By Danielle Ray, Senior Reporter
There has been a lot of chatter regarding the town common in recent months. Outlines for making changes or improvements to the publicly owned space at the town center while maintaining its gazebo and monuments were discussed at February and March Select Board meetings with the Historical Commission.
“We approved a town common policy that basically said that the goal is to keep the common in its current historically accurate state,” said Selectboard Chair Karen Cruise. “The historical commission wanted us to say that we wouldn’t make any changes on the common, but we reserved the right to do it after consulting with the commission. However, the goal is still to keep it from changing much.”
The town common features a breathtaking view of the Boston skyline and is surrounded by historic homes and buildings. Cruise said that town commons were historically used for grazing animals, and as such the common should remain an open space and free of “modern trees”.
“You don’t want to plant a tree that was not there back then,” she said.
In related news, town resident and Advisory Committee member Jake Roczniak spoke to the Select Board in March about forming a beautification committee, saying he had talked with Agricultural Commission member Lauren Stimson about the proposed project.
“Some local landscape architects were going to put together a plan with trees and bushes,” Cruise said. “We explained to the resident that we really weren’t going to do much to the common but if there is a proposal for a tree replacement, we would look at it.”
Cruise said they encouraged Roczniak to have the beautification committee encompass the entire town, not just the common area.
“We said that having a town common beautification committee might be too narrowly focused,” Cruise said. “We sent the resident off to try to gather together some interested people for an informal committee, the goal is to make recommendations to the Select Board.”
Roczniak said he is in the process of gauging interest from residents and gathering information on the potential beautification committee.

The Town Common policy aims to keep the common in its current historically accurate state, taking into account landscaping and architectural features. CREDIT: Danielle Ray