Endean Recreation Area, Norwood

The Endean Recreation consists of two contiguous parcels of land; the largest parcel is conservation land and the other is the playground/pool area. In the 1930s Charles S. Bird (Jr), began giving/selling parcels of land to the town of Norwood in a section he called Endean Farm. From deeds, it appears that Endean Farm was owned by the Walpole Home Building Company, and they seem to have been a business that acquired land with the idea of sub-dividing it into smaller parcel and building homes. It further appears that the Bird Family was associated with this company. The earliest parcels of land were to form the Endean Playground. In 1935 Bird gave/sold a 14-acre parcel of land that abutted the playground property, then over the years Bird added to this parcel and now it contains 52 acres. The deeds on file with Norfolk County do not indicate if the land was given or sold, but the Norwood Open Spaces note that the largest piece of land Bird sold to the town of Norwood was at half its estimated value.

Today, the playground parcel boasts many recreational amenities to please people of all ages. On a hot summer day, Norwood residents flock to the large 200,000 gallon pool, that was built in 1949. Since then, scores of Norwood children have learned to swim here, and in the last few years a pool house and splash ground were added. Before this modern pool was added, there were two swimming holes, a men’s and a women’s, that were dug into the land and filled with water that was diverted from Hawes Brook. Today these swimming holes are still part of the landscape, but are now ponds, are stocked with fish and rubber ducks for the annual South Norwood fishing derby and rubber duck race. In the early 2000s, a brand new playground was installed, this area also includes picnic tables for those who want to linger for a while. The area also has four tennis courts and several miles of walking paths that meander around the playground property and through the abutting conservation land.

The larger parcel, the Endean Conservation Land is approximately 38 acres of mixed-use land. Most of this land has not been developed, this includes a large forested area and an open meadow. In the corner of the meadow, and off a Mylod Street entrance is the Norwood Community Garden. Established in 2012 it offers 64 gardens plots for those who which to grow their own organic food, and in 2013 the garden established their first bee hive. Gardeners are encouraged to aim for sustainability, they are encouraged to use found items to create trellises or decorations for their gardens. Extra food is given, or grown specifically for donation to the Norwood Food Pantry. The developed portion of this property includes the Coakley Middle School, and several baseball diamonds and soccer/football fields, complete with field houses and visitor seating, and thanks to Eagle Scout Noah Kerns, this area now has a cross-country course!

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