National Park Service Press Release

National Park Service Launches Online Travel Itinerary on Massachusetts Conservation
For Immediate Release:
June 21, 2013
Contact(s):   Mike Litterst, 202-513-0354

Carol Shull, 202-354-2234

National Park Service Launches Online Travel Itinerary on Massachusetts Conservation

WASHINGTON – From Boston Common to Walden Pond, come explore the history and development of conservation and landscape planning with the National Park Service’s new Massachusetts Conservation Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary.

“So much of how our nation preserves sites for their scenic, historic, and recreational values comes from the vision of the early conservation movement in Massachusetts,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.  “This latest in our series of Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries brings the benefits and history of conservation and landscape preservation to life.”

Massachusetts has been a leader in America’s conservation and historic preservation movement since the early 19th century.  This travel itinerary has stops at 25 sites that illustrate the history of conservation and landscape planning in the Commonwealth. All are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. All sites offer visitors enjoyable outdoor settings and history.

The travel itinerary includes stops at:

  • Boston Common.  Considered the oldest public park in the United States, Boston Common played an important role in the history of conservation, landscape architecture, military and political history, and recreation in Massachusetts. The Common and the adjoining public garden are among the greatest amenities and most visited outdoor public spaces in Boston. The history of the Common’s use by the city illuminates the conservation movement in Massachusetts and mirrors similar models carried out by American conservationists throughout the nation.
  • Mount Auburn Cemetery. Established in 1831 in Watertown and Cambridge as the first landscaped rural or “garden” cemetery in the United States, Mount Auburn was not only designed as a resting place for the deceased, but also as an attraction and pleasure ground. It features picturesque landscapes, winding paths, a variety of horticulture, and sculptural art. Its success inspired other cemeteries’ designs and in turn articulated the need for public parks and gardens launching the American parks movement.
  • Walden Pond State Reservation.   Best known through Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Walden Pond, along with the surrounding Walden Woods, was a favorite destination for walks by local Concord Transcendentalists Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau’s writings inspired respect for nature and even, some consider, the birth of the conservation movement. Today, Walden Pond comprises the heart of the Walden Pond State Reservation and is designated a National Historic Landmark, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the area as Thoreau once did.

The Massachusetts Conservation itinerary is based on Ann E. Chapman's Proposal for a Conservation and Landscape Planning Heritage Trail. The National Park Service's Heritage Education Services produced the itinerary in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. This itinerary is the 57th in the online Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary series, which supports historic preservation, promotes public awareness of history, and encourages visits to historic places throughout the country.




About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

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