• Environment protection standards ignored

  • Misguided brush removal destabilizes soils

  • Biking on steep, natural-surface trails creates ruts, leading to erosion

  • Reliance on repairs by volunteers can’t keep pace with damages

  • City Council approved 6 of the 13 official trails for shared bike use; the remaining 7 were approved for hiking only. Bike use on single-use hiking trails ignores Council approved plans.

  • Illegal trail construction and trail alterations tacitly allowed

  • Guiding ecosystem protection policies disregarded

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  • Endangered and threatened species not protected 

  • Mountain bikers cut illegal trails through fragile habitat

  • Policies prioritize bike recreation over wildlife and habitat preservation

  • More trail miles per acre than ANY Open Space in the region 

  • Twice the trail density of comparable preserves

  • Unregulated bike access in stark contrast with management of other preserves

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  • Gift of 47 acres from environmental visionary forms the cornerstone of Waterdog

  • Officials refuse to close Illegal Soho trail built in Preserve

  • City fails to honor contract to maintain “unspoiled area in perpetuity” 

  • Single-track natural-surface trails are damaged by mountain biking; bikes should be limited to the 6 approved multi-use trails

  • Number of trails and unlimited bike access makes Waterdog a regional bike-park destination, disrupts wildlife and damages natural habitats

  • Hiker safety jeopardized by bikes riding narrow trails designated for hiking only

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"We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”
—Pope John Paul II

  • Open Space receives less than 1% of funding on City Parks

  • Parks Director acknowledges deterioration and dependence on volunteers

  • Lack of funding leads to poor management of the open space

Your Voice is Needed

We have an opportunity to stop the destruction if you Take Action.

Ask Belmont Officials to Preserve Waterdog in the Open Space Master Plan by emailing the comments below.

Please personalize with your own comments and concerns.

Dear Parks and Recreation Commissioners and City Council,

I support designating Waterdog Open Space as a Nature Preserve. In the new Master Plan, all Open Space policy decisions should prioritize conservation and habitat protection, including:

  • Designate narrow natural surface trails for hiking only, consistent with Best Practices of other open spaces

  • Close illegal Open Space trails, and restore damaged ecosystems and fragmented wildlife habitat

  • Enforce the closure of all open spaces from sunset to sunrise to protect wildlife and ensure safety; cite violators

  • Prohibit e-bikes and motorized vehicles on all trails; cite violators

  • Allocate park spending to equitably fund desperately needed Open Space maintenance

  • Implement ecosystem management Best Practices for habitat, vegetation and trail maintenance

Please incorporate these policies into the new Open Space Master Plan!