Tag Archives: Holliston

Another Piece of the Puzzle Conserved in Holliston

On April 22, 2019 a new Conservation Restriction (CR) was acquired in a joint effort between the New England Forestry Foundation, Mass Audubon, and the Poitras Family (longtime conservationists and supporters of Mass Audubon).  The property includes 60 acres of lovely fields and woodlands along Highland Street.

Mass Audubon has been busy in Holliston over the past few years.  It is all part of a long term effort to knit together a large natural landscape for the benefit of Holliston and neighboring communities. 

Altogether, Mass Audubon has played a role in protecting over 360 acres in Holliston since 2005.  This CR furthers the connection to hundreds of acres of existing protected land.  The mosaic of connected, protected lands will facilitate wildlife movement and increase nature’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, in addition to providing cleaner air and drinking water for these MetroWest communities in the years ahead.  A large portion of this land will eventually become a new Mass Audubon property called Broad Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

A mossy stone wall on the recently protected 60-acre Poitras property

The People Making It Possible

It is hard to talk about our work in Holliston without mentioning the Poitras Family.  Without them, this work would not have been possible.

The Poitras family are the ones who first envisioned the protection of this historic and scenic section of Holliston. Largely with their own resources, they have gradually been purchasing land and then donating CRs on that land to Mass Audubon and the New England Forestry Foundation.

It is difficult to find better supporters of land conservation anywhere.

A Team Effort

We also need to give credit to the New England Forestry Foundation for all their help in making this work possible. 

In the conservation community, it’s important to remember that we all think of ourselves as “playing on the same team” with many other talented, dedicated “players”.  So much more conservation gets done when we work together.

New England Forestry Foundation has been working with Mass Audubon in Holliston for quite some time, and we are grateful to have them as our partner.

by Nick Rossi, Land Protection Specialist

120 acres neighboring Waseeka and Broad Hill Wildlife Sanctuaries to be protected

Dinah Rowbotham, Land Protection Program Assistant

The Town of Ashland has signed an official Purchase and Sale agreement with Northeastern University to buy the Warren Woods property, 120 acres very close to Mass Audubon’s Waseeka and Broad Hill Wildlife Sanctuaries (check out our previous blog post on this project).  The agreement was signed just before Town Meeting last month.  The agreement includes a provision to delay closing the sale until this year’s Local Acquisition for Natural Diversity (LAND) grant winners are announced. If the town is awarded the grant, it could bring in up to $500,000 toward the land’s total purchase price of $5 million. The project is now within a 60-day exploratory period that provides the town with the needed opportunity for environmental studies, title and deed searches, and surveys.  Mass Audubon has been assisting the town with various aspects of the purchase including appraisals and technical assistance and has pledged to contribute $150,000 toward the project.  It is anticipated that over 100 acres will be covered by a conservation restriction that will permanently protect the land’s natural conservation values.

An abutting 23 acre portion of Northeastern University’s land in the neighboring town of Holliston is also being considered for protection by Mass Audubon and other conservation partners.

Land protected by Mass Audubon CR, near soon-to-be-protected Warren Woods land.

Updates, updates, and more updates!

Bob Ford, Land Protection Specialist

Warren Woods
Preservation of 120 acres in Ashland took a huge leap forward with the successful town meeting vote on November 27 to appropriate $5 million of CPA funds for the purchase of the land from Northeastern University. The very high attendance at town meeting was nearly unanimous in its vote. Mass Audubon is assisting the Town in various ways, financial and technical, and it is anticipated that a substantial portion of the land will be permanently preserved. Warren Woods is adjacent to a vast corridor of important open space, state forest, Ashland reservoir lands, and Mass Audubon’s Waseeka and Broad Hill Wildlife Sanctuaries. For more information on this initiative, visit www.savewarrenwoods.org.

Above: Warren Woods in Ashland, photo by Cindy Shields


Mass Audubon has recently been informed that generous landowners in Marshfield intend to add more land by gift to a previous 10 acre acquisition that expanded the North River Wildlife Sanctuary. The land contains important upland wildlife habitat.

Ocean Shores
In another Marshfield project, Mass Audubon expects to receive a CR within the next few weeks on nearly 30 acres of rare species habitat adjacent to Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary.  The CR is in the final stages of review at the State and here at Mass Audubon we’re finishing up the baseline report in preparation for closing.

Great Marsh Conservation Initiative
Our effort to preserve 80 acres of pristine salt marsh and associated upland in Rowley is advancing according to schedule with real estate due diligence inspections coming to completion. Mass Audubon will be meeting with the Rowley Conservation Commission next week to further discuss our plans for establishing the new wildlife sanctuary at the Great Marsh.

Above: Great Marsh in Rowley, photo by Mass Audubon staff