Newton Conservators logo fall photo
 

Newton Park and Conservation Lands

  Kesseler Woods  

LOCATION: South Newton

 
Kesseler Woods photo
 

Location and driving directions on Google Maps to:

Lagrange Street  

Other maps and aerial photos:   Newton Assessor   Bing   USGS

Connects to : Sawmill Brook Conservation area

SIZE: about 25 acres

LONGEST WALK: trail system not yet open
(a longer walk that includes this park)

ACQUIRED: 2004

ADMINISTERED BY: Conservation Commission

FEATURES:

One of the last large, privately owned pieces of open space in Newton, Kesseler Woods was threatened with development in 2003. At the urging of the Newton Conservators and other open space advocates, the City of Newton was successful in protecting a majority of this property through an innovative partnership with a private developer, Cornerstone Corporation.

The city paid about one third of the $15 million purchase price, using city and state Community Preservation Act funds, with the developer paying the rest. About two thirds of the land will be permanently protected as open space, and the developer also agreed to include 12 affordable homes among the condominiums it will build.

By connecting the existing 20-acre Sawmill Brook Conservation Area with the 5-acre Bald Pate Meadow Conservation Area, this new property will create a 50-plus-acre swath of green in this part of the city. In addition to recreational opportunities, this area will preserve much-needed wildlife habitat, enhance groundwater recharge, and provide other environmental benefits.

Development of a trail system is ongoing.

HISTORY:

?? Boston Edison acquires land for possible future utility use
2001 Newton voters adopt Community Preservation Act to fund conservation land acquisition
2002 Massachusetts Attorney General orders Boston Edison's successor, NStar, to dispose of surplus land holdings
2003 NStar announces Kesseler Woods will be sold, and files preliminary subdivision plan for 68 single-family houses on large lots.
2003 City of Newton determines that city cannot afford to buy entire 42-acre property, even with CPA funds. City enters into successful joint bid with Cornerstone Development.
2004 Purchase is completed. Cornerstone begins work on single-family houses near Brookline Street.
2005 Planning continues for construction of multi-family housing, including affordable units, off LaGrange Street.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Background on purchase

Boston Globe editorial: A Good Plan for Newton

Environmental Show video

Panoramic view

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