Friends of the North 40 is a grassroots organization that supports proactive stewardship of the 46 acres of open space acquired by the Town of Wellesley.
We advocate for preservation of this valuable natural resource, investing in its habitat, and ensuring that it continues to be a resource to current and future town residents for passive recreation and environmental education.
We are hopeful for permanent Conservation protection under Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution (described below) because an un-fragmented North 40 yields economic, social and environmental benefits for townspeople today and for generations to come.
Friends of the North 40 is a campaign of citizens at large who believe all Town open space is critically valuable and deserves protection. We partner with all stakeholders including town departments, officials, and environmental groups to forward this objective. Join us as we advocate for the preservation of the North 40 and all our important natural resources.
Can our Town meet its many needs AND preserve the North 40?
These 46 acres provide clean air and water, flood control, carbon storage, valuable wildlife habitat, and various forms of passive recreation. The North 40 shares many of the same benefits of our Town's other conservation lands, such as Boulder Brook Reservation, the Town Forest, Centennial Reservation, Fuller Brook Park; and is just as cherished.
The North 40 is a fully functioning natural resource that provides valuable benefits to our environment, our residents, and our Town. Wellesley College has generously allowed its use for passive recreation by our residents for decades. Friends of the North 40 want to preserve this critically important town asset for ourselves and generations to come.
The North 40's forty-six acres form a triangle bounded by Central Street, Weston Road and Turner Road in Wellesley, Massachusetts:
Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution states:
“The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose.”
Any land subject to Article 97 may not be used for other purposes, sold, or removed from protected status without the town undergoing a municipal and state legislative process, which includes approval by two-thirds of the Massachusetts legislature.
Currently only 9.5% of Wellesley's open spaces are protected as parkland or conservation land under Article 97. You can see a map of them here. This puts Wellesley on par with Newton and Natick, but behind Needham (at 22%). Adding the North 40's forty-six acres would push us over 10%.
The North 40 was purchased in part with $10 million dollars of funding from the CPA. The Community Preservation Committee had a discussion of the North 40 deed restriction at its September 11 meeting.
The skies cleared for a beautiful ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the boardwalk at the North 40 Vernal Pool, which provides both access and protection to this important resource.
Selectman Jack Morgan and NRC Director Brandon Schmitt addressed the large crowd in attendance, and lead volunteer Bill Giezentanner had the honor of cutting the ribbon. The boardwalk was funded by the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and built with over 500 hours of volunteer labor.
See the video about the boardwalk here.
There's even a video:
Over 500 People Explored the North 40!
Frank Lloyd Wright