Officials celebrate Callahan State Park expansion


By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

 Nora O’Donnell cuts a ribbon for the land to join Callahan State Park.
Nora O’Donnell cuts a ribbon for the land to join Callahan State Park.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

MARLBOROUGH — About five years ago, Collie O’Donnell was digging a hole for a post in Spring Hill Farm when he found a bayonet from the Revolutionary War. 

“This is a French-made design, so it clearly was a Colonist bayonet,” O’Donnell said.

On Aug. 10, he was joined by Mayor Arthur Vigeant, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jim Montgomery, Secretary Kathleen Theoharides and Sudbury Valley Trustees’ Lisa Vernegaard to celebrate his land joining Callahan State Park. 

O’Donnell said this was the most heavy-hitters that have been on the land since General Henry Knox passed through the property with seized cannons during the Revolutionary War. 

“Protecting this land, I think, is an integral part of creating an environment that is welcoming to the local community, and we’re very grateful to all the players here who played a key role in doing that,” O’Donnell said.

The press conference celebrated the conservation of Rattlesnake Hill in Sharon and the O’Donnell family land.

The land is now formally a part of Callahan State Park, after a number of agencies and groups, including the City of Marlborough, pooled resources to purchase it for $1.5 million. 

The state Department of Conservation and Reservation (DCR) contributed $500,000, securing an additional Land and Water Fund Grant worth $750,000. The Sudbury Valley Trustees contributed $100,000, with Marlborough pitching in for the remaining $150,000.

The acquisition was made official last month, prompting celebration from city and state officials.

“Such a jewel for Marlborough residents and the Metrowest region,” State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) remarked in a Facebook post after visiting the property and meeting with O’Donnell.

Callahan State Park overlaps Marlborough, Sudbury and Framingham with a portion in Southborough. Existing trails already pass through the O’Donnell property. 

“It really is a special day for the city when we can pick up some green space like this,” Vigeant said. “The opportunity doesn’t come up all the time.” 



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