Steve Park

For Natural Resources Commission

Letter of Candidacy

Steve Park at Lienau Memorial Trial

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC). As a 14-year resident and a dedicated volunteer in both town government and youth sports, I believe deeply in public service and in the values of the NRC. If elected, I will be a steady advocate for the NRC’s core mandate: to manage, protect, and preserve Wellesley’s parks, open spaces, tree canopy, and watersheds, and to be a leader of sustainability.

The multitude of Wellesley’s parks and natural places are part of what makes our community unique. This is why, for almost seven years, I have served on the Wellesley Trails Committee. As both a committee member and chairperson, I have spent hundreds of hours maintaining our town's 47 miles of trails, guiding walks, and working closely with the DPW, NRC, and other town boards. This work has enhanced my appreciation for our varied parks and open spaces and for the dedication of their professional and volunteer stewards, including the NRC.

As Wellesley continues to grow and develop, the NRC must make the consideration of our natural resources an important part of the conversation. There are recent examples of development proposals that would have impacted tree canopy, wetlands, and adjacent woodland. I commend our elected leaders and participating residents for making note of natural resources alongside other priorities such as housing and infrastructure. As a board member of the Wellesley Conservation Land Trust, a non-profit organization that conserves natural lands and advocates for those values, I believe natural resource considerations can support and inform progress. Concord’s Assabet River Bluff project and Boston’s Mildred Avenue project provide current examples where sustainable living and affordable housing goals are jointly met with carefully considered developments. Wellesley can learn from these examples, and the NRC must encourage this type of collaboration.

Steve and Nicole Park

The NRC is also responsible for some of Wellesley’s active recreation areas, and there is much to be done. The Morses Pond Beach and Bathhouse Improvement project is making steady progress, and I will work to bring that proposal to life as soon as possible. After several seasons as a coach for the Wellesley United Soccer Club, I know the effort that goes into ensuring every sports team has space to practice and compete. The recent Field Use Report offers a comprehensive inventory of the town’s fields, courts, and related infrastructure that summarizes the capacity, utilization, and permitting to form a picture of surpluses and shortfalls. The Report makes recommendations for optimizing our existing areas to increase their utility and to provide supporting infrastructure that makes a real difference. I sincerely appreciate how important our fields, courts, and recreation areas are for so many. I hope to improve our facilities in a thoughtful way that respects our natural resources.

The immediacy of the climate crisis compels the NRC to continue its leadership on climate action and sustainability. The NRC's recent Tree Canopy Report outlines a way forward by setting a goal of increasing overall tree canopy cover to reduce greenhouse gasses, mitigate flooding, and support biodiversity. The NRC also leads by example with the Simons Park Lawn Conversion, which demonstrates how an ordinary lawn can be converted into an ecologically functional landscape that supports at-risk pollinators. I am eager to continue engaging residents in climate awareness with similar actionable strategies that contribute to our resilience.

The NRC agenda is busy, and I would like to help move that agenda forward. With over 20 years of experience as a quantitative analyst at a local financial software company and an Economics degree from Dartmouth College, I am a problem solver who gets things done. If elected to the NRC, I will dedicate my balanced perspective and work ethic in service of our town. Please vote for me on March 5.

Steve Park