Newton Students Look to Protect Woods


A group of middle school students in Newton is making a push to protect what neighbors call a “much loved” forest.

The area known as Webster Woods is located off of Hammond Pond Parkway, and is owned in part by the city and the state.

Also included in the Woods is a section recently acquired by Boston College.

In a recent letter, shared with necn and NBC10 Boston, students at the Charles E. Brown Middle School say, “if this land were to be developed, it would prove disastrous to the local environment. This is land that is central to the Webster Woods park, land that has been used by residents for over fifty years as a place to go for long walks with friends, family, and their dogs. More than just the impact to the residents of Newton at the destruction of one of the largest remaining areas of open space it would also severely impact the wildlife.”

The students specifically cite the salamander population near a vernal pool as being a concern.

For its part, a Boston College spokesperson says, “Boston College has not made any plans for the land that we acquired from Congregation Mishkan Tefilia in the 2017 sale. We have focused our efforts on renovating the existing building, which is the centerpiece of the 24-acre purchase, and incorporating the parking area for university parking.”

In the meantime, the city also created the Webster Woods Advisory Panel to investigate the best course of action to protect the area.

The panel’s Chair, Beth Wilkinson, says the group is “seeking the advice of professionals to determine the best way to the preserve the woods. We hope to have information to report soon.”

The students end their lettering by saying they want to “inform the public of something that will greatly impact their city, and its wildlife and open space.”

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