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

  • Construct the Legacy Trail and its connector paths, a new paved and crushed-stone trail network that will travel across the Case Estates to connect Case Campus with Ash Street and eventually the Weston Reservoir
  • 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

Former Selectman Michael Harrity presented an update on the current status of the Case Estates at the Dec. 18, 2018 Board of Selectmen meeting. His memo and presentation follows: