• This page, DCR Seeking Ideas for the Preservation and Management of a 10-acre Section of Parkland Along Stearns Reservoir in Framingham, is offered by
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation
Press Release

Press Release  DCR Seeking Ideas for the Preservation and Management of a 10-acre Section of Parkland Along Stearns Reservoir in Framingham

In an effort to ensure the preservation of historically and culturally significant sites and expand access to open space
For immediate release:
1/25/2024
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for DCR Seeking Ideas for the Preservation and Management of a 10-acre Section of Parkland Along Stearns Reservoir in Framingham

Ilyse Wolberg, DCR Deputy Communications Director

Boston — In an effort to ensure the preservation of historically and culturally significant sites and expand access to open space, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced it is seeking creative ideas for the preservation and management of a 10-acre section of DCR property located on the banks of the Stearns Reservoir in Framingham. DCR released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) and potential partnership for the site that’s a natural suburban oasis west of Boston that includes three historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Potential recreational uses for the space include boating, hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking.  

“Our work at DCR is focused on improving the health and well-being of communities across Massachusetts by expanding access to open space and preserving and promoting our recreational, cultural, historical, and natural resources,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “We are looking for ideas and a strong partner who can preserve and manage this beautiful and historic waterfront property, while expanding access to outdoor recreation for the Metro West region.”  

To help foster recreational opportunities in the area, DCR is planning for the design and construction of a boat ramp on the eastern shore of the property, along with a parking area for recreational boaters. DCR is looking for additional ideas to maximize the property’s potential for public use and to provide for the rehabilitation, maintenance, and management of the historic buildings and surrounding landscape, while preserving the natural and cultural character of the site. The RFEI provides organizations and the public the opportunity to propose a potential recreational use for the property, create a partnership; identify development concerns, challenges, and questions; and gather feedback from neighbors and other local stakeholders about potential uses.  

DCR is open to all ideas for recreational uses for the space including, but not limited to, a short-term use permit for part or all of the property for up to 10 years, a long-term lease through DCR’s Historic Curatorship Program for 10 years or longer, passive recreational opportunities, an integrated use that connects the buildings with the natural landscape or a separate use for the buildings that does not connect with the rest of the park, while maintaining public access and use for the remainder of the property. 

The peninsula on Stearns Reservoir was acquired by local machinist George Bullard in the early1800s for construction of his family home, which along with the Barn and the Cottage, both built later on the property, is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1878, the City of Boston acquired the property for the Boston Water Board as part of the Sudbury Aqueduct and Framingham Reservoir construction project, then in 1898 the property was transferred from the City of Boston to the Metropolitan Water Board, and to subsequent water supply management agencies.  

The Bullard House is set close to the road and has a Federal-style front doorway, and an entry hall with a spiral staircase and rooms to either side. It’s a two-story house with a high cross gable roof. The Barn, built between 1878 and 1898, is a three-level gabled building with an exposed structure and unadorned detailing. The Cottage, constructed sometime between the transfer of the property from the Bullard Family to the state in 1898 and 1945, is a small freestanding one room structure with a fireplace, a work bench and cabinets along one side. 

Through its Historical Curatorship Program, DCR has successfully partnered with outside organizations to preserve 24 of the state’s previously unused but historically significant properties. The program includes a diverse range of building types and reuses such as mountaintop restaurant and inn at Bascom Lodge (Mt. Greylock State Reservation in Adams); an urban dining and entertainment venue and community gathering place at Charles River Speedway in Brighton; and a premier events facility at Willowdale Estate (Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield).   

To submit ideas under the RFEI visit the DCR website.  

Check out our video of the site and its features. 

###

Media Contact for DCR Seeking Ideas for the Preservation and Management of a 10-acre Section of Parkland Along Stearns Reservoir in Framingham

  • Department of Conservation & Recreation 

    DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
  • Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback

    Feedback