Inside Winchester

Table of Contents

Winchester--Village and Town
Statistical Summary
Town Meeting
Town Government
Town Manager
Community Programs
Health Services
Town Finance
Planning, Zoning, and Building
The Public Library


A wide variety of activities is available to Winchester residents. A significant asset of the Town is the opportunity for many types of recreation, much of it publicly sponsored. A large number of community organizations provide substantial service to townspeople. Recreation Department

The Recreation Department operates under the direction of the Town Manager. There are four full time staff, the Director, the Program Coordinator and two secretaries.

The Department conducts an extensive assortment of program services for both youth and adults including a day camp for ages 3 to 5, the operation of a Town swimming area, numerous instructional programs in recreational activities and all Community Education programs. The Department is also responsible for the use and scheduling of 33 recreational facilities, including a 15-clay-court tennis complex (Packer Courts) and numerous ballfields. The Department works closely with the private youth and adult organizations within the Town that provide specialized programs in soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and tennis. A complete listing of available services for the four seasons can be obtained at the Recreation Department Office located in the Sanborn House at 15 High Street. Brochures are published four times a year, in August, December, March and May.

The Winchester Youth Center is open to adolescent youth ages 13-18 years. The Center, which is located at McCall School, operates under the guidance of the Town-appointed Council on Youth and under the supervision of the Recreation Department. The Center features drop-in hours for casual recreation/social activities, Monday - Friday from 2.30-4pm. Youth Center staff also work cooperatively with the Middle School to sponsor dances and other evening activities. Two youth groups meet weekly for special programs.

Community Use of Schools

Town facilities are often available for community programs. The Recreation Department uses school resources for many of its indoor sports and craft activities. School auditoriums are available for a nominal fee for use by community organizations.

Programs for Senior Citizens

Winchester has an active Council on Aging, eleven citizens appointed by the Selectmen. Under its auspices, senior citizens are assisted in finding or dealing with service agencies, in obtaining identification cards for discounts, reservations for various recreational and leisure activities and health services, counseling, social activities, visitor and telephone contact services. The focal point for the activities is the Jenks Senior Center at 109 Skillings Road, on the Aberjona River.

Conservation Areas

Winchester owns or has access to several conservation areas which are open for recreational use. Between Wickham Road and North Gateway is the Town Forest, 28 acres of woodland used by hikers, cross-country skiers and Scout groups. Smith Pond, on Ridge Street, is an area supervised by the Conservation Commission and used for nature walks. Winter Pond, on Woodside Road, is supervised by the Town. There are two public swimming areas; Borggaard Beach on Palmer Street is Town supervised; and, Sandy Beach, on the Upper Mystic Lake, is controlled by the Metropolitan District Commission. The Aberjona Bikeway is a public, marked bike path which follows the course of the Aberjona River from the Woburn line to the Mystic Lakes. The Middlesex Fells Reservation, three hundred acres of woodland abutting the Town on the eastern side, offers miles of woods and trails and bridle paths, as well as Long Pond where ice skating and nature walks are available. The Upper Mystic Lake offers fishing and non-power boating.

Other Recreational Programs

Besides public programs, Winchester enjoys several sponsored by interested citizens and town merchants. These include baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, ice skating, and ice hockey. A tennis clinic is sponsored by the Tennis Association. Packer Courts on Palmer Street is the scene of several tournaments during the warm months. Girl and Boy Scouts have active groups in Town. The Winchester Chess club, open to all ages, offers instruction, games, and tournaments.

Private Clubs and Commercial Facilities

The Winchester Boat Club, 65 Cambridge Street, on the Upper Mystic Lake, offers swimming and sailing activities oriented primarily toward families. The Winchester Swim Club, 105 Johnson Road, with a swimming pool and six tennis courts, is also popular with families. The Winchester Country Club, Cambridge Street on the Arlington Town line, has an 18 hole golf course, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a curling rink, and a bowling green. For interested gardeners, there are three garden clubs; the Winchester Garden Club, The Winchester Estates Garden Club, and the Winchester Home and Garden Club. On East Street is a 14 court public tennis complex, the Winchester Indoor Lawn Tennis Center.

