2023 Lantern Walk

Join us and celebrate the lives of loved ones, friends, classmates, and family who have left this earth. Lanterns will be available for a donation. Suggested donation is anywhere from $5 to $20. All donations go to benefit the Friends of Mary Cummings Park. Please join us for the Lantern Walk, you are welcome to walk, sit on a bench and watch the lights around the pond or light a candle and be with us in spirit. Please forward an invitation along to others you think may appreciate this opportunity.

We meet at the pump station parking lot at the south end of Horn Pond. Lanterns will be available, dogs on leashes are welcome. The walk around the pond is a lovely walk, taking less than an hour. The glowing lanterns are wonderful to behold.

Annual Destruction Party 2023

Once again a group of students from Woburnh High School has trashed an area within Whispering Hill Woods with bottles and cans and this year threw an American flag on the ground along with their trash. As always, The Friends of Mary Cummings Park goes out and picks up all the trash, filling multiple trash bags. As often happens, the kids look for things to vandalize: they went into Mary Cummings Park and yanked one of the Trustees signs from the ground and tossed it aside.

Each year we inform the Woburn Police and school system; every year they ignore the situation. If you live in Woburn please contact various departments and let them know if you dislike how this has become an annual ritual of vandalism.


We installed 8 birdhouses five years ago to encourage bluebirds to live at Central Field in Mary Cummings Park. And finally, five years later, we have our first pair of these lovely birds. In the meantime, tree swallows and other so-far-unidentified birds have been using the bird houses. But now… BLUEBIRDS!

Lantern Walk for 2022

This wonderful tradition is a great event where people walked all the way around lovely Horn Pond, with lanterns, to remember people who have been lost – and the proceeds benefited The Friends of Mary Cummings Park who worked hard to save both Mary Cummings Park and Whispering Hill Woods in Woburn.

The walk took place on Sunday, October 9th, and we thank the organizers for the event and the donation.

See you next year!

Black Eyed Susans

Mid July of 2022 has been a great one for black eyed susans in Central Field. In spite of the drought, many stands of these flowers are quite stunning. If you don’t want to walk a long way, park at Northeastern and look for the openable gate near the park (behind the main building).

Rod Flynn Honored by Woburn

Rod Flynn, who with Woburn Resident’s Environmental Network, helped to get our organization launched, was recently honored by the Woburn City Council. Below is the text of their official resolution, which gives you some idea of the depth and breadth of Rod’s contributions to Woburn and beyond. He is a wonderful man. And we could not find a portrait of Rod because he never looks for the limelight so there are few photos of him alone. But here you see him in a series of the endless work projects that he organized and/or participated in to improve the Horn Pond area and Woburn in general.

RESOLVED Whereas, Woburn resident, Rodney W. Flynn, is an active member of the Woburn community; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn is an Angel Volunteer; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn, as a member of the Woburn Residents Environmental Network (WREN), organizes and participates in Horn Pond clean up walks, as well as many other sites throughout Woburn; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn is a member of the Medeiros Recycling group which donates to many Woburn organizations; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn collects money and puts together holiday baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas and donates them to the Woburn Council of Social Concern, Inc., which serves individuals and families from Woburn and Winchester; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn supports Boy Scout Troop 519 with collection of returnable cans and bottles to donate the money to the troop; and

Whereas, Rodney W. Flynn is a local historian; and

Whereas, the City Council of the City of Woburn seeks to publicly recognize Rodney W. Flynn for his commitment, dedication, and many contributions to the City of Woburn;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the City Council of the City of Woburn that the Woburn City Council recognizes the achievements and accomplishments of Rodney W. Flynn, and extends the best wishes in hopes for continued future success.

President Tedesco, Councilor Concannon, Councilor Ferullo, Councilor Campbell, Councilor Gately, Councilor Dillon, Councilor Demers, Councilor Mercer-Bruen, and Councilor Lannan

Friends Honored by Burlington Select Board

On July 12th of 2021, The Select Board of Burlington honored The Friends of Mary Cummings Park with a plaque and acknowledgement of the critical role the organization has played in saving Mary Cummings Park. They mentioned our work clearing and improving trails, and advocating for the park in many ways.

The current board members and some of the founders were there to accept the recognition. Founder Cath Moore is shown holding the citation in the photo.

During the event we acknowledged many people who played key roles in saving the park, which is now managed by The Trustees (of Reservations) and generally considered to be out of danger of development.

