Join Our Efforts: Support the Fells with a Gift this Winter
Fells visitation has soared as visitors seek relief from home isolation. We are pleased that many new visitors have discovered the pleasure and comfort that nature offers, but the habitat and wildlife are taking a beating.
With your help, we’re stepping up to support the forest so everyone can enjoy it while still protecting the plants and animals that live there.
Please support the Fells with a gift today.
Highlights of our forest protection efforts:
- We recently relaunched our Trail Adopters program, deploying more than two dozen volunteers to evaluate trail conditions and identify rogue (unauthorized) trails.
- In partnership with Earthwise Aware, our volunteers are documenting off-trail activity and collecting data on bio-pollution (read: dog poop) to inform decision makers and conservation-oriented organizations of these threats to habitats.
- We’re concerned that efforts to expand recreational uses are being prioritized over protecting habitats and wildlife, threatening the Fells’ biodiverse forest ecosystem. We’re documenting this trend to advocate for a more balanced approach where recreation and nature can coexist sustainably.
- We restarted volunteer events this fall to address the mounting impacts of trash and invasive species on the forest.
We also provided much needed time in nature to hundreds of children this summer.
Our staff worked non-stop to plan and offer camp programs safely and responsibly this summer. In addition to giving more than 700 children the benefits of time spent in nature, parents received a much-needed break.
Join our efforts: volunteer with Friends of the Fells!
We’ve been heartened by the outpouring of interest in helping care for the Fells.
We’re always on the lookout for experienced walk leaders, people with graphic arts, photography, videography, or other creative skills, people willing to advocate with elected officials, nature lovers, and people that can lead or contribute to special projects.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can get involved!
We can’t advance our work without your support – so please make a gift today.
Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation
Forever the People’s Forest Park
In 1894, Medford’s George Davenport greeted the Fells becoming “a great natural park” with these words:
“For here we have a succession of well clad rocky hills, rising and falling like the billows of a great sea, within whose hollow troughs lie hidden pleasant vales, ponds, cascades, ferny brooks, sylvan retreats, wild swamps and fragrant groves.”
Elizur Wright’s experience of this wild rugged landscape inspired him to agitate in newspaper articles, pamphlets and speeches for the Fells to become “devoted to forest culture and preservation, science, education and rational recreation,” meanwhile forging alliances with others who shared this vision.
In 1892, journalist and city planner Sylvester Baxter and landscape architect Charles Eliot were appointed by the Metropolitan Park Commission to begin laying out the boundaries for the Commonwealth’s new park system. Eliot wrote these famous words:
“The life history of humanity has proved nothing more clearly than that crowded populations, if they would live in health and happiness, must have space for air, for light, for exercise, for rest, and for the enjoyment of that peaceful beauty of nature…”
Today the Fells endures as a destination where visitors can relish the peace and beauty of nature in the midst of exceptional protected landscape. In 2018 Harvard Magazine featured the Middlesex Fells Reservation in its Explorations & Curiosities section.
Special features at the Fells include Bellevue Pond, Wright’s Tower, Lawrence Woods, Spot Pond, and over 100 miles of trails. Virginia Wood, the site of a vanished mill village called “Haywardville”, features a self-guided interpretive history trail. Lawrence Woods is an area of the Fells south of South Border Road with many wide “fire roads”, views and vernal pools. The Long Pond parking area offers access from Winchester to a nature trail and scenic areas. The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Fells headquarters is located on the shore of Spot Pond at 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, and houses the Middlesex Fells Visitor Center.
The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is dedicated to the protection and harmonious use of the Fells, promoting awareness, policies and programs which honor and preserve the landscape and heritage of this public resource for current and future generations.
1. Instill awareness and appreciation of the Fells as a valuable natural and historical resource which will foster a sense of stewardship within the larger community.
2. Develop programs for recreation, enjoyment, and study of the Fells which are harmonious with landscape and habitat.
3. In cooperation with others, develop and advocate for policies designed to preserve and protect the Fells Reservation.
The Fells is the People’s forest park, and the Friends of the Fells strives to make sure there are programs and opportunities that will fit with the way anyone wants to enjoy what the Fells has to offer. Information about our diverse array of programs and events can be found throughout the pages of this site. Some of our most popular programming includes:
Babes in the WoodsStarts: 10:00 AMEnds: January 19, 2021 - 11:30 AMLocation: Bear Hill Parking Lot, 100 Fallon Rd, Stoneham, MA 02180, USA
Nature Hike: Bare trees and Naked Shrubs at Long PondStarts: 9:15 AMEnds: January 21, 2021 - 11:30 AMLocation: Long Pond Parking Lot, S Border Rd, Winchester, MA 01890, USA
View our full calendar of Programs and Events
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View the Latest from Our NEW Youtube Channel
How Do I Join The Friends?
We are thrilled that you want to know more about joining the Friends of the Fells. Membership in the Friends comes with some great benefits to you, and helps to support our activities and programs for everyone. To join, simply visit our Membership Information page and choose the membership option that’s right for you. You can pay your dues online with a credit card, and your membership packet will be headed your way in no time!
How Can I Volunteer My Time?
We are always on the lookout for those like ourselves who want to give their time and energy to the important cause of preserving our natural landscape for future generations. Whether you want to volunteer one-time or on an on-going basis, and whether you want to get your hands dirty or do your part from indoors, we have a volunteer opportunity waiting for you. Just head over to our Volunteer Opportunities page to find out more.
How Can I Make A Donation?
The Friends of the Fells could not exist with the generous support of our donors. There are many ways to make a contribution, and if you want to help us, we want to help you find the right one. One our Donate page, you can contribute online using your credit card. You will also find information about including the Friends in your will, contributing to our endowment fund, and other ways your support can help.
Can I Write Off My Donation On My Taxes?
The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which means that your donation to the Friends is tax-deductible. If you want to make your contribution go even further, make sure to check with your employer’s Human Resources Department to see if they will match your gift! Our EIN is 22-3278797.