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.
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.
Member, VPA Board of Directors
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!!
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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!
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!
Excellent discussions, ideas to take to the classroom, and rich historical discussions. Fabulous experience for anyone wishing to implement place-based learning curriculum.
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.
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!
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!
An amazing organization and place to learn more about Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau, and the Transcendentalists