Buffalo Hill Farm Permanently Conserved

April 16, 2012

A significant portion of historic Buffalo Hill Farm, the former summer home of Dr. Elliott P. Joslin and Elizabeth D. Joslin, has been permanently conserved for agricultural purposes, The Trust for Public Land and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced today. The Oxford, Mass. farm is known as Buffalo Hill and its prime farm soils will be leased to a local farmer.

Fifteen miles south of Worcester, the farm, with its Olmsted-designed entry road and landscaping, was the home of Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, founder of the Joslin Diabetes Center. The Trust for Public Land secured an Agricultural Preservation Restriction for 130 acres of the property, including fields, woods, and wetlands. The prime soils on the property attracted funding from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for the purchase. The State will oversee the agricultural restriction on the property. The current landowner, Carolyn J. Donovan, a granddaughter of Dr. Joslin, will lease the land to John Winsky, a local farmer.

“Local agriculture remains a strong feature of Oxford and nearby towns, and conserving Buffalo Hill Farm sustains locally grown resources,” said Kevin Essington, The Trust for Public Land’s Massachusetts state director. “We are grateful to Ms. Donovan and her family and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for their partnership in securing Buffalo Hill’s legacy as a local farm.”

Adding Buffalo Hill Farm to the State’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction program forever ensures access to the land exclusively for farming.

“We are delighted to have been able to work with Ms. Donovan and The Trust for Public Land to protect this landmark property for agricultural purposes,” said Greg Watson, MDAR Commissioner. “Our success in acquiring this restriction highlights the important role that land trusts can play in helping the state, and our federal partners through the Farm and Ranch land Protection Program, and to protect valuable agricultural resources for posterity.”

“Over the years my grandfather emphasized the importance of exercise and engaging the out-of-doors in maintaining good health. Our wish to preserve the productive hay fields and woodlands in Oxford is a natural extension of his teaching,” said Carolyn Donovan.

Dr. Joslin, who was born in Oxford, built Buffalo Hill in 1908, and engaged the Olmsted brothers in designing the long entry way to the home. The original double rows of oaks and lindens remain today.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit conservation organization conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 3 million acres of land nationwide, including more than 14,000 acres in Massachusetts. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission.