By Christopher Roberson
LYNNFIELD – After studying the results of a project completed by Lynnfield Girl Scout Lucy Madden which suggested five major conservation improvements, Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Martindale presented an idea that would become known as A Walk on the Wild Side.
“As a result of her project, we decided that the Conservation Commission members should become familiar with each of the conservation lands, so we decided to pick one each month to have a hike in and to see the current conditions,” he said.
The first walk was held on Nov. 10 at Bow Ridge Reservation, and the second walk was held on Dec. 1 at the Bennett Keenan Conservation Area. “We were able to see that the Bow Ridge area is being enjoyed by mountain bikers, who have set up various trails, jumps and courses,” said Martindale. “Others are visiting the Skull Rock area, and the trails seem well used.”
In addition, Martindale said he and the other commission members filled two large trash bags while visiting Bow Ridge. “We would like townspeople who use the land to respect it and leave it as clean as when they found it,” he said. “It should be enjoyed, left in its natural state and certainly not treated like a dump.”
Martindale said that while visiting the Bennett Keenan Conservation Area, questions were raised about improving access to the site or keeping it “protected and preserved.” “If these wonderful conservation lands can be used without people littering or degrading the area, we will certainly work to improve access, set up entrance signs and mark the trails,” he said.
Regarding the duration of each visit, Martindale said the Bow Ridge hike was three hours while it took two hours to trek through the Bennett Keenan Conservation Area.
Martindale said a top priority will be educating residents about Lynnfield’s nine conservation areas. “They are well worth exploring and many of them contain rare and threatened species that you will not see in many other places,” he said. “By making the Conservation Commission members more familiar with each of our reservations, we can identify ways to make them better known, more accessible and better used.”
Going forward, the commission plans to visit Beaver Dam Brook Reservation, Broad Meadows, the Essex West Green Belt, Reedy Meadow, Partridge Island in Reedy Meadow, Rotary Park at Pillings Pond and Pine Hill Lot.