Meadow Pond Fundraising Exceeds Goal (MA)

GROVELAND, Massachusetts, 4/24/02: The Friends of Meadow Pond and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today that, with nearly 40 donations from individuals, Groveland businesses, and foundations, the Meadow Pond/Stephenson’s Way fundraising campaign has raised a total of $35,850, thus exceeding the groups’ initial goal of $25,000. As a result, the April 29 Town Meeting will vote on acquiring this 58-acre parcel for approximately $215,000.

“The community support of the Stephenson’s Way project has been tremendous,” said Jan Dempsey, president of the Friends of Meadow Pond. “In addition to the generosity of Groveland residents and businesses, the Essex County Greenbelt Association, the Fields Pond Foundation, and the Stevens Foundation have made major contributions to this high priority land protection project.”

“The success of the fundraising campaign, combined with strong state support, has made it possible to reduce the Town’s cost to nearly one-third of the total purchase price,” said TPL project manager Nellie Aikenhead. “This cost translates to an initial payment of just $11 per year for the average Groveland homeowner.” In March, TPL, a national nonprofit conservation organization, reached an agreement to purchase the land from Stephenson’s Way Realty Trust for $600,000.

State funding will also play a crucial role in the protection effort. The Meadow Pond/Stephenson’s Way project has been awarded $250,000 from the state Self-Help Program and $100,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Law Enforcement. If Groveland Town Meeting votes to approve the Town’s portion of the funding on April 29, and residents support the decision at the ballot on May 6, the Town will purchase the property in June.

The Friends of Meadow Pond is a volunteer group of concerned Groveland residents who are committed to preserving beautiful Meadow Pond as well as the plant and animal species that call Meadow Pond home. The Friends are also committed to protecting open space in Groveland, keeping the town clean, and providing walking and hiking paths for every person to enjoy. 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 1.4 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.