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The Walden Woods Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Humanities, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: The Walden Woods Project was founded in 1990. Initially, we focused solely on protecting land of ecological and historic significance surrounding Henry David Thoreau’s iconic Walden Pond in Massachusetts. It was in Walden Woods that Thoreau came to understand the important link between the environment and the life – both physical and spiritual – that it could sustain. And it was there that he first put pen to paper to share those insights with future generations. This typical New England landscape – Walden Woods -- was the cradle of the modern-day environmental movement. The Walden Woods Project protects land (through fee purchase or conservation restriction) within the 2,680 acre Walden Woods surrounding the pond that is threatened with commercial development. (Walden Pond and its immediate environs are protected by the Commonwealth of MA as part of its state park system.) Our first acquisitions involved Walden Woods lands slated for the construction of a large office building and a condominium complex. After acquiring these properties, the Walden Woods continued -- and continues to this day -- furthering its mission of land preservation in Thoreau’s Walden Woods. We currently steward 180 acres that are enjoyed by the public for recreation and education. Our protected land also includes an organic farm. Despite our success, additional acreage within this revered national historical landmark remain vulnerable and require our protection. In 1998, the Walden Woods Project expanded its mission to include education and research with the opening of its Thoreau Institute library. Our archives hold over 8,000 volumes and 60,000 items of Thoreau-related materials that are available for viewing and research. At the same time, we launched key educational programs for teachers, students and the general public.

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Community Stories

99 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jackie E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My history with this wonderful organization goes back to my organizing a field trip as VP of my college's environmental club to visit Henry David Thoreau's original site of his house near Walden Pond, visiting the Thoreau Lyceum, walking around/swimming in Walden Pond and going on a fundraising Walk-A-Thon to raise funds to protect the land there from greedy, moronic "developers." Thanks in part to WWP's hard work, not only was the land saved, but my fellow students and I got an enhanced education about Thoreau's literary works, impact on the Civil Rights Movement, Civil Disobedience, Environmental Protection and much more. I also attended one of their (incredible!) fundraising concerts.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is a beautiful organization. They value Thoreau’s work and his homestead. All the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. As I can trace my bloodline back to Thoreau, it’s an honor to know that The Walden Woods Project takes such care in honoring my family. They help to conserve the historic lands and educate future generations on the value of Thoreau. They preserve his legacy and I am forever grateful for all their work. I will always support and share their endeavors as the work they do is important for our generation and those beyond it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first met Jeffrey Cramer on the page while reading his wonderful annotated editions of Thoreau’s Walden and his one volume edition of Thoreau’s journal I to Me. Those two books were essential preparation for my first Annual Thoreau Conference where I was on a panel with Alireza Taghdarreh, an Iranian scholar who was working on the first translation of Walden into Farsi, the Persian language of Iran. Jeff Cramer and the Walden Woods Project were instrumental in bringing Ali to Concord and, through Taghdarreh’s translation, bringing Thoreau to Farsi readers and scholars. The Walden Woods Project/ Thoreau Institute has an international reach as well as a dedicated and deep local audience. Walk through the old wood forest, take a step into the light filled library, search the archive, marvel at the hand-written pages from Thoreau’s journal and you will understand why this non-profit is so vital to the community. In the difficult days of the pandemic, their programming has been sustaining. Recently I had the chance to read my Thoreau poems for The Walden Woods Project with three other poets inspired by Henry David Thoreau. All of us shared our poetry, then asked each other questions about craft. It was a marvelous evening and we had a generous and enthusiastic crowd who filled the chat box well past our allotted end time. The zoom webinar was as close an approximation of a live poetry reading as was possible thanks to the efforts of Sarah Walker and Jeff Cramer and my fellow poets!
Catherine Staples https://www.walden.org/education/stewardship_lectures/

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first visited the one-of-its-kind Walden Woods Project/Thoreau Institute while schooling in Boston as an English grad, having somehow not yet read Thoreau. I'm glad I hadn't. These spectacular, wild, protected old-growth woods (and farmstead, and small museum), somehow just twenty minutes from the metro-crush (wormhole?), will provoke anyone into a rare kind of contemplation. From first visit you will bear the kinship with the famous writer that you could not receive from his writing alone. (Of course it's hard to describe mystical places in writing, but noble to try!) The old pitch-pines and oaks and birch are (i can now say, having read IT) similar to how they would have appeared on HDT's own walks. Even the copses of poplar and turtle ponds and hillcrops are "familiar". But there's something more than the writerly connection, much more. Walden was, after all, an important destination for naturalists and native Americans long before Thoreau and Emerson and Alcott set foot there. The delicate clarity of the watertable, the slow equilibrium of the undergrowth, the fragrances of the valley--naturally protected as they are from man's light and commerce, and also from the surrounding lake-system via natural dams--there is a kind of balance or homeostasis to these acres that will settle into you and follow you home. But these things are also protected, miraculously, by what must be a passionate and keenly foresighted group of workers and volunteers at the Walden Woods Project. In fact I imagine that without them, all i just mentioned would be long gone. It is hard to describe the generational gift their conservation has allowed visitors like myself, and the thousands of others who come here yearly for their sanity, or avocation. And yet despite these decades of pilgrims it doesn't feel stained by tourism, or overcrowded, or at all commercial. This is both the magic/intimacy of these proud fragile woods, but also the careful accomplishment of Walden Woods Project. It is like going back in time here. Or, to somewhere outside time. You have to see this place. Bring your swimsuit, your trecking pole, your sketchbook, your children, or just your own childlike wonder. You cannot go wrong here. But you might get where you didn't expect.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We moved to Lincoln MA in 1976. Walden Pond was our local swimming hole, and Walden Woods served as a recreational area for walking and horseback riding. We, naïvely, took for granted that it would remain as we had found it.

Luckily for us, for the towns of Lincoln and Concord, for the Commonwealth of MA and the world, Don Henley was not so naïve and took action when he saw the threat of potential commercial development.

In 2000, I became a Selectman in Lincoln. Through my work as a public official, I came to more fully appreciative the role Henley and the Walden Woods Project played in conserving not only land, but also other historic resources, including the estate (now on the Historic Register) that houses their offices.

WWP has been an exemplary partner in both land conservation and custodians of the environment.
In addition, the vast array of programs have enriched our community and beyond.

Working with Henley and the brilliant staff, led by Kathi Anderson, sensitive collaborations with neighbors, towns and other stakeholders had led to further protection of land and additional historic resources.

It is often the case that some tension may exist between a non-profit and the host community. This is not the case with WWP. In fact, the partnership between the Town of Lincoln and WWP could serve as a model for just how valuable such a partnership can be.

My town and the world will be beneficiaries of the work of Henley and WWP in perpetuity.

Sara Mattes
Lincoln Selectman 2000-2012




1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the late 1980s, I was involved with a grassroots nonprofit group in Concord, Mass, working to stop two proposed developments that would have devastated Thoreau's Walden Woods. One was a large "office park" and one was a sprawling condominium complex. We were able to raise public awareness and generate support for halting the projects. But it looked like we did not have the reach or resources to win the battle.

Fortunately, our efforts brought the issue to the attention of Don Henley. As someone who was long devoted to the message of Henry Thoreau, he contacted us and told us he was outraged when he heard about the proposed developments in Walden Woods. He immediately began supporting our efforts. He also founded the Walden Wood Project, which began a concerted campaign to raise the funds needed to buy the lands proposed for development.

Mr. Henley, executive director Kathi Anderson, and the others involved with the Walden Woods Project were able to convince the developers to sell their lands. After a nationwide fundraising campaign, the Walden Woods Project was finally able to buy these lands and permanently protect them. There is little chance that this preservation effort would have succeeded without the extraordinary work of this dedicated organization.

Today, these beautiful forest lands are still intact and ecological damage that was done in the past is healing. They are a vital part of the Walden Woods Project's work to protect and promote the legacy of Henry David Thoreau and other parts of Thoreau Country. They are a key part of efforts to preserve and connect a network of natural lands and waters that absorb and store carbon to fight climate change, provide critical habitats for native wildlife, and offer green spaces that benefit the health and well-being of the public.

I now lead a small New England-based nonprofit organization, RESTORE: The North Woods, and we continue to work with the Walden Woods Project on critical conservation issues that have included protecting the Maine Woods, saving Massachusetts forests, and encouraging citizens across the region to act on behalf of wild nature.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project has been a leader in land conservation for Lincoln and Concord Massachusetts over the last three decades. Their recent collaboration with the Lincoln Land Conservation Trust (LLCT) resulted in the permanent protection of over 10 acres of land in the heart of Walden Woods. Not only was their technical expertise critical, but their ability to work collaboratively with multiple partners including immediate neighbors, residents and town officials resulted in yet another successful outcome in protecting the natural and historic resources of Thoreau's Walden. The Walden Woods Project continues to be a key partner in Lincoln's land protection efforts with over 40% of the town's land now in permanent conservation.
- Geoff McGean, Executive Director, LLCT

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project programs for schoolchildren and the general public, as well as its online materials about Henry David Thoreau and his networks help people to understand the history of Americans' advocacy for environmental care and social responsibility. The Project serves as a very important interpreter of academic scholarship for general audiences, showing the relevance of historical American writers and activists to our current moment and thereby deepening our understanding of the issues that face us such as climate change, racial justice, and gender equity. The Curator of Collections of the Thoreau Library at the Walden Woods Project reached out to our Margaret Fuller Society to build the holdings about one of Thoreau's important mentors, the writer and woman's rights promoter Margaret Fuller. As the Margaret Fuller Society Collection grows, the Project is expanding to show that she not only aided Thoreau's early writing career, but also served as one forerunner of Thoreau's concern for social justice and equality, as well as his courage to brave public opinion in the interest of the common good. In highlighting these two writers, as well as others in their circle, the Walden Woods Project demonstrates the ongoing need to promote the ideals on which the United States was founded, as well as to be critical of shortfalls from those ideals. People benefit from knowing more about such visionaries as Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and the many people and projects they inspired--and the Walden Woods Project works very hard to make sure that as many do as possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Walden Woods Project remotely hosted the launch of my latest book, To Reach The Spring. WWP's staff delivered a first-rate event to a large and engaged audience deeply interested in the climate emergency and eco-crisis.

