Conservation Commission Report on the Dams of Cold Spring Brook Park


Lower Dam, Cold Spring Brook Park

Lower Dam, Cold Spring Brook Park

The place we know as Cold Spring Brook Park was deeded to the Weston Community Club (now the Weston Community Association Inc.) in 1950 as a memorial to Weston residents who served in World War I and World War II and dedicated to the memory of Lewis and Emma Wilder Parkhurst. The focal points of the park have been the two dams, the lower of which was breached in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

In an effort to better understand the history and issues of the dams in the park, The Weston Conservation Commission has prepared a report using Town Meeting reports, Conservation Commission minutes and other available records.

The report includes the following Conservation Commission suggestions to the Weston Community Association regarding those structures:

1) As clearly stipulated in the deed to the property, exercise reasonable diligence in maintaining the premises, including the dam which still stands, and implement a program for doing so. This should include engaging the services of a qualified engineer to assess conditions, especially the large voids at the base of the upper dam, leakage through the face of it and around the wing wall on the left (road) side of the dam. The downstream lean of the structure should also be monitored and addressed.

2) Make a concerted effort to cultivate a good working relationship with all State agencies concerned with dams, rivers, streams and watersheds, including the Agency of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife.

3) Take a proactive approach in addressing issues regarding the structures in Cold Spring Brook Park. While property damage would be minimal should a collapse occur, the mess and cleanup after would be significant. It would be to the Community Association’s advantage to be seen as doing something about the condition of its structures, rather than as waiting or hoping for the remaining dam and walls to fall over. The conditions reported more than thirty years ago exist today and will not fix themselves.

4) Take appropriate steps to control and eliminate purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed and any other invasive species found within the park, including the stream bed, and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure a healthy stream ecology.

5) Comply with all upcoming requirements of HB37 regarding registration and inspection of dams in Vermont, and comply with all recommendations that result.

6) Establish a funding mechanism for needed repairs and other work using the proven ability to raise funds and complete projects involving other holdings instead of requesting Town funds.

For more information and to download a copy of the report, CLICK HERE.




You Can’t Save What You Don’t Know You’ve Got and You Can’t Lose What You Never Had

   With help from residents, friends and visitors, the Weston Conservation Commission is assembling an online database of plant and animal life called The Field Guide to Weston, using the open-source platform of Everyone can contribute observations, photos, and even sound recordings (think peepers!) from in and around Weston.
   Spring is a great time for spotting wildlife and we invite you to add your own entries to The Field Guide to Weston. An information session will be held on Saturday, April 11, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Wilder Memorial Library in Weston for anyone interested in participating in this fun (and educational!) project. Use the Contact Us tab at the top of this page to send your questions or to request more information.

When did you see your first robin this year?

Open Seat

The Weston Conservation Commission has an opening for one of its seven seats. Members must be residents of Weston and are appointed by the Selectboard. The roles and responsibilities of Conservation Commissions are spelled out in the Vermont State Statutes and more information can be found on our “About” page and also on the web site of The Vermont Association of Conservation Commissions.

Knowledge of, or experience with, GIS mapping, social media and web sites (we use WordPress) is useful but absolutely not necessary. What is necessary is a strong interest in land use, flood resilience, and the cultural, historic and scientific resources of our town. Continue reading