Echoes of Conservation in Stoughton

By Scott MacFaden, Director of Land Protection

A great blue heron ponders the shores of Glen Echo Pond.

A great blue heron ponders the shores of Glen Echo Pond.

Wildlands welcomed another community into our portfolio of Community Preservation Act (CPA) partners with a recent completion of an 80-acre CPA Conservation Restriction (CR) in Stoughton. 

Situated a short distance from busy Route 139, yet possessed of a feeling of remoteness, the Glen Echo property includes extensive frontage on Glen Echo Pond, a highly scenic and mostly undeveloped hidden gem straddling the Stoughton/Canton boundary, multiple vernal pools, woodland hiking paths, and rocky bluffs that afford striking views of the pond and the surrounding landscape. A small portion of the property extends into neighboring Canton. 

The town used CPA funds to acquire this long-time preservation priority in 2011. Prior to the town’s acquisition, the Glen Echo site enjoyed a long and colorful history. For much of the 20th century, it hosted the Glen Echo Resort which offered boating on the pond, band concerts, bowling, swimming, and for a time, benefited from a trolley connection to Route 139. In its heyday urban dwellers seeking relief from the summer heat flocked to the pond’s pristine shores. Following the resort’s demise, the Glen Echo site sat dormant for many years, awaiting its next incarnation. 

With its resort past now safely in the historical domain, the Glen Echo property has an exciting future as one of Stoughton’s premier open space reserves. Our CR ensures that most of the property will remain in perpetuity as protected open space available for a wide range of passive recreational pursuits, including hiking, nature study, kayaking, and cross-country skiing. The six acres not covered by our CR will eventually host facilities for active recreational pursuits, likely to include tennis courts and soccer fields. 

Congratulations to all of the Stoughton officials and volunteers who worked diligently to ensure that the Glen Echo’s next chapter as an open space treasure will endure for centuries to come.