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Concord, Massachusetts is one of the most famous of the suburbs in the area mainly because of the pivotal events and people that helped shape the United States. As the scene of the first battle of the American Revolutionary War (War for Independence) on April 19, 1775, it is considered the birthplace of the nation, where the “shot heard ‘round the world” for liberty and self-government was fired. During the middle of the 19th century, Concord was home to some of the greatest literary and transcendental minds in America. Authors Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson and Louisa Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne all lived, worked and wrote in Concord. Incorporated as a town in 1635, Concord is located where three rivers cross, the Concord River, the Sudbury River and the Assabet River. As the surrounding areas began to populate Concord’s borders were altered because the many grazing lands, initially included in the town, broke off into neighboring towns.

Approximately 18 miles from Boston, Concord is 25 miles square, and is bordered by Maynard, Acton, Carlisle, Bedford, Lincoln and Sudbury. Although Concord is bi-furcated by State Highway Route 2 it is, a picturesque New England town full of handsome residences, preserved open spaces, and family-owned farms. The more rural homesteads farms are typically located in the northwest part of the community while the smaller home lots are located in the eastern part of the town and in close proximity to one of the three commercial village centers. Located at rotary, at the end of town bordering Littleton, is a State Prison.

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Neighborhoods of Concord
Concord CenterConcord Center is the location where visitors and residents shop and eat, walk and run errands. In addition to retail services, points of interest can be found in this area including: The Concord Museum, Orchard House, the Old Manse, the Old North Bridge, Minuteman National Historic Park, Emerson House, and the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The Concord Free Public Library, Concord Art Association, Emerson Umbrella studios for visual and performing arts, and the Performing Arts Center (home of the Concord Orchestra, the Concord Band, and the Concord Players) are located here.

West Concord
West Concord has a local “eclectic” reputation, as locals run errands, shop, eat and walk in this area however, it is different than Concord Center as there is dominate local resident feeling to this area probably because of a local grocery store, the Commuter Rail Stop and the public library influencing much of the activity of the area. The homes that abut the retail area are laid out in grid-defined neighborhoods, as opposed to meandering rural roads accessing large farms.

Thoreau Depot
An area of hustle and bustle common activities include running errands, shopping, eating and a little walking. In this area, many people use their cars to access the stores and local restaurants as, there is off-street parking available. The Thoreau Depot is not far from Concord Center so many people do not differentiate however, local planners and community activities are looking to define this are even more.

Commuting from Concord, Ma
Several options exist for commuters out of and into Concord, Ma.
Population of Concord, Massachusetts
Concord experienced rapid growth in the 1950s, as did many towns with in the post-war boom. As of the Census of 2010 there were:
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Government of Concord, Ma
Concord has an Open Town Meeting and a five member Board of Selectmen/Town Manager form of government. Anyone may attend Town Meeting but only registered voters (Ma property owners and renters alike) may vote. The town services are primarily funded through the residential property tax and the tax rate may be raised however, taxes may not be raised more than 2½% (locally known as State "Proposition 2½”) unless approved by the voters at Town Meeting. If real estate taxes are to be raised a separate budget line item must be delineated in the budget as opposed to wrapping all the taxes into an overall budget proposal. Concord Town Hall has more information.

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Concord Public Works provides water to most of the Town, with about one-third of the homes connected to town sewer. Concord's water system is comprised of groundwater supply wells and one surface water supply (Nagog Reservoir in Acton) and public water system is interconnected with Acton and Bedford for emergency backup, if ever needed. To help preserve our limited drinking water resources, Concord has established a vigorous water conservation program including conservation based rates. Concord's water system was established in 1872. Today, the water delivery system supplies water to approximately 95% of Concord, Ma residents from groundwater supply wells and one surface water supply, pumping stations, two storage reservoirs.

The Town of Concord also established a public sewer system in 1900 and today it services approximately 35% of the Town. In 1974 and 1976, Annual Town Meeting established separate Water and Sewer Funds to insure that the operation, maintenance and capital improvement of the water and sewer systems would be financially viable enterprises. As such, all expenses incurred by each system are covered entirely by user fees. Absent public water or sewer, private on-site sewage systems (i.e. septic tanks) and private well are utilized.

Title V is the State law that requires an on-site septic system must meet certain standards and pass a test when a piece of property is sold. Most banks require the septic system be functioning and a home habitable to fund a residential loan however, there are exceptions to this rule. As for the very small percentage in Concord, Ma (5%) private well regulations, is at the discretion of the property owner to insure the water consumed from the property is potable however, both tests, the Title V test and the potable water test is the seller’s responsibility and are required prior to a Concord real estate sale.

Trash Pick-up in Concord, Ma
Concord, Ma does not have a transfer station (dump) however for a fee residents may receive weekly trash and recycling collection, Concord residents may subscribe to the Town's municipal curbside collection program. Property taxes do not support this program.

Electric Service in Concord, Ma
The Concord Municipal Light Plant distributes electricity to the town.

Education of Concord, Ma
Public School System for Concord, Ma includes one pre-school, Carousel Pre-School, three elementary schools, Alcott School, Willard School, and Thoreau School and they provide education from Pre-K to 5th. The middle school, Concord Middle School, consists of the Sanborn and Peabody buildings located about one mile apart servicing 6-8th grades. The Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (9th – 12th) is shared by Carlisle, Ma but is located in Concord. All school programs in Concord have excellent reputations.

Every year the State of Massachusetts requires public school districts to participate in Standardized Testing called the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). The test scores are published in the Boston Globe and are also located at the State of Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Massachusetts offers a program entitled “School Choice” which allows students from neighboring towns to attend the local public school if there are spaces available and if the local School Committee decides this is in the best interest of the district. If there are spaces available, a notice is published in the local paper. There has been some discussion as to parents of children exercising this option to provide some compensation to the schools district. Each district is different so, please check with administration officials for the current policy.

The Francis W. Parker Charter School,is another education option, technically located in Fort Devens. Admission is based on a lottery system for grades 7th -12th. One of Massachusetts’ first charter schools, Parker was started in 1995 by area parents and teachers committed to the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools. According to the website, The Coalition of Essential Schools, were established in 1984 by Theodore R. Sizer at Brown University, is a national network of over 1,200 schools and Centers engaged in restructuring and redesigning schools to promote better student learning and achievement. Essential schools share a common set of ideas known as the Ten Common Principles, which call for schools to set clear and simple goals about the intellectual skills and knowledge to be mastered by all the school’s students; to lower teacher-student loads, personalize teaching and curriculum, and make student work the center of classroom activity; to award diplomas based on students’ "exhibition" of their mastery of the school’s program; to create an atmosphere of trust and respect for the school, faculty, students and parents; and to model democratic practices and honor diversity.

The MinuteMan Regional School District, which concord is a member, has a campus located in Lexington, Ma. The educational option offers an alternative high school in Applied Arts & Sciences. Minuteman Career and Technical High School is a public vocational high school (9th-12) that combines academics and college preparation (the main purpose of traditional high schools) with carefully designed courses related to career exploration and learning (the main purpose of vocational-technical schools). The original school planners focused on needs of students living along Massachusetts' high-tech corridor. Any 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student who is a resident of Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland or Weston who expects to be promoted into the grade they seek to enter by their local district is eligible to apply.

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Private Education of Concord, Ma
Several pre-schools, nursery schools and day care centers are located in Concord including but not limited to the Concord Barn Cooperative Nursery School, Concord Children’s Center, Milldam Nursery School, Nashoba Brooks School, and the Children’s Meetinghouse

The Fenn School is a private boys day school which provides a program of academics, athletics and the arts for grades 4th -9th. According to the website, they teach the whole boy and emphasizes achievement, leadership, kindness and respect.

