While the Nike site is surrounded by a mix of residential subdivisions, it is linked through a network of forested land to the Sudbury River and Farrar Pond, which provide habitat for wildlife and allow birds and other animals to move between larger conservation areas, offering the possibility of preserving wildlife corridors and extending walking trails. On the site itself, which is one of the largest cleared and undeveloped sites in the area, there is the possibility of bringing back extensive areas of grassland and early-successional habitat. As defined by Masschusetts Audubon Society’s Grassland Conservation Program, headquartered at nearby Drumlin Farm Sanctuary, grassland areas provide food and cover for a many types of birds that are becoming increasingly rare in Massachusetts as open meadows are developed or replaced by woodland through natural succession. Our goal in both the residential area and the town park will be to allow for active use in designated areas and trails, while extending low-maintenance plantings of native grasses throughout the site. There is the possibility of grant funding for these improvements through state and federal conservation agencies.
The unique character of Wayland results from a special combination of historic architecture, rural vistas, roadside trees, and natural areas. By understanding and building on these patterns, plans for the site will reflect the sense of place that defines the community. In addition to architecture that is based on the local vernacular, the landscape will be designed to reflect local traditions. Plant materials will include native trees and shrubs, and selected ornamentals from the traditional New England garden. Stone and wood will be used for walls and fences, which will be designed to fit into a somewhat rolling landscape to enclose and shelter homes and outdoor gathering areas. Garden areas will be provided, allowing residents to grow their own vegetable and fruit and compost yard waste and vegetable trimmings. These elements, designed to reflect local traditions of rural life, will be surrounded by natural areas: preserved groves of trees, grasslands filled with birds and butterflies, and wetlands that store and filter stormwater runoff while adding to the beauty of the community.