Ashley Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project was there for me when I needed help with research into Henry David Thoreau for a non-fiction picture book that I am illustrating (coming out in 2022). I wrote to them with very specific questions about Henry David Thoreau, and Jeffrey Cramer promptly helped to clear up all of them, greatly aiding in my research. Their work has helped me to form a more accurate representation of Thoreau beyond what I was able to glean from Walden and other writings, and will allow me to pass this along to the young readers of the book I am illustrating. They directly help to preserve the legacy of Thoreau's writing and history, and work to give others access to this important part of American history and philosophy. I am very grateful that they were there to help when I needed them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I worked at the Walden Woods Project for six years and, though I am no longer on staff, I still participate in their engaging and educational programs! The people at the WWP are smart, kind, and thoughtful. They care deeply and it shows in the educational programs, the land they steward, and the quality of the collections. To help us realize that we all have special places in nature that are worth protecting, they ask the important question, "Where's Your Walden?"

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization and a beautiful place. My children love visiting Walden Woods and Walden Pond, and I'm glad to know the Walden Woods Project protects it so thoughtfully. They are devoted to its preservation and do an excellent job.

Advisor

Rating: 5

We came to Walden Pond as elementary school students 4 decades ago, and returned to complete an independent film on "Thoreau's Walden" for their new visitors center. The all-around experience was life changing for us. Through countless "walks" (film production shoots) in all weather and seasons, guided by the writings of Thoreau really opened our eyes to how he saw the extraordinary in what could superficially be perceived as "ordinary." The Walden Woods Project is centered around creating and maintaining that environment through information, education and solitude. The new visitor center could not possibly have done a better job at bringing Thoreau's centuries-old existence to life! The Thoreau Library is incredibly rich not only with scholarly documentation, but also visually engaging with large windows that invite the outdoors inside. Because of our experiences there, we view the world in a different way. There is nothing better you can say about a historical site. This foundation truly embodies the importance of history and nature in today's world. Everyone needs to experience Walden through the eyes of Thoreau, and the Walden Woods Project is there to make that happen. Engagement in preserving nature, and engagement in civil disobedience if/when one's own consciousness finds it necessary.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for both The Farm at Walden Woods and The Walden Woods Project last year and I couldn't speak more highly about this organization. The staff is dedicated, passionate, and they are some of the nicest most encouraging people that I have ever worked with. I was able to gain invaluable information about the growing and selling of organic produce through the farm. Working with the Thoreau Project gave me better insight into the inner workings of a nonprofit and fundraising. I've been able to take these experiences with me going forward and apply them to my future career. The preservation and education that they are doing not only helps connect the public to nature but does a wonderful job of preserving the history and legacy of Henry David Thoreau.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is a great nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the environment and education of the works of Henry David Thoreau. It was started 30 years ago to prevent the corporate development of these historical lands and has grown in the protection and acquisition of additional lands, a library to preserve the written documents of Thoreau which are there for educational teaching of the younger generation and for reference to those who seek the knowledge. Also, a farm was acquired to promote local agriculture and provide fresh produce. As a member of this organization, I appreciate the personal touch and sense of family provided by the Walden Woods staff. The Zoom meetings have turned out to be a pleasant surprise bringing together people from all over to join in the Thursdays with Thoreau. Looking forward to future lectures and discussions via Zoom. Thank you Walden for all you do to promote conservation, protect historical land and the teachings of Henry David Thoreau.

Vivian H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a most wonderful library of the life and works of Henry David Thoreau. I’ve been helping index of all the animals mentioned in his journals. Calling it a Bio Blitz, the education department makes gathering the information into a fun event. I’ve also enjoyed their book discussion groups and have met many interesting Thoreau scholars and enthusiasts. I highly recommend The Walden Woods Project

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An invaluable educational & community-building resource; during this time of sheltering @ home, WWP, via its weekly Zoom offerings (on varying Thoreau-contemplated themes that feel especially timely & topical), creates a much needed and enriching space for thought provoking, engaging, and mind/soul nourishing conversation.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended many live programs, back in the old days, at the Walden Woods project. I always eagerly await the announcement of their compelling lectures and eminent speakers.
Now, recently, with COVID-19, the institute has offered a series on interactive experiences through Zoom, Thursdays with Thoreau. These have been inspiring during these times (spring 2020) when we truly need to link to nature and Thoreau's message.
Their educational outreach is outstanding! I am a proud member of Friends of Walden Woods.

