The former Medfield State Hospital campus was operated by the Commonwealth as a psychiatric facility from 1896 until 2003. Prior to 1972 and the passing of the Federal Clean Water Act, the facility historically placed building and fill materials in approximately 3.2 acres of land, including within a low-lying wetland area along the south bank of the Charles River.
The Town of Medfield, Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), and MassDEP collaboratively developed the remediation and restoration approach of this environmentally unique and sensitive area.
Approximately 40,000 cubic yards of building and fill materials were removed during a comprehensive cleanup of this area followed by complete restoration of this original wetland. This sustainable project has many benefits, including:
- Re-creation of 5 million gallons of flood storage along the Charles River (one of the largest restoration projects in the Charles River Watershed)
- Restoration of wetlands and wildlife habitat
- Increased public access to the Charles River
- Improved water quality within wetlands and the Charles River
The project also enhances public access to the Charles River via restored upland open space, reconnects the Bay Circuit Trail while improving trail conditions, and provides a new canoe/kayak portage area. The Upper and Lower Promontories provide stunning views of the Charles River and its surrounding natural beauty.