbuilt lots in the wetland to the Boston Conservation Commission, guaranteeing their preservation as open space in perpetuity. Task Force members had learned that many soggy private parcels were in tax foreclosure and subject to sale for development. Task Force member and former LANA president Tim Brauns suggested the land transfer idea, and the Task Force lobbied City Hall on the issue. At that point, City Councilor Rob Consalvo and his staff stepped up to secure the Mayor’s support and successfully shepherd the process through the several departments, including the Department of Neighborhood Development, which had authority to determine the disposition of the parcels and whose mission more commonly is working toward appropriate new construction on tax-foreclosed parcels. Twenty-two parcels were transferred in December 2003, followed by four more in October 2005.

Another great victory came in October 2005, when the owners of the largest wetlands parcel, behind 104 Walter Street, agreed to subdivide the lot and give the rear portion (more than one acre) to the City for conservation.

However, 11 other land parcels are still privately owned. One of them is threatened by development. Read more.

Other accomplishments of the Roslindale Wetlands Task Force include...

  • Organizing a perimeter walk guided by Earthworks, Inc., to educate community residents about wetland preservation
  • Organizing a survey of migratory and nesting bird species, conducted by an expert from the Brookline Birding Club
  • Rallying teams of community volunteers to clean up trash and illegally dumped refuse, to remove invasive plants, and to reintroduce native tree species
  • Advocating for the community’s interests at Boston Conservation Commission hearings related to illegal private alteration of the wetlands
  • Raising more than $2,000 from local residents to support wetland preservation
  • Canvassing the neighborhood about wetlands-related issues, including the proposed development