Beth Crouch S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is devoted to the preservation and education of the legacy of H.D. Thoreau and the woods that inspired the writings of Thoreau. The WWP also helps teachers around the world --giving lectures, workshops, and lesson ideas that will enhance their classrooms and their teaching of Thoreau. I have enjoyed the "Thursdays with Thoreau" conversations for this month of April, and I hope it can continue (even after the quarantine). It has been a perfect way for using Thoreau's writings to inspire us through this devastating situation. I have met some wonderful people and been deeply inspired by these moving conversations using Thoreau and his quotes and writings as focal points. It would be great to continue these Thursdays--at least though May (or for as long as we must be in this "home" situation). Thank you to Jeff, Whitney, and Sarah for such a great experience and inspirational virtual conversations. I have learned so much not just about Thoreau, but about myself and the 21st century we live in. This is what I look forward to every Thursday. This has really given me sense of understanding and being in this crazy world we live in. I will leave with my favorite quote so far--what Jeff said in the "Society" week---"If I am not I, who will be?" Find your "Walden."

thoreau

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the Walden Woods Project. I am so grateful that they exist in the Northeast community! They put on top-notch educational programs, lectures, and meet-and-greets that are so well crafted and help connect likeminded individuals who are concerned about the environment and Thoreau's legacy. I particularly loved their owl program a few years ago. They brought Mark and Marcia Wilson of Eyes on Owls to their headquarters (which is a gorgeous turn-of-the-century estate directly behind Walden Pond). I had a chance to learn about the owls native to my area and even meet them up close. The WWP's programs truly foster a sense of local environmental connection and awareness!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at The Farm at Walden Woods last Summer, and it was an incredible experience! The crew there was uplifting, dedicated, and fun to work with. I now have a greater understanding and appreciation for the land as well as the farmers who dedicate their lives to cultivating delicious and healthy food. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great customer service!! I purchased a mini Thoreau bust from their online store and received personal and friendly customer service! You don’t get that often nowadays. It was very refreshing and made me proud to support their organization.

Jennifer633

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a special place The Walden Woods Project is! They have dedicated themselves to preserving the land, the literature and the legacy of Henry David Thoreau and the incredibly impact of the Transcendentalist movement. The breadth of information and experience available there is amazing. Everything from reference material, to classes, to a world class library and the lovingly tended land offers the visitor or the scholar an incredible experience.

Our publication, Discover Concord, recently profiled the amazing experience of Kara, a sight impaired visitor who is passionate about the life works of Henry David Thoreau. Jeff Cramer at the Walden Woods Project helped to bring Kara's experience to life by arranged for a private viewing of Thoreau artifacts and even allowed for Kara to delicately handle several items. What an amazing experience for this very lucky visitor!

I would strongly recommend the Walden Woods Project - what a gem of a resource for visitors, families, and scholars alike!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2017, I had this cockamamie idea to fly fish in places that are mentioned in literature that involve fishing. I planned a six week trip I called the Storied Waters tour and decided to blog about my trip and hopefully turn my blog and trip into a book.

I decided to start the trip at Walden Pond, as a nod to Thoreau, one of the first great nature writers. He was fascinated by fish, and during his trips to the Maine Woods he tells of catching trout and "chivin" which we now call fallfish or chubs. Like many folks, I had read Walden in high school and had thumbed through The Maine Woods while camping in the Maine woods. But my understanding of Thoreau and his life was somewhat limited.

Before starting my trip, I decided I needed to immerse myself in Thoreau's writing and learn more about Walden Pond. I wanted to start my trip off with a solid foundation of knowledge and be able to offer something new and interesting in my own writing. So I called the Walden Woods Project and asked if I could come visit to prepare for my trip.

Juliet Trofi was very responsive and seemed genuinely interested in my idea. Apparently, not many people approach Thoreau from a fishing standpoint. Go figure. Anyway, she set me up with a meeting with Matt Burne, the conservation director, to talk about the pond, its ecology and its management/preservation. Jeff Cramer wasn't able to make the meeting, but he generously offered me some insights and advice via email. The good folks at WWP gave me a great boost of energy and enthusiasm for my trip, for which I will be forever grateful.

Next month, I'll be returning to WWP for the first time in two years to talk about my newly released book, Storied Waters, and what I learned about Thoreau during my journey and my subsequent readings. Did he ever fly fish for trout? Well, I have a theory and we can discuss it during my visit to Walden Woods. I look forward it!

David A. Van Wie

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walden Woods is a treasure maintaining the importance and currency of the work of Henry D Thoreau and maintaining / preserving the land in Concord that he has made holy. The dedicated work of the Walden Woods Organization is a gift to people from all over the world. I had visitors from India who insisted that I stop, so that we could dip our feet into "the holy Ganga." Very cool, I thought.
Jerry & Gaby, Chair, Jhamtse International Inc.

Alida Vienna O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In July 2019 we had a very special customer visit us in Concord. It was Kara's life's dream to come to Walden Pond and experience the environment in which Henry David Thoreau lived. Our challenge was to create an itinerary that could meet the needs of Kara, who is legally blind, and still find a way to allow her a meaningful experience without being able to see Thoreau's Concord.

This is where Jeff Cramer at the Walden Woods Project came in. He arranged for a private viewing of Thoreau artifacts and allowed for Kara to delicately handle several items. This granted her the unique opportunity to connect with Thoreau via a tactile experience, making up for what her eyes couldn't take in.

It was tremendously moving for us to watch as Kara encountered each of these items and alternately teared up, or exclaimed, or beamed with excitement when the artifact was explained. Jeff was infinitely sensitive to Kara's needs and we can hardly express our gratitude at the way he organized and handled the entire visit.

I wouldn't hesitate to contact The Walden Woods Project for any of our customer visits in the future, and know that anyone we bring there, be it a large group or a single person, will have an unforgettable experience thanks to Jeff, his impressive skills as a curator, and his overall warmth. We felt so welcome and can hardly wait to plan another visit!

