Eastern Greenway – A Rare Opportunity

The land has gorgeous terrain including rocky outcroppings.

In 2019, HCT approached National Grid, the owner of 19 parcels in Harvard forming a corridor of land running northeast to southwest through the eastern side of Harvard to see if we could formalize permission to have trails pass over portions of the land.  Those conversations eventually evolved to the idea of National Grid selling the land to HCT.

The opportunity to protect 200 acres of pristine undeveloped land that has been untouched for over 50 years created great excitement at the prospect.  Much of this land is adjacent to existing protected land, and contains some really wonderful assets, such as vernal pools, diverse wetlands, and forested uplands in areas with extraordinary environmental value.

Sudbury Valley Trustees, a regional land trust based in Sudbury, has generously agreed to purchase a permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) on a portion of this land, consisting of 45.24 acres.  This area is within the High Ridge region, a ridge that spans thousands of acres of ecologically rich lands that spans the borders of Harvard, Littleton and Boxborough. SVT has led the effort to conserve land in this environmentally diverse area. The CR that SVT purchases will ensure that the land remains undeveloped and continues to provide benefits to wildlife and people for generations to come. HCT wishes to thank SVT for its generous support of this land protection effort!  Their contribution reduces the financial burden on HCT of this land purchase.

HCT hopes to finalize this purchase in late March, 2022, but we need your help!  A group of lead donors has stepped forward, but we still need to raise approximately $135,000 toward our fundraising goal.  Time is running out to help realize this exciting opportunity!

For anyone wishing to experience this land in person, please contact us to arrange for an escorted visit.  If you would like to help make this purchase a reality, please donate by clicking HERE

“The Harvard Open Space Committee evaluated all unprotected open space to identify the highest priority land to be protected using criteria developed from the 2016 Open space and Recreation Plan.  The land in question ranked in the “Highest Priority” category based on its areas of ecological significance, connectivity to protected open space, and its wetlands and streams.”  – Peter Dorward, Harvard Open Space Committee

What makes this land so strategic and valuable?

  • Contains undeveloped land virtually untouched for generations
  • Area of rare native species and their habitats, exemplary natural communities, and a diversity of ecosystems.
  • Abuts many existing permanently protected conservation areas, extending contiguous protected land areas for passive recreation and wildlife corridors
  • Offers opportunities for extending trails on abutting conservation lands
  • Contains certified and potential vernal pools

Read a detailed article authored by the Harvard Press regarding this project here: Harvard Press-Eastern Greenway

Eastern Greenway Map Connectivity

This map shows the relationship between the Eastern Greenways parcels, in red, with existing conservation lands and other protected lands in green.