Stanley Park (Westfield, Massachusetts)
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Stanley Park is a privately owned 300-acre (1.2 km2) park, including an arboretum and botanical garden, located in Westfield, Massachusetts. It is open to the public daily without charge from May to November.
The park was established in 1945 by the philanthropist Frank Stanley Beveridge (1879–1956). It includes a number of gardens, listed below, as well as a playground, soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic area, wildlife sanctuary, colonial pond, covered bridge, and blacksmith shop.
- American Wildflower Society Display Garden - indigenous shade-tolerant New England wildflowers, with peak season in early May.
- Arboretum (1,000 acres) - trees and shrubs with a 30-foot (9.1 m) fountain.
- Bog garden
- Herb garden - fragrant, culinary, and medicinal herbs; mid-May through mid-October.
- Japanese garden and teahouse - alpine conifers, rhododendrons, azaleas, and flowering deciduous shrubs with an authentic bamboo Japanese Tea House. Peak season mid-May through mid-June.
- Rhododendron Display Garden - hundreds of rare species, sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, with peak season mid-May through early June.
- Rose Gardens - Over 50 varieties and 2,500 bushes. Winner of the "Outstanding Public Rose Garden" Award from All-America Rose Selections.
Stanley Park is located on Western Avenue in the suburban town of Westfield, Massachusetts. It was founded by its benefactor Frank Stanley Beveridge in 1949. The park began on a 25-acre (100,000 m2) plot, but now spans 300 acres (1.2 km2) with multiple gardens, trails, and playing fields. It is only a short walking distance from Westfield State College, which is located on the same street.
History of Frank Stanley Beveridge
Frank Stanley Beveridge was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1879, and he moved to western Massachusetts in 1900 to attend Mount Hermon School in Northfield. After graduating, he travelled to New York where he married and began a family. At this time, Beveridge was very successful in his work and began Stanley Home Products in Westfield, MA. The company is known today as Stanhome, Inc. He founded the Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation in 1947, to both perform charitable works and to further his legacy. He founded Stanley Park in 1949, on 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land at 400 Western Ave, Westfield. After his death in 1956, the foundation still honors his contributions to the community.
Stanley Park’s hours of operation are from 7:00 am until nightfall everyday. It is open beginning on the first Saturday in May, and closes for the season on the last Sunday in November. The park is open to the public and does not charge for admission.
Stanley Park features multiple natural walking trails, throughout the woods and along the Little River, as well as leading to a variety of ponds, gardens, and wildlife sanctuary. Along with experiencing nature, Stanley Park features great opportunities to learn about the area’s history, through operating mills, a meetinghouse, blacksmith shop, Asian teahouse, and dinosaur tracks. Stanley Park is also an excellent choice for recreation, with many playing fields, a playground, and pavilions ideal for picnics.
Walking tours of the park and its attractions are available from June through August on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am – 10:00 am. Tours begin at the Carillon Tower.
Primary points of interest
- Arboretum - Approximately 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land; many trees, shrubs, as well as a 30 ft (9.1 m) fountain
- Carillon Tower - 98 feet (30 m) high tower, inside there are 25 English bells, 61 Flemish carillonic bells, an electric organ; tower has two bronze doors with 14 relief sculptures on them
- Colonial Pond - Many ducks and swans, two functioning mills: the Old Mill and Water Mill, and a quaint Covered Bridge
- Rose Garden - More than fifty roses species and 2,500 bushes
- Wildlife Sanctuary - 198 acres (0.80 km2) of trails running beside Little River
- ADA Playscape
- Angel Of Independence Statue
- Asian Garden/Tea House
- Basketball Courts
- Beveridge Pavilion
- Blacksmith Shop
- Carriage Shed
- Cathy’s Garden and Pavilion
- Dinosaur Tracks
- Dorthy Perkins Garden
- Duck Pond
- Enchanted Oak
- Eternal Light, dedicated by Clare Boothe Luce
- Evelyn B. Rose Garden
- Frog Pond
- Herb Garden
- Lacrosse and Soccer Fields
- Meeting House
- Mill Shop
- Recreation Picnic Area
- Rhododendron Display Garden
- Shrine Area
- The Reeds
- Woodland Wildflower Garden
Stanley Park holds annual Carillon concerts every first and third Sunday each month. These concerts take place from May to November; beginning at 3:00 pm and ending at 4:00 pm.
Stanley Park celebrates a Slavic practice of lighting lanterns and dancing in the eastern European tradition. Children also don Polish dress.
Friday Mornings for Children
Stanley Park offers various children’s activities during the summer on Friday mornings. These include story telling, skits, and puppets.
Zoo on the Go
Stanley Park hosts a travelling zoo on three occasions during the summer. Children may pet and ask zookeepers questions about the animals during the event.
An annual Wheel Walk to promote accessibility at the park. Food and games provided.
- "Frequently Asked Questions???". Stanley Park Website. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- "General Information". Stanley Park Website. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- "The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc". Beveridge.org. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Tours". Stanley Park. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Major Points of Interest". Stanley Park. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Carillon Concerts". Stanley Park. 2009-11-15. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Eastern Lights". Stanley Park. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
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- "Wheel Walk". Stanley Park. Retrieved 2010-03-04.