Dover, MA, Permanently Conserves Wylde Woods

Dover, MA: Today, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Town of Dover announced the permanent protection of the 62-acre Wylde Woods property on Centre Street. At the request of the Dover Open Space Committee, TPL negotiated an agreement last fall to purchase the land, and in November Dover residents voted by more than 3 to 1 to approve the Town’s acquisition of the property for $3.2 million. Now, with the transfer of the land to the Dover Conservation Commission, the project is complete.

“This project was the result of a truly remarkable groundswell of community support and enthusiasm,” said Craig MacDonnell, project manager for TPL. “Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, donors, officials, and organizations, Wylde Woods is now part of a legacy of open land that will be enjoyed by future generations of residents.”

Tobe Deutschman, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, commented, “We are pleased with the broad support which was evident throughout the process. The partnership of public and private funding demonstrates the commitment to preservation of its open space. We sincerely appreciate the assistance of the Trust for Public Land and the Dover Land Conservation Trust in helping the town complete this conservation corridor.”

David Lewis, president of the Dover Land Conservation Trust, said, “I am pleased that these wonderful woods, which are an integral part of a significant “green belt” in town, will be preserved forever. The private fundraising for the project was a big effort and the Town is indebted to the many individuals whose generosity helped to make this all come together.”

Beedee Ladd, Chairwoman of the Open Space Committee, explained, “The Open Space Committee is delighted that the Wylde Woods property is now an important part of the Centre Street Conservation Corridor. We look forward to working with the selectmen, the Conservation Commission and other town groups to make Wylde Woods and the rest the corridor accessible to citizens of Dover. We cannot thank the Trust for Public Land enough for their critical role in making this acquisition possible. We also thank the Wylde family for working with the Town in making this possible.”

Although TPL purchased Wylde Woods for $4.3 million, the Town was able to buy the property for a bargain price of $3.2 million thanks to a $1.1 million private fundraising campaign spearheaded by the Dover Land Conservation Trust. The campaign benefited from the support of singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor who held a benefit concert for the project in October.

Wylde Woods lies in the midst of an 800-acre greenway of conservation land, known as the Centre Street Conservation Corridor. Because of its frontage on Centre Street, the property will provide greatly improved public access to the corridor’s existing trail system for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. In addition, Wylde Woods supports a number of regionally rare species, including the spotted salamander and Eastern box turtle, and abuts 26 acres that TPL helped protect in 1999.

The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including nearly 60,000 acres in New England. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, call TPL’s Boston office at (617) 367-6200 or visit