FOLQ offers donation for Improvements to Col. Connelly Park and Gertrude Spaulding Park.

July 18th, 2019

The Friends of Lake Quannapowitt, celebrating 28 years of lake advocacy (1991-2019), are honored to share their plans for their gift to the town of Wakefield for the purpose of lakeside park improvements. The organization recently asked the town to accept a gift of $152,000 (plus a contingency if needed) for improvements to Col. Connelly Park and Gertrude Spaulding Park. Both parks are located next to the headwaters of the Saugus River on Lake Quannapowitt.

Ideas for the proposed updates, which were a year in the making, were presented to the Wakefield Town Council on Monday, June 24. Rick Stinson, the outgoing Director of Public Works added: “This is an opportunity to make a great park even better! “ FOLQ President Bill Conley thanked Richard Stinson and his team, and stated that the work will commence this fall if all aspects of town approval are completed. The plan is expected to go before the Conservation Commission soon for review and approval.

Referencing the proposed donation, Bill Conley stated: “We are excited for the town. There will be storm water runoff retention areas and opportunities to support the mission of storm water management and education. This work supports the goals relative to lake water quality and it supports our mission to protect park land.” Committee member Jim Scott ended the group’s presentation with appreciation for all the years of working closely with the retiring DPW Director Stinson.

Conley provided details explaining: “The plan calls for a well, pump and irrigation system that utilizes ground water, additional loam and seeding of the area, and the removal of one seldom used small path. Then, we move to replacement of the remaining main stone dust path with bituminous concrete to enable snow plowing in winter and to prevent runoff and erosion in the beach area where the path connects to Quannapowitt Ave. A rain garden and a stone swale will be constructed as additional devices to manage water run-off.

Following discussion, the Town Council voted to accept the donation, provided the present plan is accepted by the Conservation Commission

FOLQ welcomes feedback from the community about this proposal. Comments and questions can be mailed to:

FOLQ is a 501 (c) 3 voluntary non-profit organization. It is dedicated to its mission: “To promote public awareness and provide long-term protection and enhancement of Lake Quannapowitt and its surrounding lands.”

2017 Annual Breakfast!

November 5th, 2017
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Bear Hill Country Club
North Street, Stoneham
Requested Donation $15
($5 under 12)
Hope to see you there!
For questions or tickets, email

May 24, 2017 Annual Dinner Presentation

June 13th, 2017

Click here to view the presentation from the May 24, 2017 annual dinner at Bear Hill.

In addition to the presentation, we also took a moment to thank Ed Spaulding for his years of dedication to FOLQ!

Thank you for everything, Ed!

Thank you for everything, Ed!

FOLQ’s Annual Breakfast! November 13th, 2016 from 8:00am-11:00am

November 5th, 2016

Happy to announce that FOLQ’s Annual Breakfast is next Sunday, November 13th from 8:00am-11:00am.  We invite you to come celebrate our 25th Birthday and meet other members interested in preserving Lake Quannapowitt. We’ll have breakfast, art and raffle prizes.  Well known local watercolorist Tom Maguire will be attending the Annual Breakfast with originals and reproductions of his work on display and for sale.  For the past twenty years Tom has done a number of local natural scenes, historical homes and of course Lake Quannapowitt. Details: Sunday, November 13th from 8:00am-11:00am, Bear Hill Golf Club, 2 North Street, Stoneham, MA.  Please RSVP using the link below by calling Eileen Shannon at 781-799-8136. Tickets are $15 and will also be available at the door. Link to eNewsletter:

Lake Clean Up

March 31st, 2015

Title: Lake Clean Up
Location: Bandstand – Lower Common
Start Time: 9:00:00
Date: 05/09/2015
End Time: 12:00:00

Lake Clean Up

March 31st, 2015

Title: Lake Clean Up
Location: Bandstand – Lower Common
Description: You are invited to join FOLQ in cleaning up the land abutting Lake Quannapowitt in this Middle School/FOLQ initiative. If you are a group, please contact us about your interest in volunteering at
Start Time: 9:00
Date: 5/9/2015
End Time: 12:00

20 years of lake advocacy – 1991-2011

November 7th, 2011

Wakefield citizens, by combining their efforts and resources, have had a profound impact on the environment of Lake Quannapowitt since the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt (FOLQ) was formed 20 years ago. Our operations are funded totally by volunteered time and small financial donations of members. We have no paid staff and few pieces of equipment. For your tax-deductible charitable dues and donations, we offer an almost total return toward funds spent on mission.

What’s Happened during FOLQ’s 20 years of work?

  • Seasonal community lake clean-ups
  • 90% reduction in goose population
  • 20 years of water testing to track lake chemistry
  • Education initiatives within the Wakefield public schools to enhance environmental understanding among our kids
  • Provision of free doggie bags to encourage responsible dog-walking
  • Replacement of aging benches around the lake with beautiful memorial benches
  • Creation of Gertrude Spaulding park after blocking the establishment of a large restaurant on a lakeshore site
  • Renovation of Col Connelly Park
  • Establishing Bricks by the Lake as a means to raise money for lake parklands
  • Rebuilding toddler playground at Col. Connelly Park
  • On-going public education about lake and watershed issues
  • providing a ready platform to be used for public advocacy when our lake environment is threatened…

We’ve worked hard. We are proud of our accomplishments. And we’ve had some fun along the way.

Quannapowitt Poetry

July 17th, 2011

A pond of unity
A body of love

We hold great esteem
To this place of much beauty

She holds Walkers, runners, bikers and skaters
Making happier those mesmerized by her wonder

From a little girl’s first birthday
To a grand Fourth of July celebration

Creating perfect days
Building peace and tranquility

We thank her for all she gives
For all the smiles she creates each and every day

She is life as pure as each of us
Helping us to see the love in each other

For this pond of unity
Is a body of love

Poem by Al Gandolfo

What makes a good playground?

April 3rd, 2011

When we first began the effort to renovate Col. Connelly Park, we decided that we needed a new and improved playground. Since we have no Scholars of the Recreational Arts on staff, we had to work it out ourselves. Through a mixed sampling of manufacturer catalogs, playground surveys, and a bit of nerdy excess, we came up with some ideas and brought them to the table.

Children across America somehow instantly recognize the thrill and joy of the classic Slide and Swing elements. Why is that? It turns out that playgrounds often have common themes and activities. Parks with the most appeal seem to have an especially enriching experience: one that incorporates both attractive play elements, as well as those boring non-play elements that are so easy to forget.

Fundamentally, we had to address what “service” the playground really provides to such “clients” as children and parents. Our analysis indicated that playgrounds provides a few fundamental things:

  • A “safe zone” for children and families
  • Experiences not available in the household
  • Places and activities that stimulate playful instincts
  • A neighborhood/town/regional destination
  • A good signal of community investment

We selected a mix of options that we feel hits the right mix of fun stuff versus the boring stuff. The installation went in during the summer of 2010 and the playground has been thrumming since.

What would you like in a playground? Do you think we got it right? Stop by and try it for yourself, or if not you than maybe littler versions of yourself. Let us know what you think in the comments.

A happy demise for the 6th option

January 30th, 2011

Peter Dion, General Manager of the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (WMGLD) presented five alternatives at the meeting last week. Surprisingly, there was one alternative that was left off the table: the option to do nothing at all.

This is welcome progress. Town leaders, the Board of Commissioners, and the General Manager himself all agree that the current arrangement of utility poles at the head of the lake has got to change. Take a look for yourself, and it is plainly obvious that these poles do not belong.