Current and Recent Projects:Ferrie-Caulkins Woodland Project
Hope Ridge Conservation Area
The Johnson Property
The Rutland Land Conservancy has been offered a gift of a lovely 24-acre parcel. The property belongs to a resident who would like to protect this primarily forested land as wildlife habitat. The property has a small network of trails that lace back and forth between stonewalls and along an intermittent stream that ultimately empties into Worcester¯s Pine Hill Reservoir. The property has been enrolled for many years in Chapter 61A.
This property is of interest to the city of Worcester and to the Department of Conservation and Recreation primarily because of the stream that runs through it, but it’s also within the watershed of both the Wachusett and Pine Hill Reservoirs. Another nearby Pine Hill Reservoir watershed parcel is currently being developed, making protection of this land even more significant.
To acquire the property we need to survey out an easement and mark boundaries for the parcel. The Conservancy wants to place a conservation restriction on the property to give it the best protection. Acquiring this land would allow the land trust to protect not only the watershed, but also the sensitive habitat, currently home to a variety of wildlife, including owls, hawks, reptiles, fishers, and several species of woodland wildflowers and plants. The trails that the owner has created and maintained were implemented with an eye towards encouraging wildlife use.
The forest consists of a wide variety of hardwoods, including a special beech grove, and some conifers, as indicated on the enclosed forest management plan. One approaches the parcel through a gently sloping meadow.
The property is conducive to both passive and trail-based recreational activities for the public. Wildlife photography, drawing & painting, nature studies, bird watching, light hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing would be very appropriate activities for this parcel.
To assist us with the acquisition of this Rutland property, RLC has received a Conservation Partnership Grant of $5000 from the State of Massachusetts. Under the terms of this reimbursement grant, Rutland Land Conservancy will own the property and the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation will hold the conservation restriction. We need to raise $5000 matching funds to complete the work necessary to acquire this important parcel. We are asking all members and friends of the Conservancy to make a donation, so we can bring this property under permanent protection. Donations can be to the Conservancy online or mailed to Rutland Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 404, Rutland, MA 01543
Your generous support will help further our mission to conserve the center of Massachusetts
Hope Ridge Conservation Area
The Rutland Land Conservancy is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $10,000 grant through the Empowering Local Land Trusts in Western Massachusetts grants program! The Conservancyís project is to renovate the Hope Ridge Conservation Area, a Town owned property, stewarded by the Conservation Commission. The parcel is the original site of the first tuberculosis sanitarium in the nation and was known as Rutland Heights Hospital.
The Johnson PropertyCongratulations to Bob and Barbara Johnson for acquiring an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on their property! The former Bo-Bar Christmas tree plantation, located on Pleasantdale Road, now has a permanent deed restriction preserving and protecting the agricultural land.
The APR program compensates farmland owners the difference between the "fair market value" and the "agricultural value" of their farmland in exchange for a permanent deed restriction which precludes any use of the property that will have a negative impact on its agricultural viability.
RLC acted as a liaison and provided financial support for appraisal costs. The Conservancy was very happy to assist this wonderful couple in achieving protection for a property that not only has important agricultural value, open space, and significant forest habitat, but also holds much sentimental value for many families who purchased their Christmas tree there throughout the years. This beautiful farm will be maintained in its current agricultural condition for many to enjoy for generations.
If you or someone you know has a farm that should be considered for preservation, please give RLC a call.
Find out more about APR:
- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
- Smart Growth/ Smart Energy Toolkit
- Contact RLC to learn more