Thank you, thank you for all that you do at Walden Woods Project - we will continue to support and spread the word about your work in any way that we can!

Kind regards,

Alida V. Orzechowski
Owner and Founder of Concord Tour Company

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I were fortunate enough to take a year off of work and travel to all 50 states. We made it a goal to volunteer with at least one non-profit organization in each state, intending to experience the beauty and diversity of our country and immerse ourselves in all the good that was being done in local communities around the nation.

For our 40th state, Massachusetts, we knew immediately what organization we wanted to contact in hopes of spending a day volunteering. That organization was the Walden Woods Project. As a Henry David Thoreau enthusiast, I’m inspired to “live deliberately,” and I could think of no better way to show my appreciation than to give back to a place that preserves and protects his legacy.

After reaching out via email, Juliet Trofi responded immediately to my request to volunteer and we were able to spend a gorgeous fall day in Mid-October working beside the informative and courteous crew at The Farm at Walden Woods. My husband and I have spent several years learning and working on sustainable farms and we were thrilled to get our hands in the sacred soil, knowing that this was one of the many ways this organization preserves and extends Walden Woods.

We were overwhelmed with the kindness we received from all the staff including Juliet Trofi, Jeffrey Kramer, Dan Schmid, and Robert (Bobby) Friberg. This experience could not have been better. The multi-faceted work that is being done was inspiring and brings so much positivity to the community.

During our year long journey, we ended up volunteering at 71 different organizations. I can say without any hesitation that our time spent volunteering at the Walden Woods Project, and interacting with the knowledgeable staff was at the top of our list!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We partnered with the Walden Woods Project on a recent event and had a fantastic experience with WWP staff and a successful evening at their beautiful venue. The mission of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), founded by descendants of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, is to combine lessons from the legacies of both men to "advance freedom through knowledge and strategic action." We found a natural fit with WWP and their commitment to education and social responsibility in all they undertake.
All of our interactions with WWP were positive. Prior to the event, we were interested to learn- through the excellent resources and research of WWP staff- of connections between Frederick Douglass and Concord previously unknown to us. The event itself was well organized and seamlessly run by cheerful, efficient staff who listened to our objectives, recruited and connected us with local partners and participants, and built an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. We continue to engage in follow up activities with both WWP and the additional partners they helped us establish. We look forward to working with the Walden Woods Project for many years to come!

kj-mclean

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is a phenomenal organization which not only treasures and protects the "land, literature, and legacy" of one of America's greatest pioneering thinkers and citizen scientists -- Henry David Thoreau -- but fosters education, wellness, and research in students, teachers, and anyone who wants to "live deliberately."

I first visited The Walden Woods Project in July of 2017, when I was fortunate to be chosen as a participating teacher in their annual Approaching Walden week-long professional development program. To say that it was life-changing would be an understatement, and the lessons I learned that week are continuing to be passed on to my students and those they choose to touch. It was a phenomenal, priceless experience that I will never forget.

Since then I have traveled to The Walden Woods Project to do my own research at the Thoreau Institute's Henley Library and picked the brain of its curator, the incredibly knowledgeable (and patient!) Jeffrey S. Cramer (who has been described as the world's leading expert on Thoreau, and I would totally endorse that opinion.).

The Walden Woods Project is a wonderful, inspiring place. I cannot possibly recommend it enough.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jeffrey Steen. I am a photographer living in Wilmington, Delaware.
Over the past several years, I have been photographing places and items related to Mr. Thoreau.

Recently, I became aware of the Walden Woods Project, a jewel of Thoreau related literature and items seemingly hidden in close proximity to Walden Pond.

After learning of the Project, my initial meeting at the Project's offices resulted from a "cold call" knock on the office's front door.

From the beginning, Project staff have been kind, inquisitive about my interests, and responsive to my requests.

They have provided insight about public use of Mr. Thoreau's words, shown me artifacts related to Mr. Thoreau's life and times, and introduced me to others involved in the Thoreau world.

Most importantly, I have been encouraged in my photographic aspirations, including a collection of Thoreau related images that will serve as a platform for Thoreau related themes.

It has been a pleasure associating with them; their support has been invaluable.

In the event that a reader of this review is inspired to support interest in Mr. Thoreau and his intellectual contributions to society, including his wonderment at the intricacies and value of the natural world, the Walden Woods Project would be at the top of organizations deserving of consideration.






Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the Approaching Walden professional development opportunity for educators. This experience was incredibly fulfilling, both personally and professionally. I learned more about Thoreau, improved my teaching, and reflected on ways to incorporate deliberate living into my own life. The knowledgable, passionate staff at the Walden Woods Project created engaging and thought-provoking activities and were able to meet the diverse needs of our large group. Because of Approaching Walden, I feel fully equipped to engage my students with Thoreau's philosophies, and I will forever appreciate The Walden Woods Project for this life-changing experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was among the lucky few to get invited to attend a professional development course led by The Walden Woods Project called Approaching Walden. Not only did I gain valuable resources for my classroom, but I learned about myself and how to better interact with my world. Everyone there helped me to completely change my outlook on life and how to share that with my students. I can’t wait to bring my experiences back to the classroom. I wish I could experience Approaching Walden over and over again!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization. The staff at Walden Woods Project has a true and visible passion for their mission. They treated the 20 of us educators like respected family from the moment we arrived. The weeklong program was an exercise in living out the ideals of Thoreau. Cannot say enough about how valuable they are to educators, students, conservationists, and beyond!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

American Heritage Trees is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor American history and promote environmental stewardship. We accomplish this through the cultivation and sale of descendent trees related to famous people, historical sites and events.
The work of American Heritage Trees is undertaken in partnership with the parent tree owners, which provides an opportunity for mutual promotion of the organizations. Our nonprofit serves as a catalyst to educate Americans about their rich national heritage, including Presidents, writers and poets, and others, as well as seminal events in our nation’s history.
Partnerships are the key to our organization and its success. We have been partners with Walden Woods Project since 2015, working closely with Juliet Trofi and Matt Burne. They are wonderful!! Walden Woods Project is one of the most organized and structured organizations we have as Partners, always staying on top of each facet of our partnerships. You can always count on them to identify the most relevant and best trees to represent Walden Woods and the essence of Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy. Then they are very prompt at collecting the seeds at the proper time and sending to American Heritage Trees for propagation. Currently, the Walden Woods Red Maple is one of our most popular trees. As a small token of all their work and effort, American Heritage Trees shares a portion of the sales with Walden Woods Project.
We hope to continue this great Partnership with Walden Woods Project for many years to come!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having visited Concord on a number of occasions and toured all of the prominent writers houses it was great to visit the Walden Woods Project. I first visited the project in 2000 and met the curator of collections and toured the facility. I have returned a number of times since, over the years and have enjoyed using the facilities and talking about Thoreau with Jeffrey Cramer, the curator of collections. The archives are amazing and host so much Thoreau related material. The reading room or ‘Henley Library’ is and amazing beautiful room with original copies of Walden on display as well as other Thoreau related items.

In addition to all this their biggest achievement is the work they have done and continue to do over many years to protect the beautiful woods at Walden Pond. Almost all of the woods are now protected thanks to the Walden Woods Project and they are working on the last area that remains under threat. Testament to this work is the 600,000 Visitors who visit Walden Pond each year.

The Project also run an education programme for students and teachers. And is well known for its education programs.

In short the Walden Woods Project is a professionally run non profit organisation that promotes Henry David Thoreau through education, conservation, as well as protecting the land that Thoreau loved for generations to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The walden woods project is an ambassador for being at one with nature, protecting conservation namely land surrounding Walden Pond, and promoting Henry David Thoreaus' legacy.
I have been lucky enough to attend some events with the walden woods project over the years and the work they do is highly credited.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church's high school youth toured Walden Woods June 1, 2018. This tour was one of the highlights of our visit to Concord. After visiting the Alcott and Emerson Houses, Walden Woods brought us back into nature. It brought to life some of Thoreau's thoughts to life in a way no indoor experience could.
The tour guide was exemplary. She drew the connections between Thoreau's thoughts and our Unitarian Universalist faith. She guided us toward deep thought with a journaling exercise and Thoreau quotes that spoke to our Seven Principles.
This is a tour we will want to repeat when we bring our next group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have had a strong relationship with Samantha Corron and The Walden Project for 4 years as a placement site for high school interns.

Over those 4 years Samantha /TWP have exceed their role hosting interns and have become a premier site for students. Past students rate their intern experiences at " 10" .

Thank You Samantha for your great contribution to the students and the community.

Peter J Bagley, Managing Director CLI

Mark G.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is well known for its important conservation work, as a steward of Walden Pond and the surrounding environment. It also committed to promoting the legacy of Henry David Thoreau through its educational outreach programs and as home to the Thoreau Institute, a world-class academic research facility. Over the past ten years, I have had the pleasure of working with Jeffrey Cramer on a number of different Thoreau-related projects. Jeff is a respected scholar and a friend to educators and researchers alike. Whether you are an elementary school teacher or a college professor, Jeff and his staff are dedicated to helping you bring Thoreau's life and works into your classroom. And as a Thoreau scholar myself, the depth of the Henley Library's holdings and special collections, and its proximity to Harvard's Houghton Library, makes the Thoreau Institute at the Walden Woods Project the destination for anyone who is writing about Thoreau.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great experience at the Walden Woods Project as an archives intern from Simmons College. I was able to learn about Thoreau, the Institute, the collections, and enjoy the beautiful location.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sitting peacefully inside the woods of Lincoln, Massachusetts, the supporting institutions of The Walden Woods Project are an ideal setting for the study of all things relating to the American author Henry David Thoreau. Central to these institutions is the Thoreau Institute. The Institute’s Henley Library is rich in archival resources, and ranges in its coverage from the nineteenth century into the twenty-first century. Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections, is a knowledgeable Thoreau scholar, and a gracious guide to all that the Library contains. The Library’s facilities are impeccably kept and comfortable, and they sit but a short distance from the hallowed ground of Walden Pond. Whether a visitor is interested in the New England region’s historical past or the environmental imperatives of the present, The Walden Woods Project has much to offer.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project has been unfailing in its support of the Vernal Pool Association, a Massachusetts nonprofit environmental outreach organization. WWP continues to share with us their beautiful facilities, tucked into the tranquil woods where Thoreau once trod, for our board meetings and day-long environmental programs for educators.
-Susan Ranney
Member, VPA Board of Directors

