Francis William Bird Park
Francis William Bird Park was established in 1929 by Charles and Anna Bird in memory of their son, Francis William Bird. It is a private park open to the public.
Description. The park, covering 89 acres, has over 5 miles of walking paths, many unique footbridges, two ponds (one of which was a swimming pond in the park’s original design of 1926), wooded and open areas, an open-air stage called the Music Court, tennis courts, a roller blading / street hockey / basketball court, and two playgrounds with play equipment for children. The park provides a place for quiet relaxation; active organized sports take place at a nearby sister, property, Ellis Field, located at East and June Streets.
Public Access. The main entrance to the park
is located on Washington Street at June Street (across from the commercial
bakery, Peggy Lawton's) and is accessible from the 34E bus. Parking is
available in a parking area on Polley Lane (running between Washington Street
and Old Post Road)
History. The park was designed by John Nolen, a noted city planner and landscape architect, in the mid-1920s. Nolen was hired by the Bird family to create a special place of respite and enjoyment for the residents of the area, many of whom were workers in the Bird mills and other manufacturing operations that had sprung up along the banks of the Neponset River since the 1700s.
From its early days until 2003, the park was owned and managed by a Park Trust originally established by the Bird family. In March 2003 the Park Trust transferred the property and its nearby sister property, Ellis Field, to be owned, managed, and protected in perpetuity by The Trustees of Reservations. Bird Park is now the 94th “reservation” of The Trustees of Reservations, a statewide, member-supported, private, not-for-profit conservation organization whose mission is to protect land of special scenic, historic, or ecological value for the public’s benefit.
If you would like more information about the park, visit The Trustees of Reservations’ website (www.thetrustees.org), email the park manager (email@example.com), write the park (75 Wolcott Avenue, East Walpole, 02032), call the park office at 508-668-6136, or stop by the bulletin boards when you visit.
The Friends of Francis William Park. The Friends group helps support the park, in cooperation with its owners, through such activities as organizing volunteer clean-up days in spring and fall, organizing some of the events held at the property, and on occasion helping to raise funds for special projects. For more information about the Friends, write PO Box 94, East Walpole, MA 02032.