Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Knight's Brook in Winter

These pictures are taken of Knight's Brook which winds its way slowly from ground-water discharges from the boiling springs aquifer through the Frink Farm on its way toward Little Bay.

I am putting these photos here because the DOT is looking to purchase conservation easements and/or land around Knight's Brook as mitigation for wetlands impacts (12 acres) from the expansion of the Spaulding Turnpike. The Commission voted this month to propose to jointly acquire a conservation easement with the DOT in exchange for using its conservation fund to help acquire the land or easements.

The photo above was looking from a field toward the woods on the Hislop property. This one is taken on the Brook itself which has a good flow even though it is the dead of winter.

It is a small watershed but the area around the Library, meeting house and the Old Town Hall is a large sand and gravel aquifer which releases water slowly throughout the year. The consistent flow makes the brook valuable from a water quality and habitat perspective.

Not that I would suggest drinking it.... there are beavers, muskrats and other animals that use the water and the aquifer itself is contaminated due to the former military base. The Town dump is also opposite its headwaters. It's unknown what impact that may have on Knight's Brook.

The land also has recreational opportunities and there are numerous trails that can be used, at least when it is not impounded by beavers which is frequently a problem.

There is a network of trails maintained by individual property owners. One of the more difficult questions will be how much and what types of public access are appropriate.