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Wayland Town

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Wayland Town Hall is located at 41 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778.

The Town of Wayland [†] has long been regarded as one of metropolitan Boston's premier communities. A first glimpse of the Town reveals a landscape of forests, scenic roads, open fields, marshes, historic buildings, and attractive neighborhoods including the tight-knit Cochituate Village. Looking deeper, one finds Wayland to be a friendly community with considerable local pride, a place where residents volunteer their time for local activities ranging from schools to arts to the environment. Despite the close proximity of malls and big box stores, many residents choose to shop in the Town's two business centers, which offer diverse and distinctive local stores. Although Wayland lies squarely within the ring of suburbs that surround Boston, it has been able to preserve its unique history, landscape, and sense of identity.

The Town's ability to retain so much of what makes it unique in the face of region-wide change is more than just luck. It is the result of deliberate local policies ranging from zoning bylaws to spending decisions that have been implemented over the past years and decades. Thanks to these past choices, Wayland's residents are generally happy with the Town as it exists now, and want the community to "remain basically the same, only better as time goes on," as outlined within the Vision Statement. Yet, as regional housing, economic, traffic, and land development pressures continue to grow, the Town will need to continually develop effective responses to new challenges.

Early settlement of Wayland occurred near the natural resources of the Sudbury River flood plain to take advantage of the good agricultural setting. During this time, the low-lying lands adjacent to the river were used to raise crops and hay while tree harvesting occurred in the hilly uplands. As agricultural uses declined, the flood plain reverted back to marshes that today are some of Wayland's greatest open space assets. Much of this area is part of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Unlike the flood plain, the sand plains in the southern and eastern sections of Wayland were ideal sites for later residential and business development, and today only a few scattered fragments of agricultural uses remain in these areas. The lake-bottom deposits elsewhere in Wayland tend to have a high water table and therefore, only about half of this land has been developed. Much of the rest is occupied by the two golf courses or is under the care and control of the Conservation Commission.

Town of Wayland Master Plan, www.wayland.ma.us, accessed May, 2021.

Nearby Towns: Concord Town • Sudbury Town •