Friends of Arlington's Great Meadows (in Lexington) - FoAGM

About Arlington's Great Meadows

Arlington's Great Meadows is a 183-acre parcel of land located in east Lexington.   It is the largest piece of undeveloped land in the Arlington/Lexington area.  It is part of the Mystic River watershed.  Once a glacial lake, it is now a wet meadow surrounded by uplands created by glacial outwash.  Great Meadows was purchased by Arlington in 1871 to serve as a supplementary water storage area, but was only briefly used for that purpose.   However, it remains a valuable buffer against flooding in the area.

Arlington's Great Meadows has long served as public open space and is a popular recreational spot, particularly since the opening of the Minuteman Bikeway on its southern border.  It also provides a home for local wildlife.  To date, 56 species of birds have been found nesting in Great Meadows, 12 species of amphibians and reptiles live there, and 251 species of plants grow in the wet meadow and uplands.  Last summer's Biodiversity Days survey of the area recorded nearly 400 species of plants and animals in the Great Meadows area.

Because it is situated between two schools, the Waldorf School of Lexington and Lexington Christian Academy, Arlington's Great Meadows is a valuable resource for teaching children about nature and the environment.  The Citizens for Lexington Conservation organizes annual bird watching and geology walks in the Meadows.

For more information about Arlington's Great Meadows:


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 online at:\AGM_Inventory\concomGM1001.htm

  A bird survey of the Great Meadows written by John Andrews and published in 1991.  It is available as a 2 MB PDF file - 1991 Bird Survey

  Several Citizens for Lexington Conservation publications on the Great Meadows are available in PDF format.  The primary one is Guide to The Great Meadows: A Walking Tour, it is a 10 page illustrated guide including a map and historical background of the area.  Also available is a Checklist of the Birds of Great Meadows and a Reptiles and Amphibians Report.   These and other publications are also available online at the CLC website:

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)