Current Projects

Land Protection Projects:

WLCT is in the midst of several major land protection projects. When completed, these projects will protect over 100 acres of scenic and sensitive land in Westport. If you have any questions regarding these or any of our other projects, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your support and interest!

St. Vincent de Paul Adamsville Road Camp

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Photos by Greg Stone-The former St Vincent DePaul Camp on Adamsville Road

“Protect the St. Vincent de Paul Property” Community Survey:

Click Here to take the Survey Now

The 82-acre former St. Vincent de Paul Camp on Adamsville Road presents a rare land protection opportunity for the community of Westport. For many years, the camp utilized the unique landscape to connect urban youth with the wonder of nature and the outdoors. Today, the Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) and the Town of Westport seek to honor this legacy of connecting people to the land by protecting this property and making it available for the community’s use and enjoyment for generations to come.

WLCT plans to acquire the entire 82-acre property in January 2018, remove the camp structures, and replace them with a natural landscape. WLCT will own and manage the 62-acre forest as a conservation area with over one mile of trails connecting to conservation land in Rhode Island. The camp core will have a conservation restriction to protect its scenic character and to ensure that it is used only for active and passive recreation. Based on community input, WLCT will then support the Town’s development of a plan for the future recreational use of the camp core. Together, WLCT and the Town will create a thriving community park for all to enjoy. WLCT has a contract to purchase this property and has until December to raise the funds. This project will cost $1.95 million. The Town has committed $850,000 and an anonymous private foundation has contributed $700,000. WLCT has raised $200,000 from private sources. In order to make this project a reality, WLCT must raise an additional $200,000 by December 2017.

For information on how to make a gift, please contact Peter Woodhouse at (508) 636-9228 ext. 5006 or peter@westportlandtrust.org

Forge Pond Conservation Area Phase Two

20160803-3w3a2775Photo by Greg Stone-Sweet Pepper Bush at the proposed Forge
Pond Conservation Area expansion

Forge Pond Phase II is an exciting project that will greatly expand the Forge Pond Conservation Area. Conservation of this 33-acre property has been a priority for WLCT and the Town of Westport for almost a decade. Title issues derailed its pending conservation in 2011. Following the resolution of those issues, WLCT has again entered into an agreement to purchase the property. This forested property contains sensitive wetland buffers adjacent to the upper east branch of the Westport river north of Old County Road. Protection of this property is key to protecting clean water entering the Westport Rivers.

 

Land Stewardship Projects:

With over 1,000 acres of open space to manage, WLCT takes an active approach to improving wildlife habitat, opening new trails to promote public access, and monitoring our conserved lands. To learn more about any of our current land stewardship projects, please contact Brendan@WestportLandTrust.org.

Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration

bluebird HHCA spring 2017

Photo by Greg Stone- An eastern bluebird on April 16, 2017 at the
Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration     

In March of 2016, we received news that our Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration project proposal to MassWildlife’s competitive Habitat Management and Improvement Grant program had been successful. We were awarded $12,122.95 in grant funding from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to complete the 5.75-acre grassland meadow restoration at the recently expanded 158-acre Herb Hadfield Conservation Area.

Consistent with a 2009 WLCT management plan authored by forester Mike Labossiere, formerly of The Trustees, the restoration initiative began in early 2015 with the clearing of a 5.75-acre section within the central portion of the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. The project has rapidly progressed since the initial timber harvest and to date we have seeded over 300 lbs. of native warm season grass mix and installed ten nesting boxes on the site to improve wildlife habitat for a variety of bird species. We look forward to seeding in a diversity of native wildflowers in subsequent years.

“These (MassWildlife Habitat Management and Improvement) grants will allow municipalities and conservation organizations to improve wildlife habitats and enhance recreational opportunities for people who enjoy hunting, bird watching and other outdoor recreation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This grant underscores our commitment to protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources.”

Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge Habitat Improvement

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Forests in Westport have had trouble with invasive insects like Gypsy Moth and Winter Moth in recent years. Forestry activity has begun at the Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge which will improve general forest health. Along with state licensed forester, Rupert Grantham, we are completing a small select cut of the property. This active forestry will improve nutrient recycling and hardwood regeneration while also promoting old growth characteristics in a relatively young forest.

Hikers should be advised that while this forest management activity is taking place the property is closed to the public. This activity will not impact road conditions along Old Harbor Road and will be completed before next summer.