The Conservators holds conservation restrictions on several open space parcels in Newton. These legally enforceable restrictions prevent development of these properties beyond their current use; each has unique provisions to preserve and protect the parcel. The Conservators commissions monitoring reports to be sure that the restrictions are being followed.
We hold conservation restrictions on these properties:
In the early 1990s, Andrée and Richard Wilson donated a half-acre parcel, located above the Sudbury Aqueduct in Newton Centre, to the City of Newton. It is maintained by the Conservation Commission as the Wilson Conservation Area. In 2012, the Wilsons donated to the Conservators a conservation restriction on the open space of the adjacent land parcel, on which their house was located. Andrée Wilson, a noted conservationist and founding member of the Conservators, passed away in 2016.
In 2013, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority declared surplus the Waban Hill Reservoir (located in Chestnut Hill, not in Waban). The site was offered to the City of Newton for purchase at a price that did not reflect the development potential of the land, provided that the City would dedicate the land as open space. The City asked the Newton Conservators to hold the conservation easement on the property. The Board of Alderman approved the purchase of the land in 2015.
In 1981, the property was purchased by the City of Newton from the Chestnut Hill Country Club through a federal grant to enable access to the land by all Newton residents. A 2009 conservation restriction granted to the Newton Conservators by the City of Newton permanently protects the property from development if it is no longer used as a golf course.
Newton’s last farm was saved from development in 2004 when the Newton Board of Aldermen approved the proposal by the Newton Conservators to use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to buy the farm. The history of the city’s acquisition of the parcel is on the city website.
When the City of Newton acquired two parcels adjacent to the Crystal Lake bathhouse, it resold the house at 230 Lake Avenue to a private owner. However, the city retained the rights to a lakeside path from the Crystal Lake beach to the existing parkland at Levingston Cove. The Conservators holds a conservation restriction on this pathway, which covers part of parcels 62001 0003 and 62001 0003A on the city database. The history of the city’s acquisition of these parcels is on the city website.
Webster Park (Dolan Pond)
The Conservators was instrumental in securing CPA funds to purchase open space land to add to the Dolan Pond Conservation Area. The parcel for which we hold the conservation restriction is number 33022 0036B on the city database. The history of the city’s acquisition of the parcel is on the city website.
Elgin Street (Wilmerding) Conservation Land
A parcel of land adjacent to Webster Conservation Area was purchased by the city using CPA funds in 2004. The parcel is located at 190 Elgin Street, and is number 65004 0042 on the Newton Assessor’s Database. The history of the city’s acquisition of the parcel is on the city website.
Pending Conservation Restrictions
The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) requires the city to grant a conservation restriction to an outside organization on any land purchased with CPA funds. As of early 2019, the Conservators is negotiating with the city to accept CRs on these parcels:
- 30 Wabasso Street, in the Flowed Meadow Conservation Area
- 20 Rogers Street, adjacent to the Crystal Lake bath house
- Kesseler Woods