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Bird Park in East Walpole, MA, is a True Oasis in Southwest Suburban Boston

Article and photo by Eric H.

Bird Park photo, Walpole, MA

A tour of New England requires plenty of time -- perhaps a lifetime, as every community in New England offers some form of pure regional flavor.

It's just not the obvious travel guide destinations that ultimately put New England on the map as one of the great regions of the United States., but also the lesser known communities. In the small New England towns and villages, it is easy to find unspoiled, non-commercialized areas that offer true rest and relaxation. A great example of "hidden New England" is Francis William Bird Park in the appealing southwest Boston suburb of Walpole, MA -- a town mixing suburbia with rural farmland. This pastoral gem boasts 89 acres of gentle rolling parkland framed by tall, majestic trees and a scenic part of the Neponset River. Large stone walkways lead you past open, grassy fields, small walking bridges overlooking the water, mature shade trees, tree groves, and ponds. Recreational opportunities abound -- a well-constructed playground for children five years-old and younger, tennis and basketball courts, cross country skiing, picnic areas and a bandstand for concerts.

Architect John Nolen designed Bird Park, which was created and endowed by Charles Sumner Bird in 1925 and his wife Anna in memory of their son Francis William Bird (1881-1925). Nolen envisioned Bird Park as "a sequestered breathing place in the heart of East Walpole, a combination of broad, sun-swept meadow lands, speckled with shadowed glades, higher tree-screened knolls for the lover of shade, the whole set to the music of a babbling stream."

Times have changed, but Nolen's vision has remained at this relaxing oasis, no matter what time of the year. Thankfully, the Trustees of Reservations (overseeing 53,000 acres on 94 reservations in Massachusetts), with a deep respect for Bird Park's beauty, acquired the land in 2003. The Trustee's mission is "to preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts."

They have certainly done just that at Bird Park, as the maintenance of the land looks better than ever. It is unspoiled New England land to enjoy and respect, a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of metro Boston.

Editor's note: Bird Park is located on Washington Street in Walpole, MA. Tel. (508) 669-6136. For more information on the Trustees of the Reservations, visit its Web Site


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