32

Helen Heyn Riverway

Guidebook Section: South

Location

 

Overview

This section of the Charles River Footpath runs along the border of wetland vegetation through a wooded floodplain. It was constructed through a cooperative effort involving the Parks and Recreation Department, the Conservation Commission, the state, the Newton Conservators, and Newton Knights of Tunsion.

Size: 30 acres

Longest Walk: 2 miles

Owner & Administrator Websites


Photo Gallery

First three photos shown here. Click a photo to view the complete slideshow or click here to browse the complete gallery.

History

The land was part of the estate of Robert Gould Shaw II. During the Civil War, Shaw’s cousin, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, a young white officer from a prominent Boston family, volunteered for the command of the first black regiment to be recruited in the North. The family’s estate house is now part of the Mt. Ida campus of UMass Amherst, formerly the site of Mt. Ida College

1970s

Part of Shaw land developed as Wells Avenue office park.

1990s

Volunteers made the trail. Once a planned crossing over College Brook is built, the path will run continually through the floodplain without a detour through Wells Avenue parking lots.

2006

Conservation area renamed in honor of Helen Heyn, a founding member of the Newton Conservators. Heyn served on the Newton Conservation Commission for 42 years as a member, executive secretary, and associate member.

Helen Heyn Riverway Map


 

Features

Charles River Walk, Conservation Area, Meadow, Vernal Pool, Woods Trail
 

Additional Information

Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 84034 0001 and other parcels

A statue of Col. Robert Gould Shaw and his troops, designed by noted sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, is on the Boston Common. Col. Shaw was played by actor Matthew Broderick in the 1989 movie, Glory.

The trail is part of the Blue Heron Trail

A walk along this trail was described in the Massachusetts Sierran in 2004.