FARANDNEAR, THE TRUSTEES, SHIRLEY, MA
The Trustees of Reservations recently acquired 89 acres of property in the Town of Shirley, Ma which hosts a beautiful natural landscape of forests, wetlands, and a running brook as well as cultural landscape features such as open fields, meadows, an old cranberry bog as well as a significant conifer collection and mature specimen trees. Stewarded by a family since 1891 as a summer home and permanent residence in more recent years, the Trustees in formally opening the property to the public, embarked on a master planning process to establish a greater vision for the property, to develop the visitor experience, and specifically to locate a visitor center as well as bathroom facilities, and to provide parking on the property.
The planning process included historic research of the property and its land uses, topographic analysis, conducting an existing tree assessment and management plan, design of pedestrian and vehicular circulation, program analysis and investigation into partnering opportunities, and guidelines for future development. Working with the Trustees and the local community, and through analysis of the rich, cultural resources, a master plan was created for this community park that highlights the preservation of its natural features, trails and water bodies, as well as the cultural landscape features in the creation of an arboretum and pollinator garden, preservation of the open grasslands and continued maintenance of the historic cranberry bog.