Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park

Latest Posts

New Location – Shakespeare in the Park 8/7/11

Because of the downpours we’re having now, Shakespeare in the Park, scheduled for this afternoon at Robbins Farm, has been moved indoors to Arlington Center for the Arts. Measure for Measure will be performed in the ACA Theater @ 5:00 pm. Seating is limited – first come, first served. Address is 41 Foster Street in East Arlington, for more information visit

Family Nature Walk

Thursday, July 14th, 6:30pm

Join Lolly Bennett and Ellen Reed, both teacher/naturalists, for a walk to explore the habitats of Menotomy Rocks Park. The walk is geared toward families with children aged 4-7. We will explore animal life in the park and search for signs of animals that make their homes there.

The walk is free, but a donation of $10 or greater to the Arlington Friends of Parks Fund (c/o Arlington Recreation Office 422 Summer St., Arlington, MA 02476) would be appreciated. Space is limited – please register by July 10th to reserve a spot. To register, send names, ages of children, and a phone number to

Orienteering Event

On Monday May 30th, the New England Orienteering Club will host an orienteering event at Menotomy Rocks Park. Orienteering is a map navigation activity, and a great way to get out and enjoy the park. All are welcome: families, beginner, young and old. Instruction will be provided upon request. For more information, see

Annual Meeting – Muffins at Menotomy!

Join the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park for muffins, and our annual meeting.

When:  9:30 am Saturday, May 14th (rain date 5/21), May 21, 2011  (new date)

Where:  Jason Street entrance

Volunteer Workdays for Invasive Plant Removal, 2011

Each session will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

  • Saturday, April 9th
  • Sunday, May 15th
  • Saturday, June 4th
  • Saturday, Sept. 10th
  • Saturday, Oct. 8th

Bring along loppers, garden saws, or shovels if you have them


Please check this website for updates, cancellations, or rain dates

Garden Volunteers Needed

Volunteers needed to maintain the front garden at the Jason Street entrance of the park.

Tasks include weeding, fixing rock border, and planting native plants.

If you would like to help, please contact the FoMRP Stewardship Committee at 781-646-5882


Bring the kids – in their costumes – to Spooky Walk on Saturday October 23, 2010. Walk around Hills Pond in all its spookiness – prepare to have thrills and chills! It begins at 7PM at the Jason Street entrance to Menotomy Rocks Park. Please bring a flashlight.

MRP Picture Post featured in earthzine

One Picture Post is Worth A Thousand Pictures: OR How Can Outdoor Digital Photographers Become Citizen Scientists Who Participate in Environmental Monitoring:

Take a walk. Bring your digital camera. Take nine pictures (8 land-based and one of the sky) from a Picture Post, upload them to our Picture Post website (, a digital photography environmental science community and you will receive thousands of digital photographs in return. The Picture Post environmental monitoring project is a citizen science initiative funded by NASA to create opportunities for informal and formal science educators and the community-at-large to collaborate by sharing digital photographs from Picture Post sites.


John Pickle at Concord Academy and his fellow environmental observers devised the picture post concept as a way to create a standardized record of the environment in Menotomy Rocks Park in Arlington, Massachusetts. He was inspired to create the original Picture Post in April 2005 by listening to elderly people describe how the landscape had changed over their lifetimes, and his desire to build a visual record of the park.

John is a longtime board member of the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park. Congratulations, John!

(More information on MRP’s Picture Posts can be found here.)

Park News – Spring/Summer 2010

“Nature is painting for us day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.”

– John Ruskin

ANNUAL MEETING: The annual meeting of the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park will take place on Saturday, May 1st at 12:45 p.m. at the Park. Gather at the Jason Street entrance for the short meeting.

EARTH DAY: Our biennial Menotomy Rocks Park Earth Day celebration will also take place on Saturday, May 1st from1:00 through 4:00 to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day festivities. Family-oriented activities will include pond and wetland projects, rocketry, art, stories, games, birding (at 8 a.m.), as well as composting, energy, and atmospheric educational activities plus a bake-sale.

STEWARDSHIP: Once again this year we will be removing invasive plants from the Park. Please help us if you can spare even an hour to keep our Park’s flora and fauna healthy by continuing to eliminate these threats. Volunteer work days are planned for 10:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. on the following days:   May – Sunday, May 16th August – Saturday, August 14th

June – Saturday, June 19th September – Sunday, September 12th

July – Sunday, July 11th October – Saturday, October 23rd

Please wear old clothes – and bring work gloves, loppers, pruners and shovels if you have them.

ECOFEST: The Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park will be participating in Arlington’s ECOFEST, which will be held at Town Hall on Sunday, May 2nd starting at 11:00 a.m.

HILLS POND: The four aerators installed in Hills Pond during the Park renovation are often out of order. At this writing, only one of the aerators is operational. The Friends will pay for the cost of a maintenance contract for the aerators, which help to oxygenate the water and retard weed and algal growth.

TREES: This year, two of the Park’s older stately trees were felled by a combination of weather and age – “Old Man Willow” fell onto the ice of Hills Pond (look for its large stump on the pond periphery). An old red oak fell across the Pond path early this spring. Previously cut trees near the Shawnee Road entrance to the Park have been removed. Many thanks to Shawnee Road neighbors, who continue to work together to improve the appearance of that entrance.

LETTERBOXING: The red oak tree that fell also happened to be a letter-boxing site – it had a large cavity near its base which hid the letterbox. Letterboxing is an outdoor pursuit with similarities to orienteering. A small box containing a stamp and visitors’ book is hidden, and a clue is written to lead others to its position. Clues may be as simple as a map reference, terrain cues, or may be more cryptic. When a letterbox is found, the letterboxer takes a copy of the stamp, as well as leaving their own personal print in the visitors’ book. Letterboxing began on Dartmoor in the U.K. but is now popular all over the world. There are other letterboxes in the Park; to find directions to them, check the web at

PICTURE POSTS: Check out our local take on the science of phenology and see how nature changes in our Park by visiting:, our Picture Post website.  At each of the four posts located throughout the Park, nine pictures are taken and the panoramic shots uploaded to the web. You can view the pictures individually or as a slideshow.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: This year marks the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park. The production will be Othello and will take place on Sunday, August 1st at Menotomy Rocks Park at 5:00 p.m. The play, featuring the Rebel Shakespeare Company, is sponsored by the Arlington Center for the Arts, the Friends of Robbins Farm Park and the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park. Plans are afoot to have some workshops prior to the performance.

MEMBERSHIP: Please consider joining the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park to help us keep the Park a wonderful place for all to enjoy. See our website for dues information – or send $15 (individual dues) or $25 (family dues) to: FoMRP, 350 Mass. Ave. #161, Arlington, MA 02474-6713. Check out our website for more information and our webstore if you need a new Park t-shirt, hat, apron, stationery or history book:

Schedule of Volunteer Workdays

The Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park




Each monthly session will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

May – Sunday, May 16th August – Saturday, August 14th

June – Saturday, June 19th September – Sunday, Sept. 12th

July – Sunday, July 11th October – Saturday, Oct. 23rd

Work will focus on removing invasive plants such as Multiflora Rose, Burning Bush, Common Buckthorn, Japanese Barberry. Japanese Knotweed, Oriental Bittersweet, Garlic Mustard, Purple Loosestrife and Norway Maple saplings.

Wear old clothes & bring sturdy gloves.

Bring along loppers, garden saws, or shovels if you have them.

We have weed wrenches to lever plants out by their roots.