The Trustees, the Town of Rochester & Marion Open Space Commission announce Public opening of 300 acres at East Over Reservation

Contact Information

Jennifer Dubois, South Coast Conservation Director
The Trustees of Reservations

ROCHESTER & MARION, MA — The Trustees of Reservations along with the towns of Rochester and Marion will celebrate the opening of an additional portion of East Over Reservation on November 13, 2010 at 1PM. This land, located along the Sippican River and its tributary, Hales Brook, includes a 246-acre parcel owned by the Town of Marion and a 75-acre parcel owned by the Town of Rochester. Both parcels were acquired and preserved between 2003 and 2005 as part of a landscape-scale conservation effort to protect nearly 800 acres of East Over Farm and other significant lands along the Sippican River. All are welcome to attend a ribbon cutting and guided walk through the new trail system located off County Road in Marion.

The East Over landscape, consisting of forests, wetlands, fields, cranberry bogs and other agricultural lands, was protected through a partnership between The Trustees of Reservations, the Marion Open Space Commission, the Town of Rochester, the Rochester Land Trust, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Massachusetts Division of Conservation Services. According to John Rockwell of the Marion Open Space Commission, “The opening of this trail system provides a new opportunity for the public to experience the forest and water resources protected in the East Over landscape. The Marion Open Space Commission’s partnership with The Trustees has made possible the opening of an additional four miles of trails on this land.”

East Over is located in the Sippican River watershed.  The Sippican River, a tributary of the Weweantic River, drains into Buzzard’s Bay. Approximately 30 square miles in size, the Sippican River watershed extends from route 195 in Marion and Mattapoisett, north to route 495 in Middleboro, and includes much of the eastern half of Rochester. Two mill ponds, Hathaway Pond and Leonard’s Pond, are located along the Sippican River where it borders Eastover Farm properties.

“The Trustees of Reservations are thrilled to announce the public opening of an additional 300 acres in the East Over landscape,” says Andy Kendall, President of The Trustees of Reservations. “The conservation of this spectacular landscape was made possible through the commitment of the Carr and Hiller families as well as the joint effort of a consortium of conservation partners, individual supporters, and the communities of Rochester and Marion.”

The Trustees manage both parcels in partnership with the towns of Marion and Rochester. The Youth Build programs of Fall River and New Bedford, as well as Upper Cape Technical Vocational High School and New Bedford Vocational High School helped The Trustees develop a trail system on the Marion parcel, including the construction of a boardwalk and bridge. The Trustees and the Town of Rochester are working to develop trails on the Rochester land and expect to open this expanded trail in 2011.  “The opening of the trail system in Marion is an important step in connecting the various properties within the East Over Landscape. The Town of Rochester looks forward to working with our partners to expand upon the trails over the next year,” said Laurell J. Farinon, conservation agent for the Town of Rochester.

The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will start at 1PM on Saturday, November 13th at the new parking lot located at 285 County Road in Marion.

More About The Trustees of Reservations 
The Trustees are 100,000 members like you who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and believe in celebrating and protecting them for current and future generations. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees “hold in trust,” and care for, 104 spectacular “reservations” located on more than 26,000 acres in 75 communities throughout Massachusetts. All Trustees’ reservations are open for the public to enjoy and range from working farms and historic homesteads – several of which are National Historic Landmarks – to formal gardens, barrier beaches, open meadows, woodland trails, mountain vistas, and a Gold LEED-certified green building in Leominster, the Doyle Center, which serves as a meeting space and gathering place for the conservation community.

The Trustees also work to promote healthy, active, green communities around the state by providing hundreds of year-round programs and events that inspire people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the history, nature, and culture of the Commonwealth. Most programs and events are free-of-charge or heavily discounted for members.

Accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, The Trustees are an established leader in the conservation movement and model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. In addition to its many reservations spanning 26,000 acres, The Trustees also hold perpetual conservation restrictions on more than 19,000 additional acres (a total larger than any other conservation organization in Massachusetts), and have worked with community partners to assist in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres around the Commonwealth.

To request photos please contact Jennifer H. Dubois: