Fernald Bid Includes Mini Golf Course, Memorial and Electric Train

By Chris Wangler 
October 16, 2023

The City of Waltham Recreation Department has put part of the Fernald property out to bid for recreation facilities.

A northeast section of the property south of Trapelo Road (Parcel 1) will include a memorial to Fernald residents, play structures, a spray park, an 18-hole miniature golf course and an electric train.


The amenities will be accessible to the disabled, and the memorial was created in consultation with the Guardians of the former Fernald school.

The bid area is within the black circle below. Three potential bidders showed interest, including Green Acres, which has been the contractor for a number of Waltham park projects in recent years.


The winning bidder could be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s unclear how long the work will take or the timeline for the rest of the ambitious Fernald recreation plan, first announced last year.

Additional planned amenities include a driving range, walking trails, numerous athletic courts, sledding hills, fitness areas, disc golf and an amphitheater.

Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said there are five areas total and the current bid is for two of them.


One section of open space along Trapelo Road, in the property’s northwest corner, has already been finished.

“The majority of that section with the restoration of the wetland/large pond is already completed,” the mayor said.


The City of Waltham acquired the sprawling Fernald property from the state in 2014 for $3.7 million.

Although the property is closed to the public, urban adventurers have been trespassing for years, vandalizing buildings and setting mutliple arson fires.

More than two dozen buildings have been demolished, but would anything be built?

After years of delays, plans for the northern part of Fernald have accelerated over the last year, especially after Parcels 1 and 2A-1 were transferred to the Waltham Recreation Department.

 File photos