Newton Park and Conservation Lands
LOCATION: South Newton
and driving directions on Google Maps to:
Other maps and aerial
photos: Newton Assessor Bing
Connects to : Sawmill Brook Conservation area
about 25 acres
LONGEST WALK: trail system not yet open
(a longer walk that includes this park)
ADMINISTERED BY: Conservation Commission
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.
||Boston Edison acquires land for possible future utility use
||Newton voters adopt Community Preservation Act to fund conservation land acquisition
||Massachusetts Attorney General orders Boston Edison's successor, NStar, to dispose of surplus land holdings
||NStar announces Kesseler Woods will be sold, and files preliminary subdivision plan for 68 single-family houses on large lots.
||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.
||Purchase is completed. Cornerstone begins work on single-family houses near Brookline Street.
||Planning continues for construction of multi-family housing, including affordable units, off LaGrange Street.
Background on purchase
Boston Globe editorial: A Good Plan for Newton
Environmental Show video