Lynn Woods Secured: Over 2,000 Acres Protected From Development by DCR and Greenbelt Partnership

Lynn Woods Secured: Over 2,000 Acres Protected From Development by DCR and Greenbelt PartnershipSource: The Lynn Woods Reservation Official Website
Sam Cavanaugh
Published on January 03, 2024

In a significant move for environmental preservation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) along with Greenbelt, Essex County's Land Trust, announced a partnership to safeguard over 2,000 acres of Lynn Woods from potential development threats. Gifted with a conservation restriction by the City of Lynn and its Water and Sewer Commission, who oversee the woodland, Lynn Woods is now permanently shielded from the reach of urban sprawl.

DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo hailed the move as a chance to enhance the well-being of Massachusetts' citizens by maintaining access to such natural havens. "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 Arrigo in a statement obtained by mass.gov. This commitment ensures the park's longevity as a recreational hotspot and a source of clean water for the residents of Lynn.

The long-term preservation efforts were championed by state officials and local advocacy groups, notably the Friends of Lynn Woods. Senator Brendan Crighton praised these stakeholders for their unwavering resolve to protect this regional asset. "Lynn Woods is a tremendous natural resource that is enjoyed year-round by our entire region and beyond," Crighton told mass.gov. He extended his gratitude towards all partners involved for ensuring the Woods' endurance as a place of recreation and sustainability.

A balance between growth and environmental stewardship was advocated by Representative Dan Cahill, who acknowledged the necessity to harmonize progress with conservation. "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," Cahill explained as reported by mass.gov. By restricting future development, he sees it as a pledge to protect an area that not only defines the region's character but also fosters the health of its citizens now and in posterity.

Originating as one of the nation's earliest municipal parks, Lynn Woods now extends over 2,100 acres. The sanctuary, designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, offers over 30 miles of trails and houses three vital water reservoirs. Despite historical development pressures, including a proposed golf course and changes to Route 95, the Woods have remained, largely thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the Friends of Lynn Woods and legislative actions, a green refuge for those in the urban environs seeking a connection to nature.

Beyond recreation, Lynn Woods offers environmental advantages critical in today's climate. Kate Bowditch, Greenbelt's president, praised its importance as a feature that cools urban areas, essential to combat the rising temperatures due to climate change. "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," Bowditch described in discussions reported by mass.gov. The preservation effort thus holds a beacon of hope against the compounding environmental threats of the modern age.