The Club’s main civic improvement project is the preservation and maintenance of Elm Park/Clock Tower Park located at 301 Washington St. in Wellesley,, MA The park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Club members spend summers weeding the beds and helping with fall clean-up. In addition to this, in the fall members plant tulip and Daffodil bulbs that provide a beautiful display of welcomed color when they bloom in the spring.
Through many fundraising projects over the years, the club has periodically contributed to a number of significant landscape projects. The club has replaced the park’s elm trees, added shrubs and created a brick-paved seating area. The club's 2015 Garden Tour raised enough funds for yet another significant project. Working with the Town of Wellesley and Landscape Planner Cricket Vlass, the fall of 2018 saw the installation and completion of the labyrinth located at the west end of the park. This is already being enjoyed by many of all ages.
The club is looking forward to future collaborations with the town of Wellesley to ensure the enjoyment of Elm Park/Clock Tower Park by the whole community and beyond for generations to come.
Clock Tower Park Wellesley Hills
The Isaac Sprague Memorial Tower, popularly known as The Clock Tower, was erected in 1928 at Elm Park, Wellesley Hills Square. The late Isaac Sprague and the late John D. Hardy had purchased the old Elm Park Hotel twenty years previously, a fund of $20,000 having been raised by public subscription during 1908 to insure a park at the junction of Worcester and Washington Streets. Mr. Sprague gave the stone for the construction of
this imposing tower, which was designed by Benjamin Proctor, Jr., a local architect who planned many of the Town's public and private buildings. The Tower houses the clock and bell given to the former Shaw School by the late John W. Shaw.
Since its founding in 1955, The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley has proudly been associated with its design, planting, and upkeep of Clock Tower Park, formerly known as Elm Park. Our first president, Mrs. A. Dudley Bach, made it the first civic improvement concern of the Club, and in each succeeding year, our Club has carefully and lovingly nurtured the park. It is our primary civic improvement responsibility and the focus of our club's mission. Collaborating with the Wellesley Park and Tree Department and the Natural Resources Commission, the Club has redesigned the plantings around the clock tower base and purchased and planted trees, shrubs, perennials, and thousands of bulbs. Recently the Club raised and donated funds for the creation of the beautiful brick pavilion, which provides an inviting place of respite for people to sit and enjoy this very precious green space in the middle of a bustling village center,
The park recently earned a coveted listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
With the proceeds from the garden tours of 2004 and 2008 and under the direction of Cricket Vlass, Landscape Planner from the DPW Division of Parks and Trees, improvements were made to the park. They include an inviting entrance to the park from the tip of the triangle at the intersection of Washington Street and the Route 9 off ramp. Also added were a brick walkway edged in granite leading to a circular patio centered by a 42 inch diameter granite clock 'set' at 4:06, the date of Wellesley's incorporation in 1881. At the west end of the park, stone pillars capped with new lighting match the Clock Tower and anchor 250 feet of custom steel fencing to define the corner. An additional 76 feet of fencing was added at the east end of the park to delineate the boundaries. Several Victorian style benches were installed and plantings, which include ornamental trees, evergreens, and deciduous shrubs and perennials for four-season interest, complete the setting
Planting beds and annual summer clean up