The Sacred Heart Reservation property was acquired in 1979 when the Sacred Heart brothers sold their property to the Town of Andover. This sale included the private boys school, which was located in the former headquarters of the American Woolen Company. This area was once a floodplain for the Shawsheen River, but it was filled in by the American Woolen Company in the early 1900s for the construction of the headquarters and for the recreational use of its employees. The loss of this floodplain's storage capacity has contributed to the flooding issues experienced in Shawsheen Village.
By 1986, the remaining floodplain, riverbank, an wooded slopes were under the care and custody of the Andover Conservation Commission to preserve their conservation value and to create recreational opportunities for the town. Totaling 24.6 acres, this reservation is now home to amphibians, breeding fish, and numerous birds. Magically, a small community of fairies has also appeared among the trees of Sacred Heart - their small, colorful homes can be seen during a walk around the property.
This reservation is open to the public for non-motorized recreation such as hiking, trail running, leashed dog walking, skiing, and birdwatching. The reservation can be accessed at a trailhead across the playing fields, or from the Lower Shawsheen Soccer Field.
Parking is available for visitors at Penguin Park off Burnham Road.