Here are some additional people we want to acknowledge:

Sally Ryken, Woburn activist who first told us about Northeastern University trying to sell what later was called Whispering Hill Woods to Archstone and later set up our first webpage.

Fel Medeiros, Woburn activist who referred us to WREN regarding saving Whispering Hill Woods from development.

WREN Woburn Residents Environmental Network helped get the word out for the first meeting regarding the Park held at Northeastern University cafeteria.

Rod Flynn of WREN constant and vocal supporter to public officials and others.

Betty Wright, plant specialist & devotee of Mary Cummings Part and Whispering Hill Woods.

Laurel Francoeur, 2008 wrote RE: Breach of Charitable Trust by City of Boston.

Senators Ken Donovan and Cindy Friedman for their critical work in getting Boston to stop their attempts to sell the park, and their work with The Trustees.

State Representative Ken Gordon, who helped turn back a city council effort to sell the land.

Reporter Thomas C. Palmer Jr., August 18, 2005 The Boston Globe, “City may tap ‘30’s gift to aid Greenway.” – the article that started FoMCP

Reporter Alexander Reid, Boston Globe, Sept 15, 2005, followup article on sale

Reporter Chris Warren, article in Wicked Local-2014 Sep 17, 2014.

Susan Labandibar, Climate Action Coalition: In Defense of Mary Cummings Park 2, May 2014

Paul Raymond, Burlington Planning Board Member and early supporter

Phil Gallagher, who helped us get the facts about the history, the legal issues and gave much guidance and support.

Don Roberts, former Recreation and Parks Commissioner of Burlington, for his help and support

Dave Cummings, early supporter and board member, trail maker, who got our kiosks built by Shawsheen Valley Technical School

Friends of Mary Cummings Park Acknolwedgements

Ernie Zabolotny for his support and advice

Andrea Tracey for her work and support early on

Here are current and former Board members who contributed in major ways to the preservation of Mary Cummings Park and Whispering Hill Woods

Friends of Mary Cummings Park Acknolwedgements

President Steve O’Leary, presided over The Friends through a decade of difficult times and under whose period of leadership The Trustees management came to be.

Founding Member Steven Keleti, who worked tirelessly to preserve the park with legal wisdom

Founding Member Cathy Moore, who delved deep into Boston’s public records to reveal critical historical and financial records

Jonathan Sachs, webmaster, photographer, trail sign maker

Ed Loturco, who used his experience with state politicians to keep The Trustees management process moving along

Dave Webb, Town Meeting and Land Use Committee member, who has worked long hours to clear up ownership of important parcels of land

Jane Morse, new Board member from the critical park abutter, Quail Run in Woburn

Betsey Hughes, new Board member, town meeting member, active in conservation issues in Burlington, lives in the Holly Glen housing, another critical area that abuts the park.

Bat Boxes by an Eagle Scout

Boy Scout Lucas Meyer took on the project of building five tall bat boxes to provide homes for more bats at Mary Cummings Park. Lucas got permission from The Trustees to place the boxes in the park; he raised the money online, and enlisted family, friends, and more scouts to dig the holes and cement the tall boxes into place.

Bats eat huge quantities of mosquitos, so hopefully next season there will be fewer of those pests buzzing around us. Lucas scouted the park for the best 5 locations with Park Manager, Jeremy Dick, of the The Trustees.

In the photo above, Lucas’ Dad, a friend, and two other scouts are lugging the large gas-powered auger over a stone wall to get it where the bat box needed to go.

Below is a gallery of images from the installation on December 4th.

And below that is a video of Lucas on Burlington Cable (BCAT).

2021 Lantern Walk

We have missed having the annual Memorial Lantern Walk around Horn Pond on Memorial DayWeekend because of this “Pandemic” but we are finally back. 

We wish to thank EVERYONE who helped to organize this event and those who walked. The donations over the years were essential in helping us to save both Whispering Hill Woods and Mary Cummings Park from being bulldozed away.

Thank you to all!

Another Drinking & Destruction Party

Sadly and predictably, the annual student end-of-school drinking and destruction party took place again in June inside Whispering Hill Woods. The kids left several hundred empty bottles, destroyed a whole set of our trail signs and also went into Mary Cummings Park and tore down a new Trustees sign and tossed it into the brush.

We at The Friends have started to reach out the nearby community to try to establish better relations and hopefully stop the annual destruction, but we were not effective enough; there is much more to be done on this.

If you are interested in working with us to try to heal this situation use our contact form to get in touch.

Here is a video that Jon Sachs made during a break from the cleanup effort: