Thank you Charles Eliot because way back in the late 1800’s you saw a need to preserve special spaces for Massachusetts residents to enjoy. You proposed that special lands should be overseen by a non profit organization and be free from taxes. Thankfully the Massachusetts Legislature worked together and in 1891 they voted to establish The Trustees of (Public*) Reservations “for the purposes of acquiring, holding, maintaining and opening to the public…beautiful and historic places…within the Commonwealth.” For the complete history, you can check this out: http://www.thetrustees.org/about-us/history/
Which brings me to our adventure to Worlds End in Hingham, Massachusetts. World’s End is a 244 acre peninsula that juts out into Hingham Bay and it’s one of the special spaces that the Trustees of Reservations purchased in 1967. This parcel of land was originally owned by a Mr. John Brewer and he had big plans to place 163 homes on this pristine piece of paradise. He even hired the world renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to lay out the groundwork for the housing project. The acres of tree lined carriage roads Olmsted designed still remain to this day on the property.
And as we read more about this piece of property we found out that not only was it in the running to be the United Nations Headquarters, but the site was also considered to house a nuclear energy facility. Thankfully, the Trustees of Reservations stepped in to preserve the property in perpetuity.
So all of that background to get us to our 5+ mile hike around the peninsula. Just imagine the perfect hiking weather, low 60’s degree temperature, no wind and no bugs, a combination of wide open carriage roads, with winding trails by the water, beautiful vistas, including a view of the Boston skyline, a healthy dose of history and strategically placed benches. A picture perfect day.
Because we choose to be members of the Trustees of Reservations by paying a membership fee, we get free entry or discounted entry to all the reservations, a wonderful book with a fold out map that describes each of the properties and other great benefits. All of this for or the price of a nice meal out. If I sound like I’m endorsing this organization, it’s because I am, I think everyone who loves the outdoors should become a member.
But back to Charles Eliot and all the forward thinking people in this world who have a dream and don’t back down. I don’t think Charles Eliot knew the impact of his idea would result in the preservation of over 100 properties spanning over 25,000 acres in Massachusetts, so people like me can enjoy the beauty and wonderment of this state I call home.