Land Protection Project
Benefits to Harvard’s Conservation Efforts
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
About the Property
The permanent protection of this highly scenic parcel of land, along with an easement that allows public access to the property in perpetuity, delivers exceptional value. Nearly half of the $2+ million purchase price was committed by MDAR and the Federal Department of Agriculture, while the town’s Community Preservation Committee committed $300k. Remaining funds were raised among HCT, Sudbury Valley Trustees, Community Harvest Project, and private donors.
Based on the assessed value of the land, the organizations achieved the goal to raise $2.5 Million and to provide Community Harvest Project with the necessary funds to continue its operation of the orchard. HCT supported this effort, as the Prospect Hill Community Orchard offers both extraordinary conservation value and serves as a critical connection between significant parcels of conservation land.
About the Property
This land protection project was successfully completed in March 2022. The 19 parcels containing 200 acres are found in three groupings:
Eastern Greenway – North – This segment is approximately 45 acres of mostly hardwood and pine forest and of exceptional beauty, with views over a reservoir, rocky outcroppings, and steep forest slopes with a vernal pool. It runs approximately 1.4 miles north from Sherry Road, near the intersection with Mass Ave nearly to Littleton County Road. This land provides a link between the Muller Conservation Land and Horse Meadows Knoll, both owned by HCT. It also abuts the Gillette Conservation land owned by the Town of Harvard. To the north, the land abuts the Trail Ridge Conservation Restriction and the Westward Orchards Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) land on Littleton County Road. This north-south corridor links together over 286 contiguous acres of permanently protected land in an area of the highest ecological value. A linkage trail over the Eastern Greenway will connect the Muller and Horse Meadows Knoll trail systems.
Eastern Greenway – Central – This segment will add approximately 45 acres of mixed hardwood and pine forest of extraordinary beauty in an area with a large number of permanently protected parcels. The addition of this land to the conservation land inventory will extend the complex of conservation land known as the Burgess-Brown land (HCT) and the Brehm land (HCT) further east and provide a future trail connection opportunity to Stow Road. Together with the Brehm and Burgess-Brown land, and the abutting Great Elms (Town of Harvard), Williams (Town of Harvard), Barrett (Town of Harvard), and the four Conservation Restrictions that abut them, a contiguous area of over 352 acres is permanently protected. And formerly landlocked isolated conservation parcels become joined. A planned trail will connect Stow Road to over 4 miles of interconnected trails.
Eastern Greenway – South – The largest segment will add 110 acres of land to two separate conservation areas, uniting them into a single large 220-acre conservation area. The very pretty Tripp Conservation Land on Brown Road (Town of Harvard) currently has a modest out-and-back trail that ends on the crest of a pretty hill. The trail that currently ends can be extended further north, offering potential connections to other lands to the north, east and west. The opportunity to link the Perini, Stevenson, Bush, and Slattery (Town of Harvard) lands to the Tripp land and double the size of all of these conserved lands combined is an exciting opportunity for wildlife habitat, and passive recreation.