Open Space Project in Dover (MA) Gains Momentum

Dover, MA–Today, the Dover Open Space Committee, Dover Land Conservation Trust, and the Trust for Public Land announced a series of events designed to inform the public and raise awareness of the ongoing effort to protect 62 acres of land known as Wylde Woods. The property is located on the west side of Centre Street in the area of Nos. 99 – 121, and it abuts 26 acres that the Trust for Public Land donated to the Dover Conservation Commission for permanent conservation last summer.

On Sunday, October 15, the Dover Open Space Committee, the Dover Land Conservation Trust, and the Trust for Public Land will host an open house on Wylde Woods from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Guided property walks will be offered, activities for children will be provided, and refreshments will be served. Additional property tours will be offered on Sunday, October 22, and Sunday, October 29, at times to be announced.

The Wylde property lies in the midst of more than 800 acres of conservation land that has been assembled and protected over time by the Town of Dover, the Dover Land Conservation Trust, and private landowners who have placed conservation restrictions on their properties. Referred to as the Centre Street Conservation Corridor, this network of open space runs in a continuous greenbelt from the fire tower on Pine Street to Channing Pond and the field at the intersection of Farm Street and Springdale Avenue. The protection of the Corridor, which would be completed by the acquisition of Wylde Woods, is the Dover Open Space Committee’s top conservation priority.

At the request of the Dover Open Space Committee, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) recently negotiated an agreement to purchase Wylde Woods for $4.3 million. TPL and the Dover Land Conservation Trust have committed to raising significant private contributions to make a bargain price available to the Town. Dover residents will be asked to approve the Town’s purchase of the land at an October 30, 2000 Special Town Meeting.

“There has been a tremendous amount of public interest in the prospect of acquiring the Wylde property and maintaining a large corridor of open space in Dover,” remarked Tobe Deutschmann, Jr., chairman of the Dover Board of Selectmen. “The selectmen have supported this endeavor by scheduling the Special Town Meeting, and a debt exclusion override vote on November 7. I encourage Dover residents to attend as many of the informational meetings as possible and to contact the selectmen if they have any questions about the project.” The Board of Selectmen is expected to vote on the proposed purchase on Wednesday, September 27.

“By negotiating an agreement to purchase the Wylde property, the Trust for Public Land hopes to provide an opportunity for Dover residents to come together and protect this outstanding natural resource permanently,” explained Badge Blackett, senior project manager with the Trust for Public Land. “Wylde Woods is one of those properties with pivotal significance for the town’s character. Dover has a choice between completing a conservation initiative that has long been Dover’s top open space priority, or letting private homes encroach into the middle of the Centre Street Conservation Corridor, forever dividing it into isolated and disconnected parcels of land.”

“The Wylde property is the linchpin of the Centre Street Conservation Corridor. Because of the property’s frontage on Centre Street, it will provide greatly improved public access to the trail system on the 800 acres of land that is already protected in the Corridor. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete an outstanding open space corridor for future generations of Dover residents,” said David Lewis, president of the Dover Land Conservation Trust.

If Dover residents vote to purchase Wylde Woods, it will be held by the Dover Conservation Commission for permanent protection. The property and its trail system will be available for non-motorized recreational uses such as hiking, cross-country skiing, and horse-back riding.

Tax deductible contributions to the protection of Wylde Woods can be sent to either the Dover Land Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 562, Dover, MA 02030, or the Trust for Public Land, 33 Union Street, Fourth Floor, Boston, MA 02108. For more information about the project, contact Badge Blackett at (617) 367-6200 or the Dover Board of Selectmen.

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 1.2 million acres nationwide. For more information, contact their Boston office at (617) 367-6200 or visit them on the Web at

Posted on September 25, 2000