Agreement to Purchase Meadow Pond Property (MA)

Groveland, MA, 3/11/02: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit conservation organization, announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase 58 acres on Meadow Pond. Under the terms of the agreement, TPL has until the end of May to purchase the land for $600,000 from its current owner, Stephenson’s Way Realty Trust. TPL began negotiating to purchase the property last fall, at the request of local officials.

“This is a great opportunity for the Town of Groveland,” said Groveland Selectman Bill Darke. “The Meadow Pond property fulfills the criteria laid out in the Groveland Open Space and Recreation Plan, and we now have an opportunity to purchase the land for a modest cost. The town is also extremely fortunate to have received a grant of $250,000 from the State’s Self-Help Program, which will help cover the cost of the purchase.”

“The Trust for Public Land is pleased to be assisting with this unique project,” said TPL project manager Nellie Aikenhead. “Conserving the Meadow Pond property will protect valuable wildlife habitat and popular local recreation trails. We are grateful to the property’s owners for agreeing to provide us with this window of opportunity to protect the land.”

In order for the Town to complete the project, residents must vote to approve the Town’s portion of the funding at Town Meeting on April 29 and at the ballot on May 6. The Meadow Pond project has already been awarded a Self-Help Grant of $250,000 by the State, and TPL and project supporters hope to raise additional funds from state and private sources to further reduce the cost of the acquisition to the Town.

Located at the end of Stephenson’s Way, the property abuts the Town’s Meadow Pond Reservation, and is one of the most critical unprotected links in a 500-acre corridor of undeveloped land that stretches from Meadow Pond Reservation in Groveland to the Parker River in Georgetown. The property is largely forested, and includes a network of winding woodland trails and significant frontage on Meadow Pond. It has been identified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program as habitat for two rare species, spotted turtles and wood turtles.

“We are very excited about the possible purchase of land on Stephenson’s Way. As we see it, this is a win-win situation,” commented Mike Dempsey, chair of the Groveland Conservation Commission. “The residents of Groveland will get a great recreation area. The Town will get more open space and will protect habitat for rare turtle species.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres nationwide, including nearly 100,000 acres in New England. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the second year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs.