Case Estates

The Case Estates is a 62.5-acre open space property located on both sides of Wellesley Street and adjacent to the Case Campus. The landscape features forests, fields, wetlands, and remnants of horticultural gardens, many of which remain from the time when the property was an experimental farm founded by Marion Case and later a regional horticultural center for Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum. 

In 2006, Town Meeting voted to purchase the property from Harvard for open space and municipal purposes, but the closing was delayed for a decade due to contamination issues and legal wrangling. The purchase was finally completed in 2016, and the Town became the proud owner of this beautiful open space located near the heart of the community. The Case Estates  is currently managed by the Conservation Commission and the Board of Selectmen. 

Current Work

  • Develop an Ecological Management Plan for the property through Mass Audubon’s Ecological Extension Services, which will provide guidance over the next 7 years for managing invasive species, maintaining the fields and stone walls, and other stewardship initiatives
  • Formally establish the new lots and lot lines for parcels 1, 2, 4, and 5, via approvals from the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals
  • File for conservation deed restrictions for parcels 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6
  • Consider the sale of two small pieces of municipal land on parcel 9 to deal with long-standing, inherited encroachments of an abutter on Ash Street
  • Historical Commission to propose restrictions to preserve historical characteristics of the existing buildings - the Rand House, School House and Barn - and seek Community Preservation Committee and Town Meeting approvals for funding for these restrictions (with Community Preservation Act funds)
  • Determine reuse of the buildings on parcels 4 and 5 and then offer for sale via RFPs, subject to any approved conservation and/or historical restrictions
  • Determine future use of parcel 9: open space or affordable housing

Update Presentations

Completed Work - The Legacy Trail

The Legacy Trail and its connector paths, a one-mile network of firmly-surfaced paths is open for visitors of all abilities. The paths travel across the Case Estates, connecting Case Campus with Ash Street. 

Dogs must be leashed at all times on the entirety of the Case Estates and the abutting conservation Land. This protects the surrounding sensitive meadowlands, the abutting neighborhoods, and the enjoyment of all recreational users.