The Town of Barre was awarded a Mass. L.A.N.D. (Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity) grant award for $79,800 to purchase a conservation restriction on the Patterson farm. Click here to see a map of the area. At the fall special town meeting earlier in November, residents voted unanimously to purchase the conservation restriction. The East Quabbin Land Trust is assisting the Town with the acquisition process including landowner negotiations, grant writing and local fundraising, and stewardship planning. To meet LAND grant deadlines the conservation restriction must be purchased by June 30, 2013.
The Patterson farm is nestled in the northern section of Barre and lies between Mass Audubon’s Rutland Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Insight Meditation Society. The farm fields have dark, rich soils