Client Served

Rating: 5

American Heritage Trees is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor American history and promote environmental stewardship. We accomplish this through the cultivation and sale of descendant trees related to famous people, historical sites and events.
The work of American Heritage Trees is undertaken in partnership with the parent tree owners, which provides an opportunity for mutual promotion of the organizations. Our nonprofit serves as a catalyst to educate Americans about their rich national heritage, including Presidents, writers and poets, and others, as well as seminal events in our nation’s history.
Partnerships are the key to our organization and its success. We have been partners with Walden Woods Project since 2015, working closely with Juliet Trofi and Matt Burne. They are wonderful!! Walden Woods Project is one of the most organized and structured organizations we have as Partners, always staying on top of each facet of our partnerships. You can always count on them to identify the most relevant and best trees to represent Walden Woods and the essence of Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy. Then they are very prompt at collecting the seeds at the proper time and sending to American Heritage Trees for propagation. Currently, the Walden Woods Red Maple is one of our most popular trees. As a small token of all their work and effort, American Heritage Trees shares a portion of the sales with Walden Woods Project.
We hope to continue this great Partnership with Walden Woods Project for many years to come!!

Charlie19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Have you ever stumbled? Falling backwards only to land right in the middle of your childhood? There I was, once again wandering the wild woods of my childhood and my only companion was Thoreau. The feel of pine bark under by hands, or my feet as I climbed to the very top of my world. Safe within the arms of a pine tree’s limbs, I would spend hours reading the wisdom that was Thoreau. It all came rushing back to me that very first day I connected with walden.org.

In going to the walden.org web site, a person can find Thoreau’s works easily downloadable for reading. Additionally, the stewards of Thoreau’s works have translated his words into life experiences that they readily share on the site. The vast and continually updated information and programs at walden.org is an endless wealth of all things Thoreau. Even their Facebook page enlightens and engages.

The daily immersion of Henry David Thoreau helps me to become the inquisitive child once again within the arms of my favorite pine tree. I will be forever grateful to walden.org and those who strive and succeeded in protecting Thoreau’s legacy.

Cherry "Charlie" Pride

Matt116

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a conservation intern for WWP during the Spring of 2016 designing an interpretive trail on the organization’s Bear Garden Hill parcel of land. After interning for 4 months, I can confidently say that this is one of the most structured and worthwhile organizations I have had the pleasure of encountering. Every staff member, regardless of department or job function, is extremely passionate about the work they perform. Matt Burne, Conservation Director and my former supervisor at WWP, works hard to preserve and maintain many regional areas for public use and plans outings to educate the public on New England wildlife. He has such enthusiasm for his work and helped me realize my goal to work with amphibians in the future.

The organization balances important American history with their modern goals to preserve Thoreau’s legacy and land and to educate the public about his life and literature. You would be hard-pressed to find a more worthwhile and interesting non-profit in which to involve yourself.

(Many staff also own dogs which made every work day spectacular)

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to this organization while working at The Farm at Walden Woods, a small organic produce farm that sits near Walden Pond. From my time working on the farm, I learned all about the good work that The Walden Woods Project does to conserve the land around Walden Pond and preserve the memory of Henry David Thoreau. I was surprised and delighted to learn about the many ways the Project works to promote conservation while also providing extensive resources for educational programming and historical preservation. This multifaceted nonprofit does more than just protect Walden Pond; it inspires others to "live deliberately", staying true to Thoreau's original intentions when he first came to live by the Pond so many years ago.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a public high school teacher in an experiential, field-based program.

This program has been successful, in large part, because we have sought out partner organizations which can help deliver an engaging learning experience to a diverse group of kids: the kind of work at which The Walden Woods Project excels.

As a direct result of WWP's efforts, I have seen students become much more deeply aware of Thoreau and of local history. But more than that; students have been pushed by Walden Woods Project staff and interpretive materials to consider Thoreau's legacy - and the relevance of this legacy to the contemporary world.

I have seen a walk around Walden turn into a meditation on ecological change - and a tour of Brister's Hill become a meditation on racial and ecological justice. The Walden Woods Project is able to nudge students (of all ages) from learning toward real reflection, and then to action. This organization is an invaluable part of the community. And by "community", I mean the broad and far-flung body of idealists, naturalists, and imaginative learners who will carry Thoreau's legacy into the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Doing research on Thoreau is very rewarding, but at times it can be a challenge, especially when you delve into the far corners of his life and writings not previously given extensive study. The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods has it all, books, letters, documents, and a curator who is extremely knowledgeable in the subject. Help and direction is always forthcoming. In addition, it provides excellent educational services and programs. Walden Woods represents the Top of the line; the Gold Standard in studies of Walden, Thoreau, and related subject material.

