By Scott MacFaden, Director of Land Protection
Our last completed project of 2018 was also a first of its type, our first Community Preservation Act (CPA) Conservation Restriction (CR) in Middleborough, the 43-acre Oliver Estate CR.
The town of Middleborough used CPA funds to purchase the 50-acre property in 2015. Situated at the junction of Route 44 and Plymouth Street, and just across from the town’s well-known Oliver Mill Park, Oliver Estate possesses considerable ecological significance. It includes over 3,000 feet of frontage on the Nemasket River, a major tributary of the Taunton River, multiple vernal pools, scenic woodland paths, and habitat for multiple state-listed rare species, including the eastern box turtle. The property is also historically significant, as it includes the historic Oliver Homestead and grounds, dating from the mid-eighteenth century. To learn more information on the Property’s fascinating human history, visit: http://discovermiddleborough.com/discover/oliver-estate
Our CR covers most of the property whereas a Historical Preservation Restriction held by Historic New England protects the seven-acre historic homestead portion. At some point in the relatively near future, the town intends to create a new trailhead parking area that will provide direct access to the property’s hiking paths.
Since our initial foray into protecting land in the Taunton River watershed in the 1990’s, in addition to prioritizing land protection along the river’s mainstem, we and our conservation partners have also afforded priority to preservation efforts along the Taunton’s tributaries and in headwaters areas. The Oliver Estate project is a prime example of a tributary-based project. Thanks, as always, to Middleborough Conservation Agent Patricia Cassady for her invaluable assistance in advancing this CR to completion, and for all of her ongoing efforts toward preserving Middleborough’s natural treasures.