Charles River Community Groups


Welcome to our group! We are a cooperative of nonprofit organizations working together to better engage neighbors surrounding our banks of the Charles River.

These six non-profit organizations along the Charles River in South Natick have banded together to collaborate, share information, and resources. We hope that you will use this website to find new and interesting programs along the Route 16 corridor.

At Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary you’ll find beautiful walkways and native plants of New England. Natick Organic Farm is just that – a working farm which sells its wonderful produce and flowers. The Natick Historical Society is the place to learn about our community’s colorful past, located on the lower level of the Bacon Free Library. The Bacon Free Library, a “hidden gem” by the bend in the river, houses thousands of books and materials for the entertainment and enlightenment of all comers. The Eliot Church is a true community church with many programs for all ages. And, finally, the Gardens at Elm Bank, Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s education center. In just about 5 miles, one can find interesting, informative, interactive, and delicious fare. We have it all! Come explore–


Little Free Libraries at CRCG!


We are so pleased to be bringing Little Free Libraries to the Charles River Community Groups sites (and a couple of others!).

The Bacon Free Library recently applied for and was awarded a grant from Mathworks to buy and install six Little Free Libraries around Natick. With that the BFL colloborated with Broadmoor, Elm Bank, the Eliot Church and the Natick Historical Society to place Little Free Libraries on their sites. The BFL will also have LFL’s at the Common St. Spiritual Center, the  park at the dam by the library (Oldtown Park) and at JJ Lane Park – thanks Natick Parks & Recreation for helping make that happen!

And, we were so excited to have 5 Natick High School students (Catie Hodges, Melissa Chisholm, Lia Adams, Lucie Robert, Michael Bruce) paint the LFL’s for Broadmoor and Elm Bank, Lee Manuel paint for the Eliot Church, Denise Girardin paint for JJ Lane Park, Bren Bataclan paint for Oldtown Park and Irene Carrick/Donna McPherson paint for the Common St. Church.

Keep a lookout for a celebration of these Little Free Libraries coming up in the Fall. We love the idea that books will be available to those who are traversing these awesome places!

Hidden Treasures

Ken Van Blarcom 2-23-16 (2)Saturday, April 2, 2016
at The Eliot Church, 45 Eliot Street, South Natick
10:00 am – 2:00 pm registration for verbal appraisals
11:00 am – 3:00 pm verbal appraisals
Bring your antiques and collectibles to Natick’s own Kenneth Van Blarcom at the historic Eliot Church.  With more than four decades of experience and a vast knowledge of antiques, Ken will share his expert opinion and advice on rare books, jewelry, furniture, paintings, textiles, documents and photographs, and more.  You’ll take away information on the appraisal process, how to conserve your family heirlooms, and how to learn more about antiques.
–$10 per object or $25 for three–
Proceeds benefit the co-sponsors:
Natick Historical Society, Bacon Free Library, and The Eliot Church
Stay for part of the program or all day
Refreshments provided by The Friends of the Bacon Free Library

Holiday Concert at the Eliot Church


The Mudville Madrigal Singers will appear on Saturday, December 12 at 4pm at the Eliot Church, 45 Eliot Street (Rt. 16), South Natick, MA. A reception will follow the performance.  Proceeds from the suggested donation of $15 benefit the Eliot Church.

The Mudville Madrigal Singers came into being when musicians from the historic “Mudville” neighborhood of Holliston, MA started singing together in 1993. Now the group’s 10 members hail from several greater Boston communities, and they perform across the western suburbs. Performing a wide variety of music for unaccompanied voices, the group has been praised for their sumptuous blend and diverse programming. The ensemble is equally at home singing Renaissance madrigals, sacred works from Palestrina to Poulenc, part-songs from across Europe, traditional spirituals, or jazzy selections from the American songbook.  For directions and further information, go to or call 508-653-2244

Holiday Concert 120615

Steeple and lit tree

Hail to the Chief! History, Music and Fun



a musical play by
In Good Company
1:30 – 3:30
at the Natick Senior-Community Center

Campaign Songs, Even Henry Wilson’s

It’s an election year. A professor begins to drone on about nearly two centuries’ worth of presidential campaigns and political songs. Before he can finish his first sentence, a raucous caucus interrupts and demands the professor not just lecture about, but sing the campaign songs that roused a nation. The challenge is issued; let the musical debate begin!

Before radio, TV, and the Internet, songs were the most effective way to spread a political message. Hail to the Chief includes a colorful assortment of candidates’ songs from the era of George Washington up to the time of JFK, songs set to traditional melodies, and original tunes such as those by Irving Berlin. Henry Wilson even had his own song that will be  performed!  Hail to the Chief is more than a history lesson; it’s a refreshing antidote to today’s negative  campaigns. Join us for a delightful, thoughtful and humorous musical journey through American election campaign music–just as we are thinking about Election Day.
This event is free and open to the public.  A $5 donation would be most appreciated!

    This program is supported in part by a grant from the Natick Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Oldtown Photo Calendar Competition, October 18, 11-3


Photographers, you are welcome to enter your local images in our 10th annual Oldtown Photo Calendar Competition.  And whether or not you are a photographer, come to the show on October 18, 11-3, at Memorial Hall (40 Eliot St) to vote for your favorites, meet representatives from local nonprofit groups, and take an Oldtown Tour courtesy of the Natick Historical Society!




South Natick Dam postcardSaturday, June 13, 2015  10:00-4:00

Come on out and see for yourself what the non-profits in the neighborhood have to share.  Five members of the Charles River Community Groups will offer family-friendly activities, each with at least one free component.

To go to these five sites–and earn prizes if you visit all five–please view and print:  Charles River flyer

Come learn more about our story–and yours!

Asylum Quartet to appear at the Eliot Church on April 12


The Asylum Quartet will appear at The Eliot Church, 45 Eliot Street, South Natick on Sunday, April 12, at 3 PM.   Lauded for an “amazing performance” when they appeared on WNPR’s “Where We Live”, the Asylum Quartet redefines the saxophone’s place in today’s musical soundscape, presenting an eclectic program that includes works from Gershwin, Erylimaz, and Zhurbin. The concert venue is the sanctuary of the historic Eliot Church, one of the oldest church sites in the country.  The church sponsors community events of all types throughout the year. Proceeds from the suggested donation of $15 benefit the Eliot Church.  A wine & cheese reception will follow.  For more information on the concert, and directions, go to, email, or call 508-653-2244.  For more information on Asylum Quartet, visit

Asylum Quartet Flyer