Eastman Conservation Area
The Town of Needham retained Weston & Sampson to design boardwalks/trail improvements and sports field upgrades to the Eastman Conservation Area. The Eastman Conservation Area serves as an outdoor learning laboratory for the elementary school and the Needham Science Center, which is located at the school. The conservation area possesses an amazingly varied landscape within a relatively small footprint that includes wetlands, meadows and streams, open bodies of water, uplands, and rock outcroppings.
Weston & Sampson worked closely with education professionals to develop compelling interpretive and interactive signage that enhances teaching at various “learning pods” located throughout the site. Specific work included the design of boardwalks, at-grade trails, overlooks, piers, and a wide range of other site amenities that help to support the storytelling about wildlife and wetlands and woodlands and other environmental features that are unique to this rich and varied conservation landscape. By design, boardwalks and outdoor classroom spaces are minimally invasive and unobtrusive; they were constructed in a way that allows users to experience the unique ambiance of the wetland resources from within the environment and not merely from the perimeter.