Now that Fuller Brook Park in Wellesley is all neat and tidy, help keep it that way

Fuller Brook Park, Wellesley
Photo credit: Wellesley DPW.

Want to help take care of Fuller Brook Park? The Natural Resources Commission is developing a Fuller Brook Park stewardship program to help maintain this 23-acre crown jewel in Wellesley’s park system. The NRC will hold two workshops in July to train volunteers to recognize and remove invasive plants along the path and stream banks. Space is limited; sign up in advance to attend one of these sessions:

  • Monday, July 23 at 2 pm
  • Tuesday, July 24 at 9 am

Workshops will be held in Fuller Brook Park; meet at Cameron Street.

An Olmsted was here

Back in July 2014, the town broke ground on a $6million restoration of the 100-plus-year-old Fuller Brook Park project. The park was established in 1899 and designed by John Charles Olmsted (nephew of Frederick Law Olmsted and a noted landscape designer in his own right) and others. A large portion of the park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park runs roughly parallel to Washington Street along Fuller Brook and the Caroline Brook.

Fuller Brook Park, Wellesley
Photo credit: Wellesley DPW.

So many tasks

In late 2017, work was completed on the previously eroding 2.5-mile route. Here are just a few things the town and outside contractor R. Bates & Sons, Inc. did:

– installed raised walkways and new boardwalk sections
– installed bioretention basins to filter stormwater and improve water quality in Caroline and Fuller Brooks
– completed roadway drainage work and installed granite curbing
– improved roadway drainage to protect from spills and other pollutants and remove contaminants from stormwater before it enters Fuller Brook
– installed stylish new stone markers, benches, and interpretive signs
– reduced standing water
-stabilized banks
-removed invasive vegetation such as knotweed
-planted over 25 different species of grasses and herbaceous flowering plants to create a diverse habitat attractive to insects, birds, and small mammals
-installed boulder clusters to enhance stream habitat
-created a path to link the park, Wellesley High School, and the WHS athletic fields
-upgraded drain pipes and repaired 5 bridges and culverts

The best-laid plans…

What fun would this have been without a late afternoon macroburst on July 18, 2016 (pictures of the damage here) just to keep things interesting? The wild wind storm tore through parts of Wellesley, including the section of Fuller Brook Park between Grove Street and Dover Road. In Fuller Park several large old maples, oaks, and pines suffered significant damage. Luckily no one was hurt. The DPW Park Department had to first remove hazards blocking the park path, then remove trees impacting the construction contractor’s access to the project, and then remove downed trees from Fuller Brook itself.


On August 3, 2017 the NRC and DPW hosted a pizza lunch for the R. Bates & Sons, Inc. construction workers who put three years of work into the Fuller Brook Project. The town presented them with framed photos of various park views. Pictured: Bates Project Manager Jim Learned, Joe Milton, Paul Guadagnoli, Riley Ballou, Site Superintendent Kevin Coughlin, and DPW Project Manager Peter Jackson. Missing from the pic is Tim Ballou, a Bates employee who was onsite almost every day of the three-year project. Photo and caption credit: Wellesley DPW.