About the Refuge

Sunrise on the refuge - Steve Arena/USFWS Volunteer.

Just twenty miles west of Boston lies an oasis for wildlife - Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Roughly 85 percent of the refuge's 3,850 acres is comprised of valuable freshwater wetlands stretching along 12 miles of the Concord and Sudbury Rivers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects and manages Great Meadows as nesting, resting, and feeding habitat for wildlife, with special emphasis on migratory birds. The diversity of plant and animal life visible from refuge trails provides visitors with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature study. A great diversity of birds has been recorded at Great Meadows NWR; an annotated list of over 220 species is available in a separate brochure.

In 1944, Samuel Hoar, a hunter donated the first 250 acres of land that now makes up the refuge. The refuge now consists of two units of land in seven historically significant towns – Billerica, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland.

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge brochure (pdf)
Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex brochure (pdf)