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The vital public good of public lands

Our nature refuges need upkeep and protection.

Joan Wickersham’s conclusion in her Aug. 3 column (“A voyage of discovery about home,” Opinion) is vital: a “reminder of what is possible when politics can transcend short-term self-interest in favor of long-term thinking for the public good.” As COVID-19 spurs historic visitation at the Middlesex Fells and other nature refuges in the region, we must protect the long-term investments in these nature spaces more than ever, as impacts to trails and fragile ecosystems take a toll.

We at the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation are working alongside the Department of Conservation and Recreation to address these challenges. But DCR has seen declining budgets over the last decade, and it struggles to keep up. We’d like to see DCR’s budget increased to address the urgent need for accessible and safe nature spaces while protecting the natural environment. In the meantime, we ask visitors to please treat these unique natural resources with care.


Let’s not squander the efforts of the visionary activists and leaders who created these unique resources over 100 years ago.

Jeffrey N. Buxbaum

Chris Redfern

Buxbaum is chairman and Redfern is executive director of the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation.