A meeting of the Charles River Dam Advisory Committee on January 25th will consider how the different paths forward could impact recreation and community use on the Charles River, in the South Natick Dam Park and in Grove Park (the two public properties on either side of the river/adjacent to the dam).
To support this discussion, the Advisory Committee wants to learn more about your priorities for these areas. You can share your input via the following survey link through January 16, 2022: https://www.
Don’t hold back
Since receiving a series of less-than-stellar inspection grades from the state in recent years, the town of Natick, as the dam’s owner, decided it had better either repair the 87-year old earthen dam, or breach and remove it. The high-hazard structure impounds about 160 million gallons of water, and if the dam fails it would do some real damage to its surroundings. Town Meeting in 2019 approved $1.25M in funds to fix the dam, but since then the prospect of just getting rid of it has been been under discussion.
Some say breaching the dam will be an environmental boon, and rid the town of a financial and safety headache. But some who live along the river fear the unknown of what breaching could bring, from stinky sediment to increased flooding to loss of property. Others are more focused on the aesthetic loss, with the earthen dam and accompanying spillway (aka, the waterfall) a popular gathering and photo spot.
Congresswoman Clark visits South Natick dam to outline future water quality improvements
Charles River dam advisory committee
Leslie Pano says
Removal of the dam will put my property into a flood zone. Opposed to removal. There is a list of members in the Natick Dam committee, but no information on how to contact them.
Bob Brown says
Sorry to hear that Leslie. Flood insurance is not cheap either, as we know too well. While Natick doesn’t list contact info for the dam committee members, a bunch of them are town employees (including the public works director) whose contact info is available via the Natick Web site.
Alan S. says
Why can’t the town sell the land to a group such as the trustees of reservations who can then maintain the historical look and also build & maintain walking trails on the undeveloped side of the river.