This week’s Great Park Pursuit took us to Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. The former estate of the Moseley family is located along the Merrimac river and is known for its formal gardens, huge numbers of azalea’s and rhododendrons, and home to the largest stand of naturally occurring Mountain Laurel in Massachusetts.
Like our first event there were activity stations scattered around the estate. We found all four of the letterboxes, checked in with a local beekeeper, learned about butterfly gardens, made a butterfly “kite” out of straws and tissue paper, took a hay ride, learned about the two critically endangered “Dawn Redwood” (metasequoia glyptostoboides) located on the property, made a paper sundial, learned about poison ivy, and played with landscape design.
The formal gardens where designed by Martha Brookes Hutcheson who was one of the first women to study at MIT’s school of landscape design. A few things are obvious about the estate: these people had some serious money, designer and owners where big into exotic plants and large outdoor rooms, and they all obviously had a passion (obsession) for Rhododendrons and Azaleas!
As an added bonus we won one of the door-prizes donated by L. L. Bean, a brand new youth Bell bike helmet.