Norwood, MA — BETA Group, Inc. (BETA) won Bronze in the 2019 American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) Engineering Excellence Competition for the Fuller Brook Park Preservation Project in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Significant project partners included Horsley Witten Group and Park Planning Associates. The project team, led by Randall Collins, Jr., RLA, ASLA, will be honored at the Engineering Excellence and Awards Gala in March 2019.
Fuller Brook Park is the Town of Wellesley’s most popular public open space. The property was established in 1899 to improve drainage of flood-prone areas and provide parkland in the center; it is included in the National Park Services’ National Register of Historical Places. The Fuller Brook Park Preservation Project began in 2009 to improve the Park’s stream course, vegetation, and path system while protecting the historic landscape.
The Town hired BETA in 2011 to move the project from the preliminary design stage into the preparation of construction documents. The goals of the project included preserving and enhancing the Park’s character, restoring Fuller Brook and Caroline Brook, installing a more natural path, preserving existing trees, and enhancing plant diversity and vegetation cover.
The final design included innovative approaches to streambank restoration and invasive species removal, such as the use of root wads, rock and tree vanes, rock cross-vanes, and boulder placements. Many of the project elements were designed to result in a more sustainable end product. The reconnection of fragmented wetlands and removal of years of sedimentation improved the wetland’s capacity for dealing with flooding. The stormwater management approach used sustainable design techniques and provided water quality improvements for both the Town and the greater Charles River Watershed.
This was a complex undertaking that required approval from a number of permits and regulatory agencies. The success of this project has provided an important template for the restoration of similar public spaces throughout the Commonwealth and the region.