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!
Horseneck Road Conservation Project
The Westport Land Conservation Trust’s (WLCT) latest project will protect two properties totaling 57 acres on Horseneck Road and Hix Bridge Road. These properties contain critical farmland and open space, and are adjacent to 400 acres of land protected by WLCT, the Town of Westport, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and The Trustees of Reservations over the years. This large area of preserved land helps ensure the continuation of Westport’s agricultural economy, protects its rural character and contributes to the scenic views on Hix Bridge Road and Horseneck Road.
WLCT is partnering with the Town of Westport and MDAR to protect these two properties. MDAR plans to acquire an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on a 15-acre farmland property and WLCT will accept the donation of a conservation restriction on a 42-acre forested and open space property owned by the same family. MDAR has committed $280,000 and The Town has committed $140,000. WLCT has raised $122,000 and must raise $103,000 by March 31st to make this project a reality.
To support this project, please click DONATE NOW.
St. Vincent de Paul Adamsville Road Camp
A special thanks to Tina Shapleigh-Schmid, shown in the above photo,
who championed the fundraising campaign to protect the property.
The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) is so thankful for your support of the St. Vincent de Paul project. Because of your support, we ended 2017 on a high note. As you can see from the photo above, we have reached our goal!
I am also pleased to share with you the news that the Board of Selectmen have voted to approve funding for the purchase of a conservation restriction (CR) over the 22-acre Camp Core (in addition to the previous vote for the Town to acquire the CR over the 60-acre forest). This means that WLCT will own the entire property!
WLCT and the Town are committed to ensuring the property is managed in the most thoughtful way, and we are both confident that this is the appropriate outcome. The Town understands that WLCT ownership entails a focus on passive recreation rather than active recreation. That being said, WLCT remains committed to pursuing opportunities for the Town or other community groups to create a plan for the future of the gymnasium.
Thank you for your commitment to the St. Vincent de Paul project, and for your confidence in WLCT to make it a success. You will hear more from us in 2018 as we plan for the next phase.
Forge Pond Conservation Area Phase Two
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
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
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.