The Newton Conservators is involved a variety of activities related to the preservation and management of parks and open space in Newton. Read a narrative history of the Conservators.
Some highlights of our work are the following:
1961 Newton Conservators plants trees in Edmands Park and causes Newton to alter zoning laws concerning construction sites
1966 City of Newton forms Conservation Commission at the urging of the Conservators
1967 Initiates the summer Environmental Science Program for junior high and high school students as a joint project with the Newton School Department. Supported the program fully between 1975 – 1981 and continues to provide financial support.
1968 Assists in the creation of Webster Conservation Area.
1969 Helps arrange conference of community and planning groups at Boston College to outline open space conservation for decades ahead.
1971 Advocates for Newton’s Floodplain/Watershed Protection Ordinance to restrict the development of wetlands so that they are preserved for wildlife and flood control.
1971 Priscilla Ordway donates Ordway Park to the Conservators
1973 Webster Vale added to Webster Conservation Area.
1979 Addition of 28 acres to Nahanton Park
1981 Publishes “Visit Your Parks,” a map locating the city’s public open spaces with detailed maps of the individual parks and conservation areas, depicting the walking trails.
1982 Addition to Sawmill Brook Conservation Area
1982 Addition of 16 acres to Kennard Park
1983 Addition of the Beacon Street section of Cold Spring Park
1985 Addition to Sawmill Brook Conservation Area
1989 Nahanton Park developed
1991 Participates in Commonwealth Ave. Task Force; helps to replace “highway” plan with the “green space” plan.
1992 Second edition of Visit Your Parks
1992 Grants program to foster open space conservation and study in Newton schools
1993 Helps the Parks & Recreation Commission develop procedures for accepting improvements on public land donated by private organizations
1994 Together with the Newton League of Women Voters persuades the Board of Aldermen to affirm the Parks & Recreation Commission’s responsibility toward parks and the preservation of open space and to add four alternate members, who might serve as open space advocates
1995 Helps the Parks & Recreation Commission develop guidelines for considering the declaration of Commission land surplus or transferring land to other City Departments. Development of Parks & Recreation internet site begun by Conservators volunteers.
1996 Advises the Parks & Recreation Commission to redevelop Weeks Field as both a park and playing fields. Sponsors an influential Open Space Forum to discuss current issues.
1996 Weeks Field & Park developed
1997 Successfully advocates for a full-time Environmental Planner in Newton, the purchase of parcels adjacent to the Flowed-Meadow conservation lands and the reconstruction of Kennard Conservation Area bog bridge. (President’s report)
1998 Assists in the passage of the Telecommunications Ordinance. Were instrumental in transferring the 30 acre South Charles River Reservation along Wells Ave. to the Conservation Commission. Assists in passage of zoning amendment to provide for clustering campuses of religious or educational institutions. Focuses on preserving the 20 acres of woodlands to be sold by Andover-Newton Theological Seminary and the 40 acre Kesseler Woods, which is to be divested by Boston Edison. (President’s report)
1999 [summary needed here] (President’s report)
2000 [summary needed here] (President’s report)
2001 Forms the Newton Community Preservation Alliance, which was successful in getting a Community Preservation referendum on the ballot and orchestrating a successful campaign for passage.
2002 Begins our successful advocacy of city use of Community Preservation Act funds to preserve 30 acres of Kesseler Woods.
2003 Receives a gift of land for conservation at the end of Elgin Street in Newton Centre. The land was subsequently incorporated in the Webster Conservation Area.
2003 Publishes our Map Guide, showing trails and features at the city’s parks and conservation areas.
2003 Arranges the acquisition of conservation land adjacent to Dolan Pond, with the city taking ownership and the Conservators holding a conservation restriction.
2004 Arranges the acquisition of the Angino Farm, a 2.5-acre farm with a farmhouse, barn, and field, for use as a community farm, to be owned by the city. Produces our first TV show, on the Angino Farm, for NewTV.
2004 Receives a gift of land for conservation on Dexter Road, near Laundry Brook.
2005 [summary needed here] (can President’s report be found?)
[more entries needed for period after 2005]
2015 Assists in city purchase of the Waban Hill Reservoir by agreeing to accept a conservation restriction on the land.
2016 Led effort to restore the Woodcock Meadow at Nahanton Park.
2017-2019 Advocacy by the Conservators for the preservation of Webster Woods led to the appointment by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller of a Webster Woods Advisory Panel, which includes three Directors of the Conservators.
2018-2019 Working with the city for the Conservators to accept conservation restrictions on other parcels previously acquired using CPA funds, including land adjacent to Crystal Lake. State law requires a third party, such as the Conservators, to hold a CR on land bought with CPA funds..