Fountain Park is a 144 acre forest preserve on Tinkham Road in Wilbraham, formally the Massachusetts State Game Farm from 1913 to 1984. Following the closing of Pheasant Farm, the buildings and grounds fell into disrepair. A group of local citizens worked for ten years to acquire the property for an ‘in town’ park. Thanks to a donation from Carol A. and Laurence R. Fountain, this huge resource area was purchased from the State for public education, recreation and enjoyment. In September 1992 plans to rename the property Fountain Park were approved and since then it has been managed by the Wilbraham Nature and Cultural Center, Inc. As stated in the Center’s Articles of Incorporation, its overall purpose was “to develop, improve and expand agricultural, nature preservation and recreational opportunities and Town programs for the residents of the Town of Wilbraham.”
For the past two decades the vision of this land has been expanded and developed into the beautiful, natural habitat it is today. Since 1992 volunteers have worked with the Park Board of Directors to remove the old wire bird pens, debris piles and tree limbs. The grounds are now manicured into beautiful lawns that are used for wedding photo settings, open fields for meadow birds and 99 acres of forest for wildlife to flourish, near the center of Town.
Throughout the years numerous improvements have been made in order to fulfill the Center’s goals for Fountain Park. First held on the grounds in 1993, Fountain Park was the permanent home of the annual Wilbraham Peach Festival. Between 2001 and 2002 many building improvements were made to the Brooder house barn and the gazebo. In 2011 the Wilbraham Nature and Cultural Center received a grant to begin renovations on the barn once again. It was the $110,000 Community Preservation Act funds awarded by the CPA committee and voted on by the town which made this possible. Science Education at the park began in 2001 with students conducting field education and experiments as well as observing seasonal changes in trees and plants in the meadows.
Fountain Park provides a beautiful setting for outside summer concerts each year. Thousands of people from all over Western Massachusetts come to Fountain Park to enjoy free musical entertainment by well-known professional musicians every summer. Fountain Park is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.