WLCT and Town of Westport Partner to Conserve Berry Hill Farm on Pine Hill Road
Tina Schmid (WLCT President), Dale Weber (CPC Project Liaison), and Bob Pierce (BHF landowner) celebrating the closing
The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) has partnered with the Town of Westport through the Community Preservation Committee to preserve Berry Hill Farm on Pine Hill Road. This 42-acre farm has cultivated blueberries for the Westport community for two generations and will now forever be a part of Westport’s agricultural landscape with the recent purchase. This project will be the sixth time WLCT has purchased, preserved, and resold a farm at its restricted value to a family, keeping the land in agriculture.
“Westport’s farmland is at the heart of the community,” states Ross Moran, Executive Director of WLCT. “Yet, keeping that land in active agriculture is increasingly challenging. Westport farmers work so hard to maintain this integral part of Westport’s heritage. WLCT is pleased to partner with the Town of Westport to not only preserve Berry Hill Farm, but make sure it is available for farming well into the future.”
Bob Pierce chose to work with WLCT and the Town earlier this year when he was considering options for his family farm, where he grows blueberries and produces hay.
“I would especially like to thank the land trust team for initiating the process to retain Berry Hill Farm as a permanent agricultural entity,” says Bob, “I am also grateful for the many people in our community who contributed to the project. The farm has been a major part of my life for many years. I am going to miss interacting with all of the customers who I have met over time. However, I am excited to watch a new generation of farmers take over and preserve the legacy of Berry Hill Farm for future generations.”
WLCT has forever preserved Berry Hill Farm with a conservation restriction co-held with the Town of Westport. “We are thrilled to partner with the land trust on projects that conserve what is most special about Westport- our agricultural heritage, generational stewardship of the land, and spectacular natural resources,” says Betty Slade Chairperson of the Community Preservation Committee. This restriction preserves prime farmland soils, forest, and water resources. The Farm is part of the Westport River watershed and its substantial wetlands flow into Allen Brook, a tributary to the East Branch of the Westport River.
In addition to preserving these resources, the farm will stay a working farm, with a right to build one house in a predetermined location. WLCT will sell the farm at its restricted value to an experienced farmer in early 2023, and will issue a Request for Proposals by late November.
If you are interested in learning more about purchasing and farming this protected farm please contact Nicole Plante at Even Keel Realty at 508-636-0099 or visit westportlandtrust.org.