The Arlington Reservoir
The Arlington Reservoir is a 65-acre body of water located in Arlington Heights and Lexington, between Mass. Ave. and Lowell Street. It was created in 1871 by the damming of Munroe Brook. The dam, an earthen embankment some 600 yards long and as much as 14-feet high, was originally built to supply drinking water for the town. By 1899, Arlington had joined the Metropolitan Water District (now known as MWRA) and began receiving its water supply from sources outside of the town. The Reservoir now serves as:
  • a popular habitat for water birds and songbirds (almost 150 species spotted, including grebes, herons, osprey, turkey vultures, hawks, sandpipers, woodpeckers, swans, and a rare inland sighting of kittiwakes);
  • a recreation area with a wooded path around the water for walking, jogging and dog-walking, away from traffic & crowds;
  • a local swimming area, enclosed by a small berm, with beach, playground and restrooms.
As one of our town’s few protected open spaces and bodies of water, "The Res" (as it is affectionately known) faces several challenges to its future, including:
  • concerns that trees and other vegetation will have to be removed from the dam because the roots could undermine the integrity of its structure;
  • the high cost of repairing and properly maintaining the reservoir dam, as it is currently operated;
  • the need for a quality public swimming facility; and 

  • preserving the area as a wildlife habitat and as part of the greater watershed.

How Do You Use The Res?

  1. How often do you visit? Daily ____ Weekly ____ Monthly ____ Yearly ____ Not at all ____
  2. In which season(s)? (check all that apply) Spring ____ Summer ____ Fall ____ Winter ____
  3. What is it about the Res that you value the most? ______________________________________________________
  4. What type of recreation/activities do you enjoy there? ___________________________________________________
  5. Do you purchase a beach tag from the Recreation Dept. each year? _______________________________________
  6. What voting precinct/section of Arlington do you live in? ________________________________________________
What’s Important To You?
  1. What specific concerns do you have about the Res and the land surrounding it?

  2. _________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Should the Res continue to have a swimming area and beach? ___________________________________________
  4. Are there specific improvements that you would like to see?
  1. At the beach and swimming areas: ______________________________________________________________
  2. All other areas surrounding the Res: ____________________________________________________________
  1. Would you like to work on the committee addressing Res issues? _________________________________________
Name, Address, Phone # & E-mail: _________________________________________________________________


Additional comments (attach additional sheet, if necessary): ________________________________________________


Thank you for taking the time to complete this Vision 2020 survey. Please return it with your Town Census form, mail to Vision 2020, Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02476 or email to

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