Pepperell Springs Protection Effort Continues (MA)
Pepperell, Massachusetts, 11/3/04: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit conservation organization, announced today that it is continuing to defend its rights under a contract to acquire the Pepperell Springs property from its current owner, DS Waters of America. In August of this year, TPL filed a complaint in Suffolk County Superior Court alleging that, D.S. Waters of Atlanta, GA, is in breach of contract for refusing to honor a signed agreement to sell the Pepperell Springs property to TPL. TPL’s lawsuit asks the Court to order D.S. Waters to comply with the terms and provisions of its agreement with TPL.
TPL plans to transfer ownership of the property to the town, with the State holding a permanent conservation restriction over the land that will prevent future development. Under the terms of the agreement announced in May, TPL’s purchase of the property was scheduled to close by November 1, 2004. Although TPL was prepared to proceed on that schedule, DS Waters continues to deny the existence of a binding agreement of sale.
After the Town’s largest-ever unanimous vote at Special Town Meeting in September, the largest ever federal Forest Legacy appropriation for the Commonwealth, and continued strong private fundraising support, TPL is prepared to proceed with the acquisition as soon as DS Waters agrees to proceed with the terms of the agreement, or the courts order its performance.
Senior Project Manager Badge Blackett said, “We are prepared to move forward with the acquisition of this property. We are disappointed that we were not able to close on November 1, and we will continue to pursue our complaint in Superior Court. On behalf of TPL, I want to thank the individuals, families, foundations and businesses in the Pepperell area and beyond that have so generously contributed to the fundraising campaign for the permanent protection of this property.
Town Administrator Bob Hanson said, “We are pleased with the support that the project has received thus far, from the work of our Congressional delegation in securing federal Forest Legacy funding, to the overwhelming and unanimous vote at Special Town Meeting, to the hugely successful private fundraising effort that the Coalition has managed. The Town and the Trust for Public Land are poised to complete this project once the litigation is concluded.”
TPL is partnering with the Nashoba Conservation Trust, the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA, which serves as an educator, advocate, and steward for the 31 watershed communities in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire), the Nissitissit River Land Trust (NRLT), the Town of Pepperell, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), collectively referred to as the Pepperell Springs Preservation Coalition. This coalition was formed in December 2001 when local citizens decided to conserve this important property.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit conservation organization conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 45 states, including more than 10,000 acres in Massachusetts. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information, please contact TPL’s Boston office at (617) 367-6200 or visit www.tpl.org/massachusetts.
Contributions to the Pepperell Springs Campaign are tax-deductible and can be sent to the Nashoba Conservation Trust, PO Box 188 Pepperell, MA 01463. For more information, contact Paula Terrasi at (978) 433-6068.
Note to editors:
To have a digital photo or map emailed to you, contact Chris LaPointe at the Trust for Public Land, (617) 367-6200 x358.