At this past Saturday’s Spring Annual Town Meeting, Plymouth Town Meeting members approved two open space acquisitions funded entirely or in part by Community Preservation Act funds.
Both of these acquisitions help protect one of Plymouth’s most vital natural resources, the Plymouth-Carver Sole Source Aquifer. The pollution-sensitive aquifer encompasses 199 square miles, and in addition to Plymouth serves seven other communities with drinking water.
One project will protect 43 acres of diverse upland, wetland, and riparian habitat along the Eel River in Chiltonville. This property is closely proximate to two Wildlands Trust preserves, including the 58-acre Eel River Fields property, and is one of the largest remaining unprotected parcels along the lower Eel River corridor. It includes rare species habitat and 1,300 feet of river frontage.
The Town has qualified for Commonwealth of Massachusetts “LAND” Grant Program funding that will help defray the cost of acquiring the property. The LAND Grant Program provides partial funding for open space acquisition projects to qualifying municipalities, and allows them to make more efficient use of local resources, particularly Community Preservation Act funds.
The second project will protect 10.2 acres of wooded upland near the terminus of Russell Mills Road. This property connects with town-owned parcels directly abutting to the west and east, thereby creating an expanded area of contiguous open space.
In keeping with our longstanding partnership with the Town, and to ensure compliance with Community Preservation Act requirements, Wildlands Trust will hold permanent Conservation Restrictions on both properties.
These projects are the latest in a long series of open space acquisitions enabled by the Community Preservation Act in Plymouth, and provide further affirmation of how the CPA continues to benefit town residents. Congratulations to the Community Preservation Committee and the Town’s Environmental Management staff for advancing these outstanding land preservation projects!