Considering Brookline's size and proximity to the City of Boston, the number, acreage, and ecological variety of town sanctuaries are impressive. Brookline sanctuaries contain wetlands, ponds, streams, and vernal pools. These resources are distinct from parks and are valuable for holding floodwater and replenishing ground water. Since 1972, wetlands have been protected under the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act.
Sanctuaries are open from dawn to dusk and are defined by passive use. Please observe the conservation area rules and regulations (PDF).
We invite you to visit and explore a full list of our sanctuaries!
TOUR THE NATURE SANCTUARIES!
Click the links below for video tours & sanctuary brochures, or contact our office for information:
- D. Blakeley Hoar Sanctuary
A 25-acre natural area adjacent to the Baker School, with a single loop trail with boardwalks, part of the Saw Mill River, a red maple swamp, vernal pools, hemlock-beech forest, and wooded upland.
- Hall's Pond Sanctuary/Amory Woods
A 5-acre sanctuary adjacent to Amory Playground, including a natural pond, wetlands, upland area, formal garden, short trail with wetland overlooks, handicapped accessible trail, gazebo and benches.
- Lost Pond Sanctuary
A 30-acre tract of natural, undeveloped land in the southwest corner of Brookline, adjacent to other conservation land, including trails with boardwalks, kettle pond with viewing platform, and upland areas.
- Dane Park
A 17-acre passive wooded park (not a sanctuary, but follows many of the same rules as other sanctuaries) off Hammond St., including volcanic rock formations and a small wetland, a path system with benches, accessible loop trail, and outdoor learning space.
If you are interested in donations to the town's nature sanctuaries, please view the Sanctuary Donation Guidelines (PDF).
Permits are required for visits by organized or large groups, for example school or educational field trips, organized nature walks, and volunteer groups, to ensure the sanctuaries are being used and managed appropriately. Please contact us for a free group permit by calling 617-730-2088.
Brookline Conservation Land Trust Properties
In addition to sanctuaries owned by the Town of Brookline, there are three conservation areas owned and maintained by the Brookline Conservation Land Trust. Although the trust is a private organization, its land is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
All of these properties are located in residential neighborhoods, and the trust asks that visitors respect the privacy of the neighbors:
- Friedman Park: A small, quiet area opposite the historic Town Green at the intersection of Walnut Street and Warren Street.
- Cottage Street Preserve: A two-acre area maintained in its natural state for wildlife and watershed protection. It is located off of Cottage Street at the intersection of Goddard Avenue.
- Sargent Beechwood Nature Walk: A one-acre area that is ideal for bird-watching. Access is available by walking up Chestnut Place and bearing left across Sargent Beechwood Road before the gate to the Sargent Estates.
Brookline Conservation Land Trust Contact Information
The Brookline Conservation Land Trust may be contacted at 617-383-4643 or via [email protected].