Meadow Pond Land Protected (MA)

GROVELAND, Massachusetts, 6/27/02: A coalition of nonprofits and government agencies announced today the permanent protection of the 58-acre Meadow Pond Property. Located at the end of Stephenson’s Way in Groveland, the land abuts the Town’s Meadow Pond Reservation and, before today, was 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 Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, and the Friends of Meadow Pond, a volunteer group formed to advocate for protection of Groveland’s open spaces, assisted the Town of Groveland with the acquisition.

“We are so pleased with the outcome of this project,” said Jan Dempsey, president of the Friends of Meadow Pond. “Local support for the Meadow Pond project has been strong all along, and has pushed us across the finish line with a bang. The outpouring of financial support from so many organizations has been very encouraging, and has put Groveland on the map as a town with valuable natural resources. We hope that the momentum for wise stewardship will continue.”

“We applaud the Town of Groveland for acquiring this important open space,” said TPL project manager Nellie Aikenhead. “With significant frontage on Meadow Pond, the property’s network of winding woodland trails is used widely by Groveland residents and visitors. In addition, the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program has identified two rare species here, spotted turtles and wood turtles. The Trust for Public Land is delighted to have assisted with this important conservation project.”

Last spring, at the request of local officials, the Trust for Public Land negotiated an agreement on behalf of the Town to purchase the property for $600,000 from Stephenson’s Way Realty Trust. The April 29 Town Meeting and May 6 ballot votes authorized the acquisition. The Town’s purchase price was reduced to $181,500 thanks to state and private funding. The Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Law Enforcement acquired a conservation restriction over the property for $100,000. Additional funding was provided by a $250,000 award by the State’s Self-Help Grant Program and more than $68,500 in private donations and nonprofit grants.

“The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is very pleased to be able to play a role in the protection of this important parcel,” said Dennis McNamara, land acquisition specialist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. “The presence of important rare species habitat combined with its proximity to the Parker River and our Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area make this one of the prime acquisitions in this part of the state.”

“The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs is delighted to assist Groveland in its efforts to protect land within a Priority Habitat Area, designated by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program,” said Division of Conservation Services director Joel A. Lerner. “Protecting land using Self-Help funds benefits people as it does the environment.”

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.