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Q: How did Don Henley become involved in the preservation of Walden Woods?
A: Throughout his adult life, Don Henley has been active in numerous philanthropic endeavors, particularly those related to the environment. He grew up in a small town in Northeast Texas, and during his high school and college years, he had several influential teachers/professors who introduced him to the writings of Thoreau and Emerson. Don developed an early appreciation for the natural world that evolved into a lifelong commitment to the preservation of open space and wetlands, and environmental advocacy on a wide range of issues. In 1989, while watching the news on CNN, Don learned of two major commercial development threats to historic Walden Woods. He immediately offered support to a local grassroots organization in Concord, MA that was coordinating the opposition to a proposed office park and condominiums in Walden Woods. Not long after, Don founded the Walden Woods Project. Don is also the founder and Chairman of the Caddo Lake Institute in Northeast Texas -- http://www.caddolakeinstitute.us/ -- a non-profit scientific and educational corporation with the mission of protecting the ecological, cultural and economic integrity of Caddo Lake, its associated wetlands, and surrounding plant and wildlife habitats.
Q: Can I have information about visiting Walden Pond?
A: Walden Pond State Reservation is located on Route 126 in Concord, Massachusetts. It is a 30-40 minute drive from downtown Boston.
The Walden Pond State Reservation is run by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. There is limited public parking at the Reservation for a $5 fee. There are no additional admission charges. A trail surrounding the pond offers access to the site where Thoreau’s house at Walden Pond once stood. There is also a Thoreau house replica near the Reservation parking lot.
Swimming is permitted at Walden Pond, as is fishing with a Massachusetts state fishing license. Boating is also permitted, but gasoline engines are banned. No pets are allowed at the Reservation. There are no open fires and no camping. The Reservation parking lot is open from 8 a.m. to approximately one hour after sunset. However, hours vary seasonally. For further information and directions to Walden Pond, please go to http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/walden/ or call the Walden Pond State Reservation headquarters at 978-369-3254.
Q: Is Walden Woods still in danger of development?
A: Yes. There are portions of Walden Woods, both in the towns of Lincoln and Concord, which continue to be vulnerable to development. Walden Woods is 2,680 acres. Approximately 80% of it is protected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Walden Woods Project, and local conservation groups. Some of the remaining 30% could fall into the hands of developers. The Walden Woods Project will continue to work toward protecting additional acreage.
Q: How can I get the Stormy Weather CD?
A: In 1998, the Walden Woods Project held a benefit concert in Los Angeles called “Stormy Weather.” It featured Sandra Bernhard, Bjork, Natalie Cole, Paula Cole, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani and Trisha Yearwood, performing pop, jazz, and blues standards. The live performances were recorded. AT&T, a corporate supporter of the Project, bought a limited quantity of the CDs, which were distributed exclusively to AT&T customers. The CD is not available in stores, or through the Walden Woods Project. There are no plans to release it in the future. However, you may find it in used record stores or at Internet auction sites.
Q: Can I hold an event at the Thoreau Institute?
A: We receive numerous inquiries from people who want to hold weddings and private parties at the Thoreau Institute, which is located in the midst of Thoreau's Walden Woods. The Institute is located at the end of a private, residential road and has extremely limited parking. We do not rent the facility for private events.