Creation of the Middlesex Fells and the Metropolitan Park System: A Documentary Film

We’re Making a Film!

It is easy to take the Fells for granted.  It is just there, nearby, ready for us to enjoy nature minutes from our homes.  Elsewhere in the Boston area there are other nature reservations, such as the Blue Hills, Beaver Brook, Breakheart, and attractive parkways that connect these special places.

None of this was a sure-thing.  Over the course of 25 years, passionate people such as Elizur Wright conceived of and agitated for setting aside the Fells as a nature preserve for generations to enjoy.  They used the social media of the day–newspaper articles, pamphlets, lectures, and letters–to promote the cause and create the critical mass that led to the creation of the Fells, the Metropolitan Park System and the parkways in 1894–125 years ago.

It’s a compelling story that has resonance today as we try to maintain what others created so long ago, and protect it from encroachment.  So we decided to make a documentary film to tell the story. The more we look into it, the more we learn about the people, the connections, the obstacles, and the perseverance.  We learn about how skills learned during the abolitionist movement were used to convince people to create these first-of-their kind parks in urban settings.


“We” is Friends of the Fells board chair Jeff Buxbaum, with former FOF Executive Director Mike Ryan, FOF board member Anita Brewer Siljeholm,  authors Alison Simcox and Doug Heath, and recent Melrose High School grads Nicholas Hoffman and Thomas Michaels.  We’ve got a good start — take a look! Maybe you’d like to join us? Do you have skills in camera work, video editing, sound, music, photography, storytelling? Have you been wanting to learn?  Get in touch!