“A Visit to Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary,” by Mark Seliber

Standing: Richard Laing, Mark Seliber, Art Shearman; Seated: Bill Hollman, Jean Wood. Judy Kaplan

It was very appropriate for members of the You Think You Own Whatever Land You Land On study group to have an in-person get-together on May 18 at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in South Natick, since the site was once the scene of bitter and sometimes bloody battles over ownership. We met at the outdoor pavilion, where our Audubon host Jonathan Davis gave a short talk on the history of the land on which we stood, which had been occupied for many years by the Massachusetts tribe. During the 17th century, Puritan missionary John Eliot created “praying towns” of which present-day South Natick was the first. He subsequently converted indigenous people to Christianity and translated the Bible into their language. By the late 1600s, a series of water mills were built which for the next two centuries used the flowing water of the Charles River for industrial purposes. The land, including some mill ruins, now belongs to Broadmoor and Audubon. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so we hiked together for about an hour and a half on boardwalks, over bridges and on trails through marshlands, lily ponds and forests. It was a peaceful way to end our exploration of land struggles throughout history and around the world.

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