Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 29, 1962):
Henry David Thoreau, poet, philosopher, nature writer, and social critic, spent the years 1845 to 1847 linving in a simple one-room cabin on the shore of this 65-acre lake. His friend Ralph Waldo Emerson provided the property for Thoreau's experiment to "live away by the pond, " where he hoped to meet "the great facts of his existence." Here Thoreau developed his internationally influential philosophy of ecological science, conservation, and man's essential relationship to nature, which he later set forth in the book titled "Walden, or Life in the Woods."
The Walden Woods Project, a non-profit organization founded in 1990, has launched a massive effort to preserve Walden Woods, both as an open space and as a tribute to one of the seminal thinkers of the American conservation movement. It raised funding to acquire 96 acres to date, including two major plots of land that are integral to the ecosystem of Walden Woods and were threatened by imminent development.
Recommendation/Change since last report:
A boundary study and land management plans are needed to more appropriately define the limits of Walden Woods and to determine acceptable types of land use and methods of protection. Funding must be found to do the study, create the plan, and secure additional appropriate parcels. The imminent threat of incompatible construction has been curtailed for now. The landmark should remain on the Watch list until land use and protection issues have been resolved.