|Location: Greenways Conservation Area lies just south of the Sandy Burr Country Club on Cochituate Road (Route 27/126). It is bordered to the west by the Sudbury River.
Access: Parking is available at St. Anne's Church or at the end of Green Way. Entrances may be found across the street from St. Anne's or at the end of Greenway.
General Description Greenways Conservation Area is comprised of 98 acres owned by the Town of Wayland and Sudbury Valley Trustees. The area encompasses open fields, wet meadows, the banks of the Sudbury River, fringing wetlands, and mature upland woods. Greenways offers an extensive network of trails (roughly 2 miles in all) with many loop options. The trails are quite level, and so offer easy walking, but some pass over very low-lying areas and are prone to be wet or at times impassable.
History: In the mid 1600s, a daughter of the Noyse family married Reverend Parris (from Salem, MA) and settled on the farm surrounding what is now known as the Noyse-Parris House, the oldest house in Wayland. In the late 1800s, Francis Shaw, a wealthy Bostonian, began purchasing land in the area and by 1900 owned 849 acres, including that which is now the Greenways Conservation Area. In 1911, Edwin Green bought 219 acres from Shaw and built the large brick house that still stands. (Note: The architect who designed the house, Samuel Mead, also designed the Wayland Public Library; not the similarities). In 1926, Frank Paine purchased the land from the Greens. The Paines used 80-90 acres for hay for the livestock (cows and horses); extra hay was sold to the neighboring Mainstone Farm. The Paine's maintained a pet cemetery near the
river; their 21 dogs and one monkey are commemorated. The sandy beach by the bend in the river was constructed for the children. In 1995, the 166-acre Greenways Conservation Area was bought by the Town of Wayland and the Sudbury Valley Trustees. The large brick house will become the center of an assisted living facility and the northeastern corner of the property will become a residential development.
Natural Habitat/Wildlife: Greenways is a wonderfully diverse area, offering superb opportunities for botanists, biologists and birders alike. The diverse cover of open fields, weedy fields and woodlands makes the flora and fauna extremely rich. The wet meadows in the northwest are home to myriad species of wildflowers. Butterflies of all varieties are attracted to the open fields and the stands of milkweed. Common birds include grassland birds, woodland birds, and waterfowl. Year-round residents include sparrows, woodpeckers, pheasants, grouse and raptors. Common migrant species and summer resident species seen here include rose-breasted grosbeaks, orioles, tanagers, warblers, woodcocks, tree swallows, and night hawks. A spring-fed, cold water, rock-bottomed stream south of the Noyse-Parris House provides habitat rare here in
Wayland. Brook trout fingerlings can be found here. Vernal pools harbor wood frogs, fairy shrimp and mole salamanders - listen for the frog choruses in early spring.