Download the Bird Park Memorial and Honorary Gift Program Brochure (1.64M pdf)
|Property Description|| 89 acres | Established 2003|
Francis William Bird Park is an 89-acre landscaped park created and endowed in 1925 by Charles Sumner Bird, Sr. and his wife Anna in memory of their eldest son, Francis William Bird (1881-1918). Over three miles of walking paths wind through the park, traversing streams via old granite bridges and passing through rolling, grassy meadows punctuated with mature shade trees, tree groves, and ponds.
Noted landscape architect and town planner John Nolen designed the park. A social reformer, Nolen believed that parks were critical to the health of urban residents and should be designed to provide a place of respite and relaxation in nature. In his original design plan, Nolen wrote that this park should be "a sequestered breathing place in the heart of East Walpole…a combination of broad, sun-swept meadow lands, speckled with shadowed glades, higher tree-screened knolls for the lover of shade, the whole set to the music of a babbling stream." Although generations have passed since the park was created, much of Nolen's original vision continues to this day, as visitors enjoy the recreational, social, and educational opportunities that this scenic landscape offers.
Recognizing the need for many forms of recreation, the Bird family at the same time provided a sister property for active sports. Now known as Ellis Field, the nearby 7-acre recreation area (at June and East Streets) was originally used by workers from the Bird mills. It continues to serve the community today as the site of active team athletics.
|Over 3 miles of walking paths (easy walking) crisscross the park; a portion of the walkways are surfaced.|
|Bike racks, benches, trash receptacles, public restroom (open seasonally). Park includes a "tot lot" with children's play equipment, four tennis courts, a basketball backboard, and outdoor stage.|
|Property Acquisition History|
|Gift, with endowment, of the Francis William Park Trust in 2003.|
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When to Visit:
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
Admission Fees & Permits:
Regulations / Advisories:
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
How to Get There:
From inside the 128 belt:From Route 128 /Rte I95 split in Canton, take I-95 south towards Providence, RI. Take Exit 10 and turn right onto Coney Street heading towards Walpole. Follow for 0.8 mile (crossing over Route 1 at traffic light) and proceed to one of three parking areas as follows:
To Rhoades Avenue parking area: Turn right onto Pleasant Street. At fork in road, turn left onto Wolcott Avenue. Take first left onto Rhoades Avenue. Parking area (25 cars) is 0.1 mile on left. This parking area is shared with the church; please use other parking areas on Sunday mornings. To Pleasant Street parking area: Turn left onto Pleasant Street and turn into parking area (10 cars) 0.2 mile on right. Use this parking area to get to tot lot. Please respect 10-car parking limit. To Polley Lane parking area: Turn left onto Pleasant Street and then right onto Polley Lane in 0.3 mile. Parking area (60 cars) is 0.1 mile on left.
From outside the 128 belt and points south and west:Take I 95 to exit 9 to Rte 1 north. Once on Route 1, follow to the second(?) light. (The Walpole Mall and a Taco Bell will be visible on the right. Take a left here onto Coney Street. Then follow the directions as above to get to the parking lots.
Public transportation:Bird Park is on the 34E busline, accessible either from the Forest Hills subway T stop on the Orange Line or from the Franklin commuter rail line at Norwood Central station (walk one block on East Hoyle St. to Washington St.; cross street to catch south-bound bus). Park's main entrance gate is on Washington Street in Walpole, opposite June Street.