Chestnut Hill Reservation

Resource Management Plan

(Expanded Beaver Brook Reservation, including the recently-acquired portions of the former Metropolitan State Hospital and former Middlesex County Hospital) Towns of Belmont, Lexington and Waltham Division of Urban Parks and Recreation North Region, Fells District

The expanded Beaver Brook Reservation consists of the historic Beaver Brook Reservation (the first Reservation in the Metropolitan Park System), the recent 254-acre transfer of a portion of the former Metropolitan State Hospital (MSH) property and former Middlesex County Hospital. The MSH property acquisition also includes a 54-acre parcel under a conservation easement. The expanded reservation is strategically located amidst a series of open space parcels including Belmont's Rock Meadow Conservation Land, Massachusetts Audubon Society's Highland Farm, Waltham's Waltham Woods, Middlesex County Hospital open space, and Lexington's Concord Avenue Conservation Land. In combination with the open space resources of DCR’s new park, these properties provide an important network of wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities within the metropolitan region. The MSH site has extensive wetlands and woodlands which provide prime wildlife habitat.

Beaver Brook Reservation

Project Summary

The primary objective of the RMP is to develop short and long-term development, programming, and management strategies that will enhance the recreational, ecological, cultural, and visual resources within the expanded Beaver Brook Reservation. The protection and enhancement of the ecological system will be a guiding principle in developing this plan. Both passive and active recreation opportunities will be promoted and enhanced, while protecting and enhancing the Reservation as a living system.

Public meetings and associated public review of the RMP occurred in 2006. DCR renewed the public process with a public meeting on November 17, 2009 and a public comment period that ran until January 8, 2010. The RMP was adopted by DCR’s Stewardship Council on March 5, 2010.

For further information about the ongoing management and maintenance of these properties, implementation of the RMP, or ways to get involved, please contact


DCR District Manager
Tom Walsh
(781) 233-9328
Thomas.M.Walsh@state.ma.us