The park includes riverfront, community garden plots, meadows, wooded hillsides, wild blackberry bushes, wetlands, a pond, and an open plateau overlooking the river valley. The park is used for walking, jogging, canoe launching, fishing, field games, kite flying, picnicking, nature study, cross-country skiing, sledding, and birding. The park is known to attract birders who come from far and wide to observe uncommon birds, particularly during spring and fall migration.
Charles River Canoe & Kayak has a rental facility in the park.
Size: 57 acres Longest Walk: 1 mile Acquired: 1890 and 1980
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Owner & Administrator Websites
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City of Newton purchases 25 acres on Winchester St. from Thomas Ranney, Thompson Baxter et al., and Ellen Doyle for the Almshouse and Poor Farm.
Almshouse moves from Waban to a new building constructed by the City.
The Almshouse and Poor Farm operate at this site until 1964 when the Almshouse (then known as the City Infirmary) closes.
The site is transferred to the Recreation Commission for a playground, known as the Winchester Street Recreation Area.
The City takes approximately 30 acres of land abutting the Winchester Street Recreation Area from the Working Boys Home with partial funding from the Massachusetts Urban Self-Help Program. The new park is called Novitiate Park.
The Jewish Community Center opens on adjacent land.
The City makes extensive improvements to the Winchester Street Recreation Area and Novitiate Park with funding from a second Urban Self-Help grant.
Accessible Trails, Biking, Birding, Boat Launch, Canoe & Kayak Rental, Charles River Walk, Cross Country Skiing, Farm or Garden, Historic Site, Meadow, Picnic Tables, Pond, Sports Fields, Toilet Facilities, Vernal Pool, Woods Trail
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 83035 0004A and other parcels
Advocates & Caretakers:
Woodcock Meadow and Birding Information:
Birding in Nahanton Park, by Alison Leary
Natural Resources Inventory and Management Plan (Mass Audubon Society, 2011)
Newton’s Almshouses, by Michael J. Clarke
June Doin’ in 2015
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