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Boston & Dover, MA – March 24, 2016 – The Trustees, Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organization and the world’s first land preservation nonprofit, announced the organization has acquired 16 acres adjacent to its 32-acre Pegan Hill Reservation in Dover. The Trustees acquired the 16-acre 193 Pegan Lane parcel in December and conveyed a conservation restriction to the Town of Natick this week, permanently protecting it from development and providing public access. The Town of Natick has been an essential partner with their Town Meeting voting overwhelmingly in December to support the use of $1 million for the acquisition of this conservation restriction.
This acquisition is part of a cooperative conservation effort also involving the Dover Land Conservation Trust (DLCT) to create a new corridor of conservation land between The Trustees’ Pegan Hill Reservation and Mumford Wildlife Forest owned by the New England Forestry Foundation. DLCT acquired an adjacent 24 acres in October 2015. With the two conservation projects complete, 40 acres total have been protected from future development and will be now be open for the first time, to the public for passive recreation. Visitors will enjoy the highest elevation in Natick, with spectacular scenic views north to Mt. Monadnock, west to Mt. Wachusett and southeast to the Blue Hills. This conservation land will be accessible via The Trustees’ current Pegan Hill Reservation, which will soon offer an expanded parking area and permanent trail linking the Reservation to the new land and Mumford Wildlife Forest.
The protected parcels will also connect to the scenic Charles River Link Trail, a 16-mile trail that extends from Newton to the Bay Circuit Trail in Medfield which traverses a portion of Pegan Hill before veering west into the Mumford Wildlife Forest. As a result of this project, more people can now enjoy these connected and protected properties for year-round outdoor recreation, including hiking, walking, picnicking, bird watching and more.
“This conservation victory took more than a year and a half to complete and was only made possible by the generous support of community members, multiple foundations, the DLCT and the Town of Natick,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees president and CEO. “We are grateful for the help of many passionate conservationists who have collectively worked together to protect this land for current and future generations.”
The project was part of The Trustees ongoing mission to protect critical lands adjacent to its current reservations and to protect new open spaces in close proximity to centers of population. The Pegan Hill project achieves both objectives while forming a critical link with existing protected land in the Dover/Natick area.
"This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to permanently protect this spectacular property in Natick" said Matthew Gardner, Chair of the Natick Conservation Commission. "A number of parties stepped up to the plate to make this happen. Because of the commitment of The Trustees, and the support of the residents of Natick and the surrounding communities, we will be able to enjoy this beautiful property in perpetuity."
Between the two projects, over 50 private foundations and individuals have together committed gifts ranging from $100 to $1 million. The Trustees is still actively seeking donations toward the project. For more information on how to make a donation, please contact: The Trustees’ Development Office, 572 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915. Phone: 978.921.1944.
The Trustees preserves and cares for some of Massachusetts’ most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1891 and celebrating our 125th Anniversary in May 2016, we are the world’s first land preservation nonprofit and the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation organization. We believe in protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever. Our passion is to connect more people to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living by using our 114 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 3,500 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform. Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.6 million people in 2015, our properties span more than 26,000 acres across the state – from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. In addition to our properties, we are also an active leader in land conservation. We hold conservation restrictions on more than 20,000 acres and have worked with community partners to help protect another 25,000 acres across the state. In 2014 we became a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation where we operate our Appleton Farms vendor booth and serve as the educational programming partner for the Market’s demonstration KITCHEN. Funded by our nearly 125,000 members and supporters, we invite you to get out, get inspired, and find magic in the moment at a Trustees property near you: www.thetrustees.org.