Resource Management Plan and Visitor Services Master Plan
Walden Planning Unit
Walden Pond State Reservation holds unique recreational, natural and cultural significance, owed to the residence of Henry David Thoreau near the northern pond shore from July 1845 to September 1847. Residing in a self-built one room cabin, Thoreau’s experiences and observations during this time served as the cornerstone for his 1854 book Walden; or Life in the Woods. The Reservation is synonymous with Thoreau’s legacy, widely perceived as a symbol of the ecological and environmental movement, and registered as a National Historic Landmark.
Walden Pond State Reservation was placed into public ownership in 1922 with a gift from Edith and Emerson Forbes, Edward W. Emerson, and C. Fay Heywood to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The gift was predicated on preserving Walden Pond’s shores and woodlands for public enjoyment, and allowing the property to be used for specific recreation activities including swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking. Management of the Reservation was assigned to Middlesex County. The Reservation remained under County management until 1975, when it was turned over to the Department of Environmental Management (now DCR). As part of the terms of the transfer, a Walden Pond Advisory Board was created by the Massachusetts Legislature that was to advise the state on the “care, maintenance, use, and development” of the Reservation. Today, the Walden Advisory Board is an active partner with DCR in managing the Reservation.
RMPs are working documents that consider the past, present and future of a property. RMPs include an inventory and assessment of existing conditions and activities, enabling DCR to establish guidelines for future management. The Walden Pond State Reservation RMP process will also include a Visitor Services Master Plan that will be prepared in coordination with the Walden Advisory Board and supported by the work of an environmental consulting firm.
Public input will be an important component of the process that enhances communication and cooperation with visitors, stakeholders, partners, and the surrounding communities. An initial public meeting was held at the Concord Town House on December 8, 2010. A second public meeting will be held in the spring 2011 to discuss the draft RMP management recommendations and to receive public input on the Visitor Services Master Plan.
Comments should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com (please note “Walden RMP” in the subject line) or by U.S. mail to the Office of Public Outreach, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114. Please note that public comments received by DCR will be posted in their entirety to the DCR website, and that no content, including personal information, will be redacted. Questions about the RMP can be directed to the above-mentioned email or mailing address or to the DCR Updates phone line at 617-626-4974.