Rediscovering the Native landscape is also the story about the changes wrought by the past 300 years of development and the current efforts to save our rivers and scarce resources. It helps to understand that more development has occurred in the past 300 years than in all the previous years put together. Today, we understand more than ever that our natural resources are finite, and although we cannot erase the developments of the past, we can work to correct some of the damage to the natural landscape that we carelessly caused. Each of the area's many visionaries (Thoreau, MacKaye, Stoddart, etc.) has made a significant contribution to enhance our current understanding of the fragility of the environment. We can be proud of their legacy and our contributions to the environmental movement.
The conservation movement has taught us to value our rivers, if not for food or transportation, for health and pleasure. The Sudbury, Assabet and Concord, is a “Wild and Scenic River”. The Nashua River is an international model of a river cleanup -- now attractive and usable after years of neglect. These rivers and their tributaries, along with the ponds, great ponds, reservoirs and lakes, provide a wealth of water sports and recreation: canoeing, boating, fishing, wildlife observation and photography. Each town, along its portion of river, has put-ins for boats and river/stream-side open spaces for birding, fishing, and picnicking.
|Willow Guzzle Reservation, Concord, MA|
|Hayes Land Conservation Area, Harvard, MA|