Robert222

Client Served

Rating: 5

Robinson Farm is a small raw milk, organic cheese dairy in Hardwick Massachusetts. The folks at Walden Woods understand their network of supporters and visitors and their interest in our local community. Working with this organization is such a pleasure. Being part of their select farm suppliers is a real honor and having their support of our farmstead operation makes for a wonderful relationship. Luckily winter is almost over and we get to again collaborate this year

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well run library and research facility. Great resource for professional historians and history buffs. Actively seeks out volunteers. Keeping the spirit and inspiration of Thoreau alive in Concord for generations to come.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2010 I became acquainted with the Walden Woods Project when visiting the Thoreau Institute during the Annual Gathering of the Thoreau Society. I could sense that this was the organization that could properly care for and extend Thoreau's literary, conservation, and political legacy. Since then, I've returned many times to do scholarly research in the institute's library, and benefit from the expertise of its curator, Jeffrey S. Cramer. More recently, I've given several of their stewardship lectures. Presently, I’m working with the Walden Woods Project on a guidebook to Walden Pond, the most famous kettle lake in America. -- Robert M. Thorson, Professor of Geology, author, and life-long Thoreauvian.

(Attached photo: lichen-crusted granite outcrops in Walden Woods)

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a proud member of the Walden Woods Project for over 26 years now. I believe it is a very important charity for many reasons. It is helping to keep the work of Henry David Thoreau alive not only in America but across the world. It is teaching children the importance of conservation and recycling, to help keep this planet in good shape, and it protects the beautiful land that the likes of Thoreau, Emerson, and the Alcott's walked long before we did from people who want to develop over that historic land. To top it off I also know that it's founder Mr. Don Henley lives what he preaches.This is why I wholeheartedly believe that this non-for profit deserves to be awarded Best Non-For-Profit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The preservation and education that occurs at the Walden Woods Project honors, and shares, Thoreau's legacy and the interconnectedness of 19th century Concord and surrounding area with today's world. While some forget that Thoreau was an author, many recall that he was deeply connected to his environment and left lessons about appreciating the natural world around us. The Walden Woods Project reminds visitors, including educators and students, that there was and is more to Thoreau than "Walden," although many writings relate closely to his most famous work and the wooded lot where he lived for two years, two months, and two days.

Anne143

Donor

Rating: 5

All of my interactions with the Walden Woods Project have convinced me of their loving commitment to the conscientious management of Walden Pond and the surrounding woods, and their respect for the people who benefit from preservation of the area. They have an impressive library that can accommodate both casual and serious study. Their staff is gracious and highly knowledgeable. I attended a week-long institute for teachers at their headquarters and found the experience to be quite valuable and, in some respects, life-changing. In their education programs, they promote the idea that we should all have "a sense of place" in our environment, which helps us to realize better our unique perspective and contribution to the world and also to become better stewards of our earthly home. Can you tell I love the Walden Woods Project? Get to know them, and you will, too!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Walden Woods Project is a great nonprofit that enriched my life and taught me so much about Concord and Henry David Thoreau. The area is so rich with history and life and I was very impressed by their knowledge and expertise. I hope to visit again soon!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent discussions, ideas to take to the classroom, and rich historical discussions. Fabulous experience for anyone wishing to implement place-based learning curriculum.

1 Robert G. M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is beneficial for the mind and soul! A team of passionate, dedicated scholars preserves the work and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, his town, and his contemporaries. The library and archives echo with the voices of Henry and those who he lived and worked with in Concord; the paths of Henry's woods contain stone placards of his words--walk in his footsteps, hear his voice, consequently, hear your own voice, too. Take the time to research all they have to offer and visit The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. It is truly transcendental.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They offer exceptionally well-organized educational programs! They are making a significant impact on people and place with their efforts to educate about Thoreau's legacy. Wonderful staff, too!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

By far the best professional development I've ever experienced... A week in the woods with like-minded educators learning from each other and from the environment itself. The entire team is so passionate about what they do, and they graciously share both their time and their expertise with us. They have touched so many important people along the way. Thank you so much!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing organization and place to learn more about Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau, and the Transcendentalists

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent a wonderful week as part of the Approaching Walden teacher program. The Walden Woods Project included gracious hosts as well as informative instructors. This was an experience that will remain with me and will extend into my classroom as we read Walden and study Thoreau. I highly recommend this program to other teachers and commend this organization on a job well done. Thank you for an inspiring week!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is run by thoughtful, sincere, and inspiring people who love what they do and so extend themselves beyond expectations. The result of their efforts is excellent, most worthwhile use of all resources. Highest praise!

1 Laura306

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spent a week here for the seminar and was completely inspired, both professionally and personally. Cannot recommend their programs highly enough!

1 Lindsay35

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While taking an Honors class at UMASS Lowell on Thoreau’s 'Walden', I had the opportunity to go to the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods with my class. We were able to meet with Jeff Cramer and have a discussion about who Thoreau was and what Walden meant to us and to the world. Because of the Walden Woods Project, I was able to learn and experience Thoreau’s works beyond the walls of the classroom, giving me a deeper appreciation of everything that is Thoreau and Walden Pond. This experience has set me on a course of realizing a new dream of someday specializing in Thoreau’s works as a PhD.