About Lawrence Meadow

Lawrence Meadow Map

Lawrence Meadow is an historic 30-acre parcel located in the eastern part of Waltham at 225-227 Beaver Street on the corner of Waverley Oaks Road and Beaver Street. This parcel is an integral part of the Western Greenway open space corridor. It is one of Waltham’s most significant and endangered open space properties as assessed by the Waltham Land Trust.
A compelling case for conserving this beautiful landscape includes its high ecological, historical, passive recreational, and environmental values.

The WLT has long envisioned a connecting path traversing the site as a key link between the southern and northern sections of the public Western Greenway trail. The juncture would also provide ready access to the adjacent Wayside Rail Trail being built within a block of the Waverley Oaks Road and Beaver Street intersection.

Until recently, Lawrence Meadow (LM) was part of a larger 58-acre property known as the Waltham Field Station, and owned by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This was one of the parcels donated in 1923 by Waltham’s greatest benefactor, Cornelia Warren, through her estate. In March 2022, the City of Waltham finalized the purchase of approximately half of the field station (28-acres south of Beaver Street). The City of Waltham, fearing liabilities and costs, declined to purchase the 30-acre LM parcel because of the environmental contamination on site.

That acquisition left the fate of the northern parcel, Lawrence Meadow, in jeopardy. The University still owns this parcel.

Find Lawrence Meadow on Google Maps. 

Located on the eastern slope of the historic Cedar Hill Estate, Lawrence Meadow is a mix of deciduous upland woods, gently sloping meadows, and a 16-acre wetland marsh comprising one of Waltham’s largest wetlands. A cattail marsh and bog provide habitat for many species of migratory birds, waterfowl, and insects.

For many years, the Waltham Land Trust has actively supported preserving the 58-acre Waltham Field Station site including Lawrence Meadow as critically important open space and an integral part of the Western Greenway corridor/trail system.

Since the City’s purchase of the southern parcel, WLT has stepped up its focus on Lawrence Meadow examining the challenges and opportunities of permanently preserving, cleaning up and restoring the property as a nature reserve with public trail access.

Lawrence Meadow has needed cleanup for many years.  We are delighted to learn that UMass is preparing a cleanup effort to remove buildings that are in various deteriorated states.  The expected completion date for this is in the summer of 2024.

This area is a densely populated one. And with an expected increase in population density over time, preserving this land is vital to the area.

The Waltham Land Trust earlier began talks with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst regarding the permanent preservation, cleanup, and establishment of a protected natural reserve with public trail access. We look forward to continuing talks with the University to make this all a reality.