Nashoba Brooks School is a private co-educational day school for Age 3–Grade 3 and all girls in Grades 4-8. This is a school that nurtures students’ talents and character, while fostering the development of each child’s personal excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts.
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Concord Academy a private day or boarding high school (Grades 9th -12th) and it is known that students are dedicated to intellectual rigor and creativity. The school embraces a broad diversity and foster respect for others as well as an exchange of ideas which prepares students for lives as committed citizens.

Middlesex School is a private co-educational day or boarding high school (Grades 9th – 12th) and is known for “finding the promise” in each student. Founded by Frederick Winsor, Middlesex students undertake this process of self-discovery via an academic curriculum, athletics, art, chapel and leadership programs. The school is a member of the Independent School League and is one of five schools collectively known as St. Grottlesex school system.

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Library System in Concord, Ma
There are two public libraries in Concord, Ma. The Concord Free Public Library is located in Concord Center and the Fowler Branch is located in West Concord. Both libraries are part of the Minuteman Library system, where you can check out a book in over 31 towns and 7 academic libraries. There are many activities and programs conducted throughout the year and is worth exploring.

Terrain in Concord, Ma The Concord, Ma area is located at the convex of three rivers the Assabet, Concord and Sudbury Rivers provided excellent farm lands for the early settlers in the colonization of the United States. In general the land is flat with some rolling hills.

Recreation Facilities, Bike Trails and Wildlife in Concord, Ma
Facilities for organized sport play such as baseball, soccer, and basketball during the weather permitting months. Are found at the Hunt Recreation Center located one block from downtown Concord, the Hunt Recreation Center is the home to Junior Camp, Senior Camp and Summer Adventures Program. It has a full size gym, locker rooms, showers and multipurpose rooms. Our campus on Emerson Field has basketball courts, all weather tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a quarter mile track, soccer fields, and an instructional swimming pool. To add to the fun we have a spray fountain and a beautiful new playground.

Beede Swim and Fitness Center has a pool facility and gym. The eight lane, 25-yard by 25-meter lap pool provides lots of room for lessons. The diving well provides an opportunity for our campers to experience diving, water polo and the famous "Green Monster Slide". The Beede Swim and Fitness Center is available for Concord and Carlisle residents please see website for membership rates, hours of operation and services available.

Walden Pond is a State Park and a popular swimming hole in the summer. Take a walk around the pond and you will find the foundation of the famous Henry David Thoreau’s cabin when he lived in Concord. A replica is closer to the parking lot for those who can’t or prefer not to walk around the pond. This park can be enjoyed during all seasons of the year.

Battle Road Trail is a five mile trail that connects historic sites from Merriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of Minuteman Park in Lexington. The main theme of the trail is the Battle of April 19, 1775, that launched the American Revolution. More-over, the trail interprets the broader human story of the people whose lives were altered by the events that took place here. Much of the trail follows original remnants of the Battle Road; other sections leave the historic road to follow the route of the Minute Men, traversing farming fields, wetlands, and forests.

From a regional perspective Concord, Ma is part of the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway which, when complete, will be a hiking path that will encircle Boston, starting in Ipswich on the “North Shore” and ending in Duxbury on the “South Shore”. The trail links together conservation land, nature sanctuaries, national historic parks, state parks, and other public green space. The diverse topography of the trail includes beaches, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, woodlands, cliffs, drumlins, lakes and reservoirs, river corridors, swamps, historic sites and ruins, museums, farmland, meadows, kettle ponds, and eskers. Highlights in the Town of Concord include Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and the Minute Man National Historical Park.

The Bay Circuit is open to hiking, picnicking, and in the winter, snowshoeing. For the most part the trail is off road and is suitable for mountain biking or cross country skiing. Portions of the Bay Circuit Trail coincide with other long distance recreation trails and there are smaller networks of interconnecting side trails prevalent throughout.

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of freshwater wetlands stretching along 12 miles of the Concord and Sudbury Rivers, part of which runs through the town of Concord, Ma. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects and manages Great Meadows as nesting, resting, and feeding habitat for wildlife, with special emphasis on migratory birds. The diversity of plant and animal life visible from refuge trails provides visitors with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature study.
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