I was raised on Lake Street, and spent many hours in the Parklands, which was a short walk away. I kept
    notes of every species of bird that I saw, in every season. Of course, the species I saw are typical of any
    forest and pond habitat in the state, but keeping track made the walks more enjoyable.      

    I remember spending up to eight hours some days in the woods, just listening, watching, and waiting. I've
    seen osprey diving for fish; a small group of river otters feeding in a cove; huge groups of blackbirds moving
    in October, as well as nighthawks streaming at dusk, feeding on flying ants as they migrated; hawks,
    herons, ducks and owls. I recall the robin I freed from a fishing line at West Cove. And, I saw definite
    evidence of breeding worm-eating warbler, a bird which has Connecticut and Massachusetts as its
    northernmost range. My sighting could have been one of the first, if not the first of the breeding of this bird in
    this state. It seemed every time I went out I saw something interesting. I even put up some swallow boxes in
    the stream above the Rustic Bridge, and enjoyed the families that eventually moved in.   

    The Parklands is a jewel in a highly developed area. Now I live in Stow, where I have a small parcel that
    backs up to an apple orchard, which backs up to the town forest, which backs up to the new National
    Wildlife Refuge, just opened last year. So, I get my forest fix whenever I want. But my memories of Hopedale
    are an integral part of me and I could not have grown up in a better place.

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Parklands History by Gordon Hopper   

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The Parklands

Tom Lipsky