Friends of the North 40
 Friends of the North 40   

The North 40 Currently Provides Valuable Habitat

By considering development, the Town risks the potential 50% loss of a beloved open space and natural resource


See more information about Habitat in the links to the left.


To guide our stewardship of the North 40, we advocate that the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission's Centennial Reservation Land Use Plan be adopted for the North 40.


We recognize the benefits this land presently holds for the Town. In addition to important historical and cultural components, the North 40 is contiguous to Morses Pond and other waterways and wildlife corridors in Wellesley and beyond. It’s an important piece of an environmental puzzle, and its fragmentation will have negative consequences. A look at bio-maps, natural heritage areas and bird atlases for Massachusetts tells us that the largest decline in forest and habitat is in our southeastern suburbs. The North 40 is and has been a functioning ecosystem providing all three components of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.

In addition, the North 40 sits atop an aquifer, is part of a Zone II Mass DEP Wellhead Protection Area, and contains a sensitive vernal pool. The North 40 is currently providing the exact same values to our town as Centennial Reservation, Town Forest, Fuller Brook Park, Boulder Brook Reservation and other neighborhood parks.

Despite all the comfort we take in Natural Resource Protection Development, and Dark-Sky lighting, these protections only make a development situation less terrible. By considering development, the Town risks the potential 50% loss of a beloved open space and natural resource; the introduction of any artificial nocturnal light will harm if not destroy plants and animals.

(See "Lighting" link at left.)

Centennail Reservation Land Use Plan
Town of Wellesley Natural Resources Commission Land Use Plan for Centennial Reservation (formerly Centennial Park) 1997.
Centennial Land Use Plan.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.8 MB]

Purchase and Sale Agreement Between Wellesley College and Town of Wellesley

Article 6 Permitted Exceptions: Future Development Conditions

6.02 (a.) The Buyer will maintain in perpetuity no less than fifty percent (50%) of the total Property area as open space, which may include playing fields, wooded areas, paths and trails and other active and/or passive recreational areas and facilities. For the purposes hereof, the term “open space” may also include conservation land, forested land, recreation land, agriculture land, corridor parks and amenities such as small parks, green buffers along roadways, undeveloped land with particular conservation or recreation interest, or any open area that is owned by an agency or organization dedicated to conservation. Without limiting the foregoing, that portion of the Property that lies between Route 135 and the Cochituate Aqueduct (as each of the same currently exists) will remain in a wooded and natural condition, provided that this requirement will not be deemed to restrict periodic clearing of invasive vegetation and other care and maintenance measures that are consistent with sound forestry management practices;


(Note: The six acres located between Route 135 and the aqueduct will count towards the 50% open space requirement. Note also that open space can mean playing fields, and facilities to support the fields, such as bathrooms and parking lots.)


The North 40 was purchased in part with $10 million dollars of funding from the CPA. The Community Preservation Committee has proposed the acreage to be under deed restriction to the Select Board. Watch the discussion from the November 14 Select Board meeting starting at 1hour 26minutes.

The Wellesley Trails Committee submitted a Statement on Protecting the North 40 to Town Boards. Read it here:

Trails Committee Statement on Protecting[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [219.9 KB]

Ribbon Cutting at the Vernal Pool

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.

Vernal Pool Cleanup

Thanks to all of the volunteers who help to maintain this important resource area. Learn more and see photos.

(Spotted Salamander photo courtesy of Joy Marzolf)

Weston Road Gardens will soon be in bloom and bounty! Have a look.

There's even a video:


Wellesley Selectman Barbara Searle and Wellesley College's Ben Hammond sign closing papers. Photo courtesy of Wellesley Townsman

Thank you!

Over 500 People Explored the North 40!

Raptors, Goats and You!

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

Frank Lloyd Wright

NRC's 10 Reasons to Preserve North 40
NRC N40 10 Reasons.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.1 MB]

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