By Scott MacFaden, Director of Land Protection
The dog days of summer were anything but quiet in Marshfield, as we completed a quartet of Community Preservation Act Conservation Restrictions within a several-week span in August. Encompassing a variety of landscapes at various locations around the town, the Conservation Restrictions range in scale from eight acres to 32, and help protect a variety of conservation values, including rare species habitat, North River frontage, and land critical to protecting water supplies.
The Town used Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to help acquire all of these properties. Marshfield has consistently been one of the most effective communities in Wildlands Trust’s coverage area in utilizing the CPA to protect significant open space properties.
These four Conservation Restrictions (CR) are the latest in a series of CPA CR’s we have completed in partnership with the Town of Marshfield’s Open Space Committee and Community Preservation Committee.
Many thanks to Karen O’Donnell for her persistence, energy, and good humor in advancing these CR’s to completion. Marshfield’s successful implementation of the CPA is very much attributable to volunteers like Karen, who give generously of their time and energy in service of their community.
NORTH RIVER CORRIDOR CPA CR
The North River Corridor CPA CR helps protect land that possesses multiple conservation values. The Town acquired the Property in December 2015 after many years of on and off negotiations with the landowners.
Encompassing 32.4 acres off the west side of Union Street, the subject Property has extensive North River frontage, is within Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program-designated rare species habitat, and perhaps most importantly, is a critical link in an expansive corridor of contiguous open space along the North River east of Rt. 3. This area has witnessed several vital open space acquisitions over the past decade that have served to create a contiguous riparian expanse of over 500 acres.
The Property is open for “passive” recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and nature study, and is best accessed from an adjacent town-owned open space property, the Little Conservation Area, which includes a trailhead parking area on Union Street.
CAROLINA HILL ADDITION CPA CR
This CR helps protect eight acres of upland woods directly abutting the northern tip of the Town’s Carolina Hill Woodland Reservation, an 800-acre expanse that is one of the Town’s largest open space reserves.
The Town acquired the Property in 2012 because of its proximity to Carolina Hill. Due to adjacent development, opportunities to expand Carolina Hill are dwindling, and the Town acted quickly and decisively to pursue this modestly scaled but very strategic acquisition.
HOLLY ROAD CPA CR
Tucked away up on Holly Hill in east Marshfield lies a 52-acre property acquired by the Town in 2013, primarily because of its proximity to a town drinking water well. Because of that proximity, the Property is within a Zone II Wellhead Protection Area and a Water Resource Protection District. Our CR encompasses 27.6 acres of the Property’s total acreage, with the balance under the care and custody of the Marshfield Department of Public Works.
Almost entirely wooded and with level topography, the Property is also rich with important wildlife habitats. It is especially notable for its six certified vernal pools, all of which occur within our CR area.
CARESWELL STREET CPA CR
The Careswell Street CPA CR protects 18.5 acres situated off of its namesake street in southeast Marshfield. Similar to the North River and Carolina Hill projects referenced above, the acquisition of this Property expands an existing assemblage of conservation land. Two Town open space holdings, the 58-acre Wharf Creek/Estes Woods and Webster’s Wilderness, are directly adjacent and proximate, respectively, and Mass. Audubon’s Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary is situated nearby to the north.
The Careswell Street property lies within Natural Heritage Program-designated rare species habitat, and helps to protect the water quality of nearby Wharf Creek, which drains into Green Harbor.