Our History

“There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”
– Willa Sibert Cather
On June 16, 1973, five Harvard residents, Albert Anderson, Frank Coolidge, Larry Finnegan, Erhart Muller, and Edward Squibb, came together to form the Harvard Conservation Trust.

At one of their earlier meetings, Cloyce Reed, one of HCT’s first trustees, arrived with an acorn in hand. She drew a memorable analogy: “From this little nut grows a big tree. So too will the Trust grow from something small to something great.” And with that our Oak Tree logo was born.

Since that auspicious day, the Trust has helped acquire or protect more than 1100 acres for conservation – including the land surrounding the Town Beach, Watt Farm, Barba’s Point, the Eastern Greenway and Dean’s Hill.

Gifts of Land

1970’sErhart and Ruth Muller gifted 29 acres of apple orchards, fields, and woodlands on Littleton County Road.
1979The Hill family gifted 2.67 acres on Bolton Road.
1989Hans and Natalie Ohlin gifted 25.5 acres off Poor Farm Road.
1995Elizabeth May gifted 14 acres on West Bare Hill Road and the Porter family gave six adjacent acres.
1997The Pieters, McClellan, and Reed family donated 4.4 acres off Stow Road.
1998Pat and Don Ward gifted five acres on Old Littleton Road and the Davis family gave 4.5 acres off Stow Road.
1999The Goodwin/Woods family gifted 1.27 acres on Slough Road.
2000Peter Creighton of Land Resources Associates gifted 13.7 acres off Harris Lane and Still River Road as part of a limited development. The donation included an adjacent 16 acres to the Bolton Conservation Trust.
2001Tony and Delores Galeota gifted 10 acres on Littleton Road and the Ring family gave 1.7 acres on Warren Avenue.
2008Ann Levison gifted 37 acres of land on East Bare Hill Road.
2020Robert Stone bequeathed 18 acres of farmland on Ayer and South Shaker Roads. This scenic field has high quality soils and had been farmed by the Stone family for over 200 years.
2022David Elkinson donated 2.52 acres of land on Still River Road

Land Purchased and Held for Conservation

1997Purchased 24 acres on Whitney Lane and Littleton Road from the Coke estate, which abuts existing Town conservation land.
1996Purchased the Terry-Oyler property consisting of 16 acres and a house on Still River Road in the center of Town; sold the house with 2 acres to help finance the purchase.
1998Bought 3 acres from the Newsham family; land is adjacent to the Coke land near Town center.
1998Purchased 18 acre Barba property, including Barba point on Bare Hill Pond; created point of access to pond near Town Center (currently used under lease by Bare Hill Rowing Association); later sold portion of land that fronts on Bare Hill Pond to the Town to help finance the purchase.
1999Purchased the 13.5 acre Brehm property on Stow Road. Trails link to Great Elms and Burgess-Brown conservation lands.
2002Purchased 3.2 acres bordering Bowers Brook and adjacent to the Town conservation land off Woodside Road from Dick Case.
2004Purchased 20 acre Dolan Mason Land on Woodchuck Hill and Slough Roads; integral to connecting Town Center with broader trail system and protecting rural character; house lots sold to finance the purchase.
2013Purchased 38 acre Burgess-Brown Farm at the end of Murray Lane, enhancing and extending a large area of conservation lands in the area.
2017Purchased 50 acre Horse Meadows Knoll land; partnership with the Sudbury Valley Trustees to manage the property and protect unique wildlife habitat; house lot sold to finance the purchase.
2018John Grady donated half the value of his 10 acre agricultural field on Slough Road, to allow this purchase; land provides scenic “big sky”views to the east and is a critical link in an emerging greenway between town center and Great Elms.
2020Purchased 7.63 acres of land that on West Bare Hill that provides a connector trail between Bolton Road and West Bare Hill Road connecting the May Conservation Land with The Powell-Reed-Abbott Conservation Land.
2020Purchased 11 acres of open field and woodland on Oak Hill Road. This land provides a trail connection between the Dunlap land on Old Littleton Road and Oak Hill Road.
2022Purchased 200 acres of land that forms a nearly 3-mile corridor of land on the eastern side of Harvard, now called the Eastern Greenway. This land extends and connects previously protected conservation land, providing new trails and access.

