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 property on Adamsville Road. This effort followed a successful Phase 1, which included acquisition and protection the property in February 2018 and removal of the buildings in summer 2018.
Over 200 community members have shared their thoughts about the future of this property, and 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. 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.
To realize this vision, WLCT has created a plan emphasizing three major components: landscape restoration, visitor experience, and structural removal and renovation.
Landscape Restoration: WLCT has designed an inviting, low maintenance landscape on the 22-acre open space that will include restoring open meadows and fields, restoring the allée of trees along the main path, and uncovering and stabilizing a stone bridge at the edge of the open space. WLCT will plant low maintenance warm season grasses in the fields which, once established, will be managed for habitat. WLCT will prepare a forest management plan for the 60-acre woodland, and create and maintain over three miles of trails through the entire property.
Visitor Experience: This property’s hallmark is its potential to connect people with nature. WLCT will create a welcoming public entrance that leads from the parking area to a Visitor’s Center in the farmhouse, which will feature displays about the property’s history, cultural features, and natural resources. The paths in the open space will be firm and smooth for walking and will have shaded spots for picnics and nature observation. The trails will travel through a diverse forested landscape. Throughout the property WLCT will create five outdoor Nature Experiences, highlighting the property features and providing a platform for public education. These areas will include dedicated space for children and families to explore and play.
Structural Removal and Renovation: In order to accomplish the first two parts of this plan, WLCT first addressed the structures on the property. Over 13,000 square feet of pavement and the dilapidated camp structures were removed, with the farmhouse, gymnasium, and workshop remaining. A local architect has prepared plans to renovate the farmhouse into an office for WLCT and a Visitor’s Center. In addition, with close to 1,300 acres to steward across town, WLCT needs space to build signs and boardwalks, properly store equipment, and support volunteers. The workshop will allow WLCT to improve the quality of stewardship for all of our properties.
WLCT is raising $1.025 million from private sources to make Phase 2 a reality. As of April 1, 2019, we have raised over $836,000 and have only $189,000 left to raise! Donate today!
With your help, we hope to open the property to the public in June of 2019. Contact Director of Special Projects, Jennifer Dubois at Jennifer@westportlandtrust.org or (508) 636 9228, extension 4 for more information about the project.
The above video gives you a glimpse into this unique property – why it is so special, and what it can do for our community
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Volunteer” in the subject line.