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Help Us Advance Our Work with a Gift This Winter

Spot Pond in winter by Mike Ryan

Promoting the conservation, appreciation, and sustainable enjoyment of the Fells has never been more important.

To meet this urgent need, we recently released our 2021-2024 Action Plan, an ambitious effort to dramatically expand our work to protect habitats, build the next generation of stewards by introducing more than 1,000 kids to the Fells, and create a better visitor experience for everyone.

We hope you’ll be inspired to support us in implementing the many projects and initiatives in our plan.

 

Our work to support the Fells is more urgent than ever.

We’re responding with energy and purpose to address pressing needs to protect the forest:

  • With a $75,000 earmark secured by the Fells Caucus, we recently kicked off a major initiative, “Inspiring a Culture of Care and Stewardship”. We will use behavior-change communication strategies to improve visitor experiences and lead to measurable improvements in visitors’ care and stewardship of the Fells.
  • We’re hiring a Field Programs Manager who will manage all field conservation projects in the Fells, tripling our ability to support the volunteers and service groups who help us restore habitats and maintain the Fells trail system.
  • We’re greatly expanding our invasive plant management program with a new award from DCR’s Partnership Matching Grants program. The first year will include hiring a consulting firm to develop habitat restoration plans for three key habitat areas in the Fells.

To build on this momentum and activate key elements of our plan, we need to dramatically grow our financial capacity over the next year.

Help us activate our Action Plan with a gift today.

DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DOUBLE YOUR GIFT IN NOVEMBER: Generous members have pledged to match all donations up to a total of $10,000 for gifts received by November 30, 2021. Help us maximize this match by donating today!

 

With gratitude,

Chris Redfern
Executive Director

 

 

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.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote the conservation, appreciation, and sustainable enjoyment of the Middlesex Fells Reservation.

Vision Statement

We envision a Middlesex Fells Reservation where nature and people thrive in harmony, supported by a diverse and caring community conserving it for future generations.

Key Strategies

  • Build a community that shares an appreciation for the Fells and comes together to enjoy, protect, and advocate for it.
  • Develop initiatives to protect and enhance the ecology of the Fells.
  • Provide opportunities for people to learn, enjoy, and care for the Fells.
  • Support DCR in the sustainable management of the Fells.
  • Grow our capacity to fulfill our mission.

Key Strategies

Plan and execute our work through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Wright's Tower

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:

Calendar

Nothing from December 5, 2021 to December 10, 2021.

View our full calendar of Programs and Events


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COMMON QUESTIONS

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.

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