Three Land Projects Worth Celebrating

Mass Audubon has been protecting important places in the Massachusetts landscape for almost a century now. Working with land owners, public and private conservation partners, and supporters, we use best available science to identify high-priority parcels of land and pursue their permanent conservation for the benefit of people and wildlife.

And we are off to a great start in 2021! We have already ensured 80 acres will be permanently protected from development.

Patten HIll field in Shelburne
Patten HIll in Shelburne

The Last Piece of the Puzzle in Shelburne

Thanks to the efforts of many—including over 300 donors—the remaining land of the Patten Hill Farm Trust in Shelburne Falls has been permanently protected. Mass Audubon purchased the lands from the Patten Hill Farm Trust to be added to our High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary—initially established by gift of Ellsworth “Dutchy” and Mary Barnard in 1970.

This addition strengthens the connection between High Ledges, the undeveloped 574-acre Shelburne Falls Fire District land (a public water supply property), and the 221-acre Davenport Farm. Joining all these protected properties creates a largely unfragmented land corridor of more than 1,000 acres. See why this matters >

A Sanctuary Grows in Canton

Pequit Brook
Pequit Brook

At the end of January, Mass Audubon received a donation of 2.73 acres of land next to the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon (MABA) in Canton, MA. The new addition—donated by Bill Carroll and the Carroll Family—features a lovely series of rapids, or cascades, of Pequit Brook that runs along the Main Loop Trail.

Most of the land is a vibrant red maple swamp teeming with various species of native plants and animals. Learn more >

A Partnership in Marshfield

Thanks to a collaboration between the Town of Marshfield and Mass Audubon, 13 acres of land abutting our North River Wildlife Sanctuary has been protected. The Town purchased the property from the MacLarey family using Community Preservation Act funds, and Mass Audubon acquired a permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) on the land.

A CR is a legally binding agreement held by one entity (in this case, Mass Audubon) that permanently protects important conservation values of a property owned by another entity (in this case, the Town of Marshfield) .

This land ranked as one of our highest priority parcels identified for protection in the area and allows for passive recreation including the right to build a small parking lot for a new trailhead. Learn more >

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About Hillary T.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln Who: Massachusetts transplant by way of Florida and New York. Raising two young girls, who she hopes will be budding naturalists Favorite part of the job: Learning something new every day from some of the smartest and most enthusiastic groups of people

6 thoughts on “Three Land Projects Worth Celebrating

  1. Beverly Westerveld


    Congratulations on obtaining those three parcels!

    Will any of the land in the Shelburne group be open to farming?

    1. Nancy Cowan

      Hi Beverly, we will continue with late season haying in the open fields, allowing grassland birds to nest.

  2. Sylvia Evans Barnard

    Thank you so much for your wonderful article on Patten Hill. I think more and more that the Barnard to whom we owe the most is Elisha who chose Patten Hill for his new home in 1790. I still have some of his books, including the 1817 annual of the Massachusetts Peace Society of which he was an early member. I am sure he would be pleased at the preservation of his old home.

  3. Marcia Gnagey

    Thank you Joseph for keeping an eye out for land that may be conserved, thus protecting both flora and fauna. I think this is a wonderful idea and would love to see this come to fruition.

  4. Joseph Zorzin

    Might MA Audubon be interested in a property in Athol? It’s about 50 acre- all forest- on the banks of the West Tully River. I’m a consulting forester so I know the property well. The owner is considering selling. You can contact me directly if you want to discuss this further. I could then send you a digital copy of the existing forestry plan.


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