Boston, MA – June 7, 2023 – The Trustees announces Armstrong-Kelley Park, a beautiful 8.5-acre public garden and arboretum located on Main Street in the center of historic Osterville, will reopen to the public on Saturday, June 17, 2023 after an extensive two-year revitalization initiative. Community members and visitors are invited to come explore the park’s new ADA accessible loop trail and grounds featuring refreshed gardens and an expanded water garden, central open green space, and more.
A formal community celebration is scheduled for Osterville Village Day on Saturday, July 15, 2023 from 10AM – 12PM, with activities for children, tours of the garden by Joann Vieira, Director of Horticulture for The Trustees, and sweet treats by our friends at Amie Bakery. A formal Ribbon Cutting is planned for early August offering additional opportunities for residents and visitors to experience this special place. The Park is open year-round, sunrise to sunset, and admission is free for picnicking, dog walking, educational activities and more.
“We are thrilled to welcome the public back to Armstrong-Kelley Park and share the splendid work our Trustees horticulture and stewardship staff have undertaken to restore and enhance this horticultural gem for all to enjoy,” says Nicie Panetta, Interim President for The Trustees. “This park now officially joins The Trustees’ collection of 12 public gardens around the state. We lovingly care for these special havens and invite people to explore with friends and family, to refresh their spirits, and to learn about horticulture, conservation, and the natural world.”
Cape Cod’s oldest and largest privately-owned park, Armstrong-Kelley Park is a local treasure acquired in 2021 by The Trustees through a merger with the Cape Cod Horticultural Society (CCHS), an all-volunteer nonprofit that had cared for this community treasure since 1930. Before The Trustees’ revitalization efforts, the well-loved park featured rare and unusual trees, plant specimens, more than 200 rhododendron and azalea plants, and a dell with a diverse selection of holly, a water garden with goldfish, a certified wetland, a memorial boardwalk, woodland trails and a wooden train engine for children, Liam’s Train. Over the years trees and plantings were aging and the memorial boardwalk was deteriorating with more work needed than the park’s dedicated volunteers could accomplish alone. It was determined the park could benefit from the stewardship support of The Trustees, as well as a long-term master plan and endowment established to provide protection from future development as well as revitalization, ongoing care and community programming.
In a late Spring 2020 vote, CCHS approved a plan to be integrated into The Trustees pending the completion of a fundraising campaign. Both organizations undertook a thorough collaborative community outreach process through forums and on-site workdays with board members, volunteers, public officials and community members to help inform master plans and fundraising goals. Since then, The Trustees has raised more than $2 million through generous donations to secure foundational funding for the project and the park’s future maintenance needs.
The Trustees’ extensive rejuvenation work included constructing an ADA accessible loop trail and relocated parking area to improve circulation, access and safety around the property. Community members who had donated boardwalk board memorials were invited to pick up their boards after decommissioning. All inscriptions have been replicated in a “Boardwalk Memorial” on the west edge of the park, just past the water garden, where visitors may sit and enjoy a reflective moment. Other improvements included enhancing and expanding the central gathering green and water garden with aquatic plantings and fish and refreshing garden beds and plantings to include new ornamental trees, shrubs, and native and wetland plants that thrive in the Cape Cod climate. New plant species and flowering bulbs were also added to provide year-round beauty and color and “Liam’s train,” considered by many to be the heart of the property, was also refurbished. A new Children’s Garden is planned for the fall of 2023. Future phases of the project will include garden “rooms” of Hydrangea, Heather, and Rhododendron along the upland recreational trails of the park.
“We are so grateful to all who made this exciting renovation possible and look forward to welcoming the Osterville community and visitors to experience the magic of this gorgeous garden oasis,” adds Anne Smith-White, Trustees South Shore Portfolio Director.
For more information, please visit www.thetrustees.org/place/armstrong-kelley-park/. For those interested in learning about how to support the park, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To become a Trustees member, visit www.thetrustees.org/membership/.
About The Trustees
Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 130 years, been a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of historic, natural, and cultural value. As the nation’s first and Massachusetts’ largest preservation and conservation nonprofit, Trustees landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. Supported by members, friends and donors, The Trustees’ 123 reservations are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually. thetrustees.org