Bussey Brook Meadow
GOOD FOR: Ages 0-4

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Washington and South streets, Jamaica Plain, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

This 20-acre Urban Wilds Initiative property, almost hidden away, is just steps from a busy subway station and the Arnold Arboretum.

The tall grasses of this urban wild invite exploration.
Photo by: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

Bussey Brook Meadow is a sweet little green space. This urban wild was named after Benjamin Bussey, the man who in 1842 bequeathed the lands that would become the Arnold Arboretum. This particular section adjacent to the arboretum was underdeveloped for years. In 2002, however, the Arboretum Park Conservancy, along with the arboretum and the City of Boston, worked to add this land to the arboretum’s holdings. However, while Bussey Brook Meadow is groomed, it is nothing like the well-manicured lawns of the larger property.

The stroller-friendly Blackwell Path meanders through forest, wetlands, and a meadow that is full of wildflowers. Visitors can enter through gates across the street from the Forest Hills T station or on South Street. Along the path are interpretive signs, one of which states that the nonprofit hopes that the path encourages commuters to visit the arboretum. Kids especially will love to see the many butterflies that visit, and in winter, they’ll enjoy spotting animal tracks in snow. Tracks made by red foxes, white-tailed deer, muskrats, and even coyotes have been spotted here.

Remember: Bring bug spray in summer, as the mosquitoes are quite active. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

You can head into the Arnold Arboretum (Trip 7) for more paths and to visit the interpretive center.

Where to Eat Nearby:

On the other side of the Forest Hills T station, a few restaurants are on Washington Street. Nearby Roslindale Village offers lots of dining options.


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