Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

2016 Elaine Beals Award to Christa Brady and the Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House

Published on June 11, 2016 by Eileen Samberg

The Elaine Beals Conservation Award is presented annually by SOLF  to a person who has worked to help protect the our environment.  It was created in 2005 to honor Elaine Beals for her many contributions to conservation and the protection of the environment in Southborough and the region.  This year the Southborough Open Land Foundation chose Christa Brady and the group she headed, the Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House, as the recipient of this award.  The work done by Christa and the Friends group was essential in helping educate the public about the legacy of the Burnett family to the town of Southborough and the significance of the property at 84 Main Street. By helping preserve the property, Christa helped save an historical building of significance to the town. Of equal importance, she helped conserve a five-acre piece of property threatened with subdivision that borders state protected land abutting the reservoir. Although small in area, the conserved property is of great historical significance, provides a lovely viewscape, and keeps intact a parcel of land abutting other conservation property.


In conjunction with this year’s Elaine Beals Conservation Award, the Southborough Open Land Foundation is also presenting plaques to two students in recognition of their leadership in the fight to save the Burnett-Garfield Property. When the Burnett-Garfield House at 84 Main Street was facing imminent destruction in the summer of 2014, Bridget Brady and Jen Fox began a protest at the property. Whereas many other people joined them either at the protest or by signing the petition they initiated, Bridget and Jen are the ones who spearheaded the movement to save the house. Without their leadership and passion to save the house, the historic buildings might well have been demolished, and the property subdivided.