The Winchester Learning Center Community Nature Park is now open to the public.
The 3.5-acre property, at the corner of Route 10 and Lawrence Street in Winchester, is owned by the Winchester Learning Center, a United Way-funded agency that provides family resources, after-school programs, preschool, and child care for ages 6 weeks to 7 years old.
The park was conceived of by Roberta Royce, executive director of the Winchester Learning Center, and created in collaboration with the Monadnock Conservancy. It features a boardwalk that crosses a wetland and connects the center’s play yard to the park.
The trail was built this summer by two crews from the Student Conservation Association — a national nonprofit organization that sends young people to improve public land and parks — under the guidance of Royce’s son-in-law, Matt Coughlan, owner of Maine-based Recon Trail Design, and in partnership with the Monadnock Conservancy. The crews also installed two series of tree stumps for children to play on and smaller dirt paths branching off the main trail to explore farther the woods.
The gravel section of the path is passable in a wheelchair, and future improvements will make the trail universally accessible from end to end.