Help Us Keep Thoreau’s Legacy Alive

December 2016

Dear Friends,

This has been a very productive year for The Walden Woods Project.  As 2016 comes to a close, we hope you will consider supporting our mission with a generous gift.

The Walden Woods Project introduces youth to Thoreau’s philosophy and how it relates to leading a purposeful life.  Students are encouraged to establish beneficial relationships with the natural world and with each other.  Addressing global environmental and social reform challenges are outgrowths of Thoreau’s philosophy.  There is no time like the present to convey the positive and empowering messages Thoreau imparts.


Recently, a teacher described her students’ experiences with our staff:
Thank you so, so much for the time you spent with my class today. I could see their faces as you talked, and I could see their investment in what you were offering them. I also know a few of them are really struggling to be fully who they want to be, so you have no idea how much what you said landed with them.  Several said that they were just so personally impacted; some said they were academically inspired.

This year, we doubled the participants in our education programs. In addition,  the number of teachers from across the country who attended our Approaching Walden seminar was unprecedented.  Each participant will reach hundreds of students during his/her teaching career.  New, place-based curriculum will foster an appreciation for the natural and cultural resources that define home place. Students will find their own “Waldens” and consider how to protect them.

In the year ahead, your support will help us achieve two key goals:

For 26 years, The Walden Woods Project has led the effort to preserve the 2,680 acre Walden Woods surrounding Walden Pond.  We must protect the place that inspired the American conservation movement.

Sites within Thoreau’s woods that are not permanently conserved in the near term will be lost to development in the future.

Such is the case with a municipal parcel encompassing the largest unprotected area at the edge of Walden Pond State Reservation.  The Walden Woods Project is working to secure preservation for the 35 acre site.

This, in turn, will offer added protection to Walden Pond.  Your contribution will help us build the advocacy and financial resources to reach our goal.

Under the terms of a partnership with the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, The Walden Woods Project will lead a private fundraising initiative for the stewardship of Walden Pond.  At a new, environmentally sustainable visitor center, we will help develop educational and interpretive experiences for the half million people who visit Walden annually.

As the official “Friends of Walden Pond” organization, we will build a strong advocacy and donor base to support the state’s preservation of Walden Pond.  The Walden Woods Project will also help engage Walden visitors in the far-reaching application of Thoreau’s core values.  We hope you will join us in this effort.

With warmest wishes for an enjoyable holiday season,

Don Henley

P.S.  Next year, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Thoreau’s birth.  Please consider making a special gift now toward preserving the land that inspired him and extending the meaning of his influential life and writings to a new generation.  Thank you!