Robert Antonelli, Jr.
Parks and open spaces have been a part of Worcester's history since the City's founding. The Worcester Common was the first land set aside by the town for "common open space" in June, 1669. The Common was originally 20 acres.
The best known historic park in Worcester, however, is Elm Park. Purchased in 1854 using public funds, it is recognized as one of the first purchases of land for a public park in the US.
Both the Common and Elm Park are on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Green Hill Park Refectory (1911) and Bancroft Tower (built in 1900 in Salisbury Park) also are on the National Register. Other parks and squares have landmarks or memorials that make them important parts of Worcester's history, including Institute Park, Washington Square, and Lincoln Square.
The Worcester Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division currently has approximately 1,250 acres under its jurisdiction. Approximately 495 acres of this land are classified as being utilized for active recreation purposes. Given Worcester's Central location we are blessed with an abundance of park lands available to our general public.