Friends of Arlington's Great Meadows - FoAGM

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AGM Winter Walk 2019

Nursing Home Site Development

The nursing home at the end of Emerson Gardens Road has been closed for almost two years.  A "balanced" housing development plan has been submitted to the Lexington Planning Board.  Public access will be maintained to AGM - but will change. More information can be found here:

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 9, 10am-noon - Walk All Around AGM

* Explore the perimeter of Arlington’s Great Meadows.   See areas that are rarely visited, and learn enough to never be (really) lost there again. 

Total distance is two miles of moderate walking on dirt paths and some side streets. We’ll walk in dry upland areas and cross lower wetland areas on boardwalks. David White of FoAGM will be the leader and will point out areas of interest along the way. 

Please wear:  Appropriate outerwear and footwear. Also insect repellant for ticks.

Location:  Meet in the parking lot of the closed nursing home at the end of Emerson Gardens Road.  From Maple Street, turn onto Emerson Gardens Road and follow it to the end.  Enter the facility’s driveway (slowly, please) and continue around to the right, keeping the building on your left.  Proceed to the far end of the parking lot.  Map:  For information contact David at If really bad weather, rain date is 5/16.

Saturday, May 23, 8:30 -10:30 am – Birding Arlington’s Great Meadows

We will cover the south side of the Meadows to the north of the Minuteman Bikeway.  This area is rich in natural history and harbors some special nesting birds. Meet at the Waldorf School , 739 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington. Duration may be shortened if heavy rain.

Walk Leader: John Andrews (

Saturday May 30; 10am-12 noon – Using iNaturalist: A Walk at Arlington's Great Meadows

Do you have an interest in using online apps to identify plants, animals and wildlife in general? This exploratory walk of Arlington's Great Meadows will use iNaturalist to see what can be learned using this handy smart phone resource. Bring your phone with iNaturalist installed and ready to use. An additional camera app is also useful, one installed on your phone, or a third-party app such as Camera+. If possible, practice with iNaturalist beforehand to get a feel for the app. A good photo is important for getting IDs with iNaturalist. Plants will be the focus (since they are easiest to photograph) but we'll look at other organisms as available. 

The app may be found at: https://www.inaturalist.orgIt’s free but may require registration on the iNaturalist web site.  Meet in the parking lot behind the Waldorf School at 739 Mass. Ave Lexington. Steady rain cancels. Walk Leader: Andrea Golden (

Self-Directed Explorations

Check out our AGM Map and take a walk at the Meadows.  AGM is also part of the  ACROSS trails system.

To join the FoAGM email list, all you need to do is click on this link to send an email to  You will then receive news and updates about our events, including weather-related cancellations and reschedulings.  This is a very low volume moderated list, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For information contact us at or subscribe to our email list for updates.


2019 Annual Report Available

Find out about FoAGM's activities in 2019 FoAGM Annual Report 2019.pdf

Other annual reports (going back to 2002) can be found here: Annual Reports   

Educational Mini-Grants

Friends of Arlington’s Great Meadows (FoAGM) is offering educational mini-grants to K-12 teachers and students in schools and non-profit organizations who want to do research, natural history study, or artistic projects in Arlington’s Great Meadows (AGM).  If you need funds for a project that would increase your students’ understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, you are encouraged to apply for one of these mini-grants.  More information here:  Mini Grants

Stewardship Activities 

We often need volunteers for trail maintenance and invasive plant control.  If interested subscribe to our email list or contact us at:

Also visit the Citizens for Lexington Conservation website for other events in the Lexington/Arlington/Winchester area. 

Join our email list to receive up to the minute announcements.

Selected Events of Past Years

Upland Meadow Restoration 2010-11    
     A proposal to restore upland meadow areas in Arlington’s Great Meadows was presented at a public meeting on the evening of July 14th of 2009.
        The Mass Audubon report about the proposed project was entitled “Recommendations for Restoration of Meadows Habitat at Arlington’s Great Meadows, Final Report, May 14, 2009”. Copies can be found here on the website.  

The project then was implemented in 2010 and 2011 with the help of many volunteers.  The open upland meadow you now see near the kiosk was once scrubby woodland. 

Fire at AGM on Friday April 17, 2009
There was an extensive fire in AGM on the afternoon of April 17.  Although the fire was mostly confined to the lower wetland areas, some upland areas especially in the northeast near Shelia Road were also damaged.  Approximately 100 acres of a total of 183 acres were affected. Regrowth in the wetland areas is likely to be very rapid.  Here is a map (2MB PDF) showing the general extent of the fire, although the burned areas were somewhat patchy even the the central meadow area, perhaps related to water levels.  The fire was almost certainly of human origin, but there is no information about whether it was accidental or intentional.  We also have a photo page of some after fire pictures.  We welcome any photos of the fire that you might have to share.  The wetland area is recovering quite rapidly after the fire although the situation is more mixed in the upland areas.  More photos to come soon.

Fire at AGM on April 23 in 2008 
Nine acres of upland forest near the nursing home were scorched by a fire on April 23.  Read the Lexington Minuteman article:

FoAGM Contact Information:

To join the FoAGM email list, all you need to do is click on this link to send an email to  You will then receive news and updates about our events, including weather-related cancellations and reschedulings.  This is a very low volume moderated list, and you can unsubscribe at any time.  You can also visit our internet discussion group at

Email Contacts:
General information at

General Resource Information

A Natural Resource Inventory and Stewardship Plan commissioned by Arlington's Conservation Commission, was completed in 2001 by Frances Clark of Carex Associates.  Copies are available at the Arlington and Lexington Public libraries.  It is available here on this web site.

About Arlington's Great Meadows (AGM)

About the Friends of AGM

Annual Reports (since 2003)

 FoAGM By-Laws (6/21/14)

Boardwalk Project Background & Info (7/8/05)

Information about Invasive Plants (added 3/24/02)

All about Woodcocks (3/28/02)

More about Woodcocks by Marj Rines (9/17/03)

Photo Album (7/1/02)

Bugs Photo Album (7/3/03)

Site Search



Resource Links

Arlington Town Website

Arlington Reservoir Committee

Citizens for Lexington Conservation

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Lexington Town Website

Menotomy Bird Club

Mystic River Watershed Association

Puddle Stompers (for the kids)

(Page updated on: 02/25/2020 )

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