NepRWA has been partnering with the town of Norwood, the Norwood Trails Committee, and various other stakeholders to transform the lot behind 84 Morse Street, often referred to as “Saints Lot,” into “Cooper Park,” a scenic riverfront park along the Neponset River. The park will feature benches, picnic tables, outdoor education spaces, river overlooks, and more.
The Horsely Witten Group was retained to help with the park design and public outreach. A planning committee composed of Norwood town staff, Horsely Witten, Offshoots, the Norwood Trails Committee, representatives from Norwood Public Schools, local stakeholders, and NepRWA worked to finalize designs in January of 2023.
The project is now in the permitting phase, with hopes for construction to begin in 2024. Once completed, it will be a beautiful public green space in an environmental justice neighborhood that lacks public access to the Neponset.
For more information, email NepRWA Greenways Program Director, Andres Ripley, at email@example.com
The Neponset River Watershed Association partnered with Norwood residents in 2019 to advocate for responsible redevelopment at 84 Morse Street.
On October 7, 2019, Norwood Town Meeting members unanimously voted to approve a warrant article authorizing the spending of $338,000 in Community Preservation Act Funds to purchase a 6.8-acre lot behind 84 Morse St., often referred to as the “Saints Lot.”
The town will preserve the parcel as open space for passive recreation, and plans to build a walking path along the Neponset River. The preservation of this greenway is a testament to the community and their tireless advocacy to protect this resource for a vibrant neighborhood.
The original proposal by Boch Automotive included clearcutting the mature trees and other natural vegetation of the Saints Lot to create a car storage lot. Such development would have been devastating for the neighborhood, potentially increasing the risk of flooding and pollution of the river and Hawes Brook.
Late last year, the developer agreed to sell the undeveloped lot to the town, and altered the original redevelopment plans to include appropriate treatment of polluted stormwater runoff before it enters the Neponset. The town vote on the 7th brings the effort full circle, and will allow the town to complete the sale and create a beautiful green space along the river for all town residents to enjoy.
Kudos to Town officials and Town Meeting members for recognizing the opportunity to preserve important greenspace! It not only will provide recreational opportunities, but also will serve to provide important protections for nearby water resources.
Kerry Snyder, Advocacy Director