Today we visited the grounds of Francis William Bird Park, a beautiful old property maintained by the Trustees of the Reservation. The park was commissioned by a local industrialist, Charles Sumner Bird, as a place of relaxation for his 2000 mill workers. He hired designer John Nolen to construct "a sequestered breathing place–a combination of broad, sun-swept meadow lands, speckled with shadowed glades, higher tree-screened knolls for the lover of shade, the whole set to the music of a babbling stream." Nearly a century later his vision of a place of relaxation for nearby city dwellers is alive and well.
The entrance opens out onto this wide expanse of green, stretching down a gentle slope. We couldn't resist taking our shoes off and running down into the inviting grass.
At the bottom of the hill is this sweet little toddler sized playground. Even though they were much too large for this play space, our kids enjoyed the testing out the diggers and monkey bars.
Across the way is a huge enclosed lot filled with every type of ride-on toy you can imagine. A three-year-old's paradise! If only we had known about this place when our kids were smaller.
I loved the Reading Room of comfy chairs nestled in a shady evergreen grove complete with a Little Free Library near by.
One of the neatest parts about the park was the Treasure Hunt which had us searching for different clues as we hiked the entire perimeter of the park. Three miles later we arrived at a treasure box with a notebook where we could add our names to the list of successful explorers.
As we followed the clues, we crossed stone bridges, waded through a babbling brook, watched geese cruising around the pond, searched out scenic waterfalls, and petted more than a few dogs.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the park and can't wait to come back again soon!