FDR's Downtown Visualization Study

“Downtown Framingham has a significant waterfront resource: Farm Pond. FDR believes that Farm Pond is an important downtown asset with great potential. Rail yards currently dominate the area, and access to the waterfront is limited.  There is boat access to Farm Pond at the northwestern end of the pond, but connections to the pond from downtown are obstructed. FDR envisions development of the waterfront area so that it may be reconnected to the town on all sides of the pond. Ideas include the construction of a waterfront bicycle and pedestrian path that circles Farm Pond in its entirety with connections in to downtown. A walkway or bicycle trail across the Sudbury aqueduct is another possibility, as is increased boating access to the pond.”

This view has been endorsed by the Framingham Downtown Urban Design and Land Use Assessment, which noted that “currently, the pond is separated from the downtown by an active rail line and adjacent rail yards. The potential to create additional access to the pond’s shoreline from the downtown has been identified by prior studies and community initiatives. If supported by further investigation, the creation of a pedestrian link to the existing natural resources and open space would greatly contribute to and enhance the level of amenities and quality of living in and around downtown.”

Discussions involving FDR and Framingham State University (FSU) led to the formation of a joint task force with Town officials to pursue these issues. Members of FDR, faculty and administrators of Framingham State University, Town of Framingham administrators and the Framingham Park & Recreation Dept. started a series of meetings to plan for rejuvenation of Farm Pond. The goal is to increase access to the pond from downtown, enhancing the attractiveness of downtown as a place to visit, and helping to implement part of FDR and FSU’s comprehensive plans. Additional efforts undertaken by the group aim to determine the types of animals that inhabit the area, map the pond, detail its history, make important sites available, and open up this lovely area to the public. This work will also support environmental goals of the University’s Green Program.