Conservation Restrictions and Easements

1992Frank and Emily Coolidge preserved over 10 acres of pastureland at the corner of Brown Road and East Bare Hill Road as open space.
1996Preservation restriction on 1.5 acres from Judith and Andrew Warner, protecting the remains of an old stone barn built by the Shakers in 1835 off South Shaker Road.
19987 acres of orchard and woodland owned by Patricia Noxon on Pinnacle Road; now owned by Carlson Orchards.
200014 acres of woodland and trails off Harris Lane as part of a limited development.
200121 acres of forest and fields by the Eva Cahill on Littleton County Road.
200144 Town-owned woodland acres on Brown Road; commonly referred to as the Tripp land; public access allowed.
200255 acres of woodland and trails on Patch Hill in Boxborough, co-held with the Boxborough Conservation Trust; public access allowed.
2003Nearly 12 forested acres off Poor Farm Road and adjacent to Bowers Brook, granted by Loring and Katinka Coleman.
200424.3 acres of forested land granted by the New England Forestry Foundation on their Park of Two Georges land off of Shaker Road.
200480 acres of fields and woodland granted by Ruth Ernst land on Murray Lane.
2005Over 20 acres of farmland granted by William T. Maxant on Willard Lane in Still River.
20062 acres of woodland granted by Pam Smith on Oak Hill Road.
200730 acre working horse farm and woodlands granted by Priscilla Endicott on Littleton County Road.
2007 7 acre historic property granted by Erhart and Ruth Muller on Shaker Road. Permanently protects an historic house and the fields from ever changing.
200740 acres of woodland granted by James Dunlap on Old Littleton Road
20095 acres of field and woodlands in the historic Shaker Village granted by Alice Thayer on South Shaker Road.
201032 acres of Town owned conservation land on Dean’s Hill between Prospect Hill, Still River and Depot Roads. The parcel abuts the Town of Harvard’s Prospect Hill conservation land.
20121.5-acre scenic field protected on West Bare Hill Road
201311.4 acres of Town Conservation Land on Still River Road. This land with trails abuts the Harris Conservation Land
2015Joint effort between neighboring landowners, Town, and HCT to protect 11 acres on Old Littleton Road.
20174.7 acres granted by Ted Maxant of a scenic field in Still River Village; restriction provides for public access.
20184.5 acres of historic fields in the Shaker Village granted by Andy and Judy Warner, and Will Kemeza and Charlotte Vallaeys
20191.55 acres of scenic orchard on Oak Hill Road gifted by Mark and Hilary Finnegan
202034 acres of riverfront critical habitat with a trail allowing public access on Cruft Lane
202326 acres of forested land granted by Drs. Amin and Nahid Rathore. Frontage on Mettacomett Path and Jacob Gates Roads. A public trail will connect Mettacommett Path with the extensive trail network on the Eastern Greenway South.
*Except where noted, Conservation Restrictions are held on privately owned land and public use is generally not permitted.

Land Purchased Temporarily to Facilitate Conservation

1974Purchased 3.59 acres on Pond Road; later sold to the Town to protect the Town Beach.
1979Purchased the Kaufman land, a critical link between Holy Hill (a sacred place of worship for the Shakers) and the Town Forest; sold 20 acres to the Town for conservation at a bargain sale price made possible by selling two house lots.
1981Purchase 10.2 acres on Depot Road, which is part of Pin Hill, area of historic and unique geological interest; later sold to the Town to expand Pin Hill Conservation Area.
2000Bought the Tripp property, 44 acres off Brown Road, and sold it to the Town for the creation of a new public conservation area; HCT retained a conservation restriction to ensure perpetual conservation purposes.
2002Bought the Stone (5.6 acres on Old Mill Road) and Luongo (26.5 acres on Willard Lane) lands and later sold them to the Town for conservation purposes.
2002Bought Hosking’s Point (1.7 acres on Bare Hill Pond) and sold it to the Town.
2002Purchased 4.7 acres of Watt land on Still River Road, and then sold it to the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service for addition to the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge.
2004Purchased Dean’s Hill (32 acres between Prospect Hill, Still River and Depot Roads) on behalf of the Town; HCT retained a conservation restriction on the property to ensure perpetual conservation purposes.
2015Purchased 13 acre Lawton land on Old Littleton Road, then sold a portion to the Town and a portion to neighboring landowners; HCT retained conservation restrictions on all land to ensure perpetual conservation purposes.