Recent News

VIRTUAL Backyard Homesteading Series: Raise Your Own Chickens 2/4

Thursday, 28 January 2021 21:49

The COVID pandemic has led many to begin gardening and raising their own food. Our annual Backyard Homesteading workshops offer a chance to find out how. Our first session on raising backyard chickens is designed for people interested in learning how to start a backyard chicken coop and grow healthy, productive chickens for years of enjoyment and fresh food. This year, we'll be offering this session virtually by Zoom on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 pm. After a slide show covering the basics, we'll take a virtual tour of the coops and chicken tractors on site. Suggested donation for the workshop is $10/$5 for members. Register via this link or calling 617-333-0924 x22.

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January Stone Soup and Speaker zoom rescheduled to 2/3

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 10:04

Our January Stone Soup was rescheduled! Hope you will join us Wed. Feb. 3rd for the rescheduled Stone Soup and Speaker event, our first in the 2021 series Meet the "Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum."

There is still time to register by calling 617-333-0924 or emailing us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Once you've registered, we'll send you the zoom link to join us. Please register before 6:00 pm.
If you have any questions, please call 617-333-0924 x22.
And if you want to whip up a quick yummy soup for a cold winter day, this recipe might do the trick:
or this one:



Arboretum collection is now catalogued & viewable via Plantsmap

Thursday, 14 January 2021 14:38

The Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum woody plant collection has been catalogued and can be viewed at:

The plantsmap can also be accessed from the "Visit" menu tab on the home page of this website.

We are excited to have over 672 plants in our arboretum mapped and navigatable for visitors using plantsmap. Plantsmap is a website community that hosts botanical collections with customized tools that aids sites in documenting, organizing, mapping, tagging and sharing information about plants. Our plantsmap also highlights our dwarf conifer and ground cover collections which were the topic of recent zoom virtual garden tours led by Deb Merriam, our Arboretum Director. is a mobile-friendly website so there is not a need to download an app. Visitors to have free and open access to explore and discover plants, collections, resources, and events.

Historical Restoration in Progress at the Isaac Davenport Mansion

Monday, 04 January 2021 11:33

The original plaster on the ceilings and walls of the Isaac Davenport mansion date back to when the house was completed in 1794. As one can imagine, being over 200 years old, the plaster in many spots has pulled away from the lathe behind, sagging from the ceilings in some rooms and about to crumble from the walls in others. Rather than remove and replace with blue board and new plaster, the Trustees decided to carefully restore the original plaster using a technique that injects an adhesive through the plaster in order to re-adhere it to the lathe - it is a slow and painstaking process. First, workers drill hundreds of holes in the ceiling - the holes allow them to pump the adhesive material through the plaster using a compressor. Once the adhesive is injected, large washer-like disks are screwed up into the lathe through the plaster to snug it up tight. A day later, with the adhesive dry and the plaster tight against the lathe again, the disks are removed and the holes and cracks filled before applying a final skim coat of new plaster, primer and a top coat of finish paint.
Working on historic structures as old as the Davenport mansion often reveals some historic features long since buried or forgotten; restoration projects often take on the feeling of an archaeological excavation. When the custom-built mirrors were removed in the main parlor in order to restore the walls, the workers discovered what is believed to be the original wall paper - a beautiful block-printed design that was common for that period.
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