DCR and Greenbelt Announce Conservation Restriction on Lynn Woods, Permanently Protecting the Park From Development

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust (Greenbelt), today announced they have partnered to protect more than 2,000 acres of Lynn Woods, as part of a decades-long effort with the City of Lynn to permanently  preserve the park and ensure it remains an important recreational resource for the region and a supplier of clean water for city residents. DCR and Greenbelt were gifted a conservation restriction on Lynn Woods Reservation by the City and the Lynn Water and  Sewer Commission, who own and manage the land.  “At DCR, we have a tremendous opportunity to improve the health and happiness of our residents across Massachusetts by preserving access to beautiful  parks around the state like Lynn Woods,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “We are grateful to Mayor Nicholson, Greenbelt and the Friends of Lynn Woods for their partnership in ensuring this remarkable landscape is permanently protected from development  and that it will serve as a source for recreation and clean water for the region for generations to come.” “Lynn Woods is a tremendous natural resource that is enjoyed year-round by our entire region and beyond,” said Senator Brendan Crighton. “Thank you to DCR, Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust and the dedicated advocates, particularly the Friends of Lynn Woods, who fought tirelessly to protect this gem. Due to their efforts, Lynn Woods will continue to be a source of recreation and sustainability for generations to come.” “This will ensure that this incredible public resource will be protected for present and future generations,” said Representative Peter Capano. “While progress and development are essential, we must also recognize the intrinsic value of Lynn Woods and the beauty that it contributes to our community,” said Representative Dan Cahill. “I believe in striking a balance between growth and preservation. Restricting future development of our public lands is a commitment to safeguarding the natural splendor that defines our region and sustains  the well-being of current and future generations.” “Lynn Woods is a treasure in our community, and we are committed to prioritizing preservation initiatives that support our outdoor recreation  spaces,” said City of Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson. “Permanently conserving the Woods ensures that this space will continue to be enjoyed for generations.”  “What a wonderful place Lynn Woods is – a huge, green treasure for the residents of Lynn and all of us in the region! In addition to all the benefits of its walking trails and water supplies, Lynn Woods is nature’s air conditioner for the neighborhoods of Lynn,” said Kate Bowditch, president of Greenbelt. “Greenbelt’s analysis has identified Lynn Woods as the most valuable ‘urban cooling’ property in all of Essex County, and its permanent protection will mean those benefits will be there for future generations, who may need Lynn Woods even more than we do now.”   “The forward-thinking Lynn residents who, one hundred and thirty years ago, donated their land and money to give us the Lynn Woods deserve to have their act of generosity remembered,” said Jane Kelley, president of the Friends of Lynn Woods. “I can think of no better way to thank them then to preserve and protect their gift for future generations.”  Lynn Woods was one of the first – and for a time the largest – municipal parks in the country. In 1870, the then Lynn Water Board, now known  as the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission, acquired the land that would become Breed’s Pond following a destructive fire in the city the previous year.  In 1889, Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Boston’s Emerald Necklace, advised the City  of Lynn that the site should be left undeveloped and preserved in its natural state for local residents to enjoy. In 1890, Lynn voters approved the creation of what was then the 998-acre Lynn Woods. The park, which stretches through Lynn, Saugus and Lynnfield, has since grown to the more than 2,100 acres it is today and includes more than 30 miles of trails for hiking, running, skiing, biking, and walking, as well as three water reservoirs. Over the years, Lynn Woods Reservation has become an important place for those in the surrounding urban communities seeking open, green space, however, it faced threats of development over the years with proposals including a golf course and rerouting Route 95. In 2001, the state acquired 40.5 acres of the reservation in Saugus to protect it from a threat of development on the shores of Walden Pond. This conservation recreation – one of the state’s largest – will now permanently protect the precious forestland from future development and ensure it continues to not only provide outdoor recreation, but also protects treasured natural, cultural and water resources for the public. As an urban park, the forestland also serves as an important resource in protecting area residents from the impacts  of climate change. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Brian Arrigo, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at [email protected].

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