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.
St. Vincent de Paul Property: Phase 2
WLCT has embarked on an effort to create Westport’s first community park at the 82-acre former St. Vincent de Paul Camp on Adamsville Road. This effort followed WLCT’s successful Phase 1, which included acquisition and protection the property in February 2018 and removal of the buildings in summer 2018. See below for more information about Phase 1.
WLCT and the Town embarked on a town-wide planning effort where they invited the community to provide feedback on the future of the property. Over 200 community members shared their thoughts about the need for more open space where families can hike, enjoy a picnic, engage in recreation like kite flying and tossing a football or Frisbee, all in a wide open park-like landscape. Based on the public response, WLCT created a vision to create a community open space that welcomes individuals, families and groups, protects significant natural resources and connects people to the outdoors.
WLCT then worked with a landscape architect to create a plan for the property, which addresses: landscape restoration, visitor experience and building removal and renovation. WLCT seeks to renovate the farm house into a visitor’s center and office for WLCT. Second, WLCT will restore and maintain the stone walls, recreate the allee of trees down the center carriage path, and restore the footprints of the original farm fields with meadows and open fields (where the buildings once stood). Finally, WLCT will create parking areas, trails and signs on the property to facilitate public access and to interpret the property’s natural and cultural features. WLCT will maintain the nonoperational gymnasium on the property into the immediate future and will continue to work with the Town’s Recreation Commission to create a plan for its potential future use.
WLCT is raising $1.025 million from private sources to make phase two a reality and has raised over $475,000 as of Fall 2018.
With your help, we hope to open the property to the public in June of 2019. You can donate here, or email Director of Special Projects, Jennifer Dubois at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 636 9228 for more information about the project.
St. Vincent de Paul Property, Adamsville Road: Phase 1
The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) has permanently protected the 82-acre former St. Vincent de Paul property, on Adamsville Road! WLCT closed on the iconic property in February 2018 in partnership with the Town of Westport. This project was a tremendous example of a community rallying to save an important natural and cultural resource. The $2 million dollar acquisition and start-up was supported by over 160 parties, including over 150 Westport families, several private foundations, and the Town of Westport.
The Town supported the acquisition by acquiring two conservation restrictions (CRs) over the property for a contribution of $599,000, and a $196,000 statewide Land Acquisition for Natural Diversity (LAND) grant. These CR’s permanently protect the property from future development in perpetuity. Now, WLCT is embarking on a Phase II effort to transform the property into Westport’s first community park. The transformation will reflect the property’s cultural history while preserving habitat, and connecting people to nature.
A special thanks to Tina Shapleigh-Schmid, shown in the photo to the left, who championed the fundraising campaign to protect the property.
Wood Farm South Lot Conservation Project
The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) partnered with the Town of Westport to protect the Wood Farm South Lot, one of the last remaining agricultural parcels in Central Village. This 2.47-acre property was owned by James Wood and is located on Main Road in Central Village, just north of the William Raveis Real Estate Office. This project focused on three main conservation goals:
- Protect significant farmland that complements the dense development in Central Village and showcases Westport’s unique rural character
- Protect the water quality of Angeline Brook, one of the very few cold water streams in Southeastern Massachusetts that supports sea-run brook trout
- Provide access to open space in Central Village, a thriving economic driver in Town, where people come to shop, eat, visit and play
Thanks to support from the Town of Westport, private foundations and 72 families across Westport, this 2.47-acre parcel is now protected forever! WLCT now owns the land and will manage it into the future. We will continue to host Jim Wood’s dairy cows on pasture and revive the native vegetation in the field. The Town of Westport holds a Conservation Restriction (CR) on the property- permanently protecting it from any future development!
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.
Photo by Greg Stone-Sweet Pepper Bush at the proposed Forge Pond Conservation Area expansion
want to volunteer?
We always need more volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering with the Westport Land Trust, then give us a call at (508) 636-9228 or simply email email@example.com and put “Volunteer” in the subject line.