Service Organizations

Winchester has a large number of service organizations which contribute substantially to community life. Among them are:

The League of Women Voters of Winchester: The League is a non-profit organization which seeks to promote informed and active participation in government. It sponsors a varied program of study of issues chosen by its members, action on behalf of legislation of interest to the League, and public programs on matters of concern for the League and to townspeople. Through its Voter Service, the League provides factual information on the structure and function of government, on voting procedures and on election issues and candidates.

The Winchester Historical Society: The Society maintains the Town archives which are open to the public. It holds three general meetings a year and sponsors monthly field trips to sites of historical and architectural interest.

The Newcomers Club: the Club helps new residents become acquainted with the community and with their neighbors. General meetings are held monthly, often with a speaker from Town Hall or another active civic organization. A variety of special interest programs are offered, such as bridge, tennis, and gourmet cooking. Several time a year, The Club sponsors a social event, perhaps a pot luck supper. Maximum membership is for five years.

Winchester Trails: a volunteer organization operating in cooperation with the Conservation Commission and the School Department. It offers an active program of nature walks and nature study for school children, as well as sponsored short courses and guided walks for other interested Winchester residents. Winchester Trails publishes pamphlets and trail guides to the Fells and other conservation areas.

Friends of Winchester Hospital. This official auxiliary organization of the Winchester Hospital is staffed by volunteers offering approximately 22 different services. It is open to all who would help the hospital. A traditional feature of Winchester is the Friends Annual Ball, held each autumn to raise funds for its activities.

Friends of Winchester Public Library: an association of interested townspeople who advocate a strong public library.. The Friend volunteer their time to support the library by helping with used book sales, sponsoring cultural and information programs, and providing volunteer help for library projects.

The En Ka Society: an organization to provide service and financial support to charitable organizations in Winchester. EnKa works with Tri-Community Health and with the State Welfare Department to aid those in the community needing assistance; it sponsors a summer camping program for all children and provides volunteer services at the Winchester Hospital. Funds for its programs come from the EnKa Exchange, a thrift shop on Main Street, and from the EnKa Fair, an annual carnival held each May. Membership in EnKa is by invitation only. The Winton Club: The purpose of this organization is to support the Winchester Hospital It provides financial assistance each year from the proceeds of the Winton Club Cabaret, a home talent variety show which fills the town hall auditorium each night during the last week in January. Besides providing linen for the Hospital, the Winton Club volunteers staff the hospital gift shop and provide assistance in the coffee shop. membership in the Winton Club is by invitation only.

In addition to such local organizations, Winchester has a variety of larger organizations: The Rotary Club, The Lions, Club, Elks, Knights of Columbus, Sons of Italy, the American Legion, VFW., American Red Cross, alumnae and alumni clubs for various colleges, and several political organizations.

The Studio Guild, a club of 25-30 residents interested in painting, with a studio on Mt. Vernon Street.

The Music Society a performing group of amateurs and professionals who meet several times a year to present informal programs.

The Winchester Community Music Program provides lessons for all ages in all phases on music at the McCall Middle School.

The Cooperative Theater for Children presents year round musical productions.

The Winchester Players; a drama group open to all, puts on several plats during the year at the Unitarian Church on Main Street.

Winchester Chamber of Commerce

The Winchester Chamber of Commerce is a business and professional organization comprised of firms co-operatively working to solve the economic and community problems in the Winchester area. The Central objective of the Chamber is to provide members with unified voice and to effectively direct this voice toward resolving those issues that impact on our area businesses.

The Board of Directors, comprised of local business and professional people, is the policy setter for the Chamber. Reporting to the Board is the Executive Director who administers the many projects undertaken by the Chamber.

The Chamber invites you to visit or call its office at Waterfield Road, if you have a problem, need special information, desire personal assistance or have an opinion on any business or community issue.

Information on these and other organizations, such as the Welcome Wagon. Winchester College Clubs, and the Multicultural Network, as well as church services is available through the Town Book, Winchester Community Connection, a local telephone and service directory sent free to all residents. Extra copies are available at book Ends, Ann Blackham & Co. and Cradock Apothecary.

The next two pages are an organizational chart of town government.

e-mail comments to: