Town Forest Committee

Applicable portions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 45, Section 21 that provide for town forest management in Sherborn read as follows:

The selectmen in the town...shall appoint a special town forest committee to manage and care for that portion of the public domain known as forest....The special town forest committee shall be composed of three members who shall choose their own chairman, and shall serve without compensation. One member of said committee shall be appointed each year for a term of three years.

Town Forest Description

Sherborn has about 1000 acres of public-access land, about half of which is Town Forest. As its name implies, Town Forest land is mostly wooded, and consists of a series of parcels running in a crescent belt from the Charles River in the southeast to near the Framingham border in the northwest. The public has free access to all parts of the forest and numerous trails are available for walking or riding.Maps of trails within all public access land (published by Sherborn Forest & Trails Association) are available at the Sherborn Library.

The Town of Sherborn established the Sherborn Town Forest at the Annual Town Meeting in March of 1938 and accepted a gift of 18 acres of land on Pine Hill from Henry M. Channing in honor of Robert H. Leland, who had long served as Town Counsel. In the early 1940's Henry Channing was instrumental in securing an agreement with Shell Oil Company that achieved two worthy objectives; (1) Instead of running its planned pipeline through the center of Town, Shell purchased land elsewhere and (2) following construction, Shell returned ownership of the land to the Town. Mr Channing, with help from a group of like-minded citizens, saw to it that this land become Town Forest.

Town Forest Firewood Program

The Town Forest Committee announced that it would continue the program in which volunteers clean up dead hardwood trees in the forest, buck and split it to stove/fireplace lengths, and offer the result to Town residents for a below-market fee.  The amount offered is a pickup truck load which is about 1/3rd of a cord. The cost is $80 per load for senior Sherborn citizens and $115 for non-seniors. The fees are to be paid by check to the Town of Sherborn and cover delivery and help in stacking.

Aside from providing a service to the citizens of Sherborn, the intent of the program is to reduce fire hazard in the forest and improve public access by clearing trails.

Moreover, there is increasing appreciation that burning firewood is “greener” than burning fossil fuels. A growing tree absorbs carbon dioxide, releases oxygen, and stores carbon. When a tree dies, it decays and oxidizes, releasing carbon dioxide. It does not matter whether the tree is burned in a fireplace/stove or decays in the forest. Over the course of its life cycle the net product of carbon dioxide for a tree is neutral. Alternatively, in burning fossil fuels we are oxidizing carbon that was stored millions of years ago. The result is that burning wood in place of fossil fuels DECREASES net release of carbon dioxide.

The Town Forest Committee expresses its thanks and appreciation to the eighteen volunteers who did the work last year. These were: Ken Adams, Bob Ambos, Jane Brome, Doug Brodie, Alan Dunn, Scott Embree, John Higley, Julianne Huber, Jon Higley, Kelly McClintock, Bruce Muldoon, Dwight Robinson, Bill Thomas, Tom Trainor, Susan Tyler, Tom Urmstron, Charlie Williams, and Stuart Williams

To request delivery of firewood call Bob at 508 655 1045. In addition, to establishing a date and time, please tell him what you will be burning it in (to make sure you get the right size) and where you will be stacking it. The firewood crew prefers that you store it inside. If you must store it outside, it must be protected from direct contact with the ground.

Committee Members

Name Title
David Killeen Chair
Margaret Robinson Clerk
Bob Ambos Member
Betty Dowse Associate Member
Daniel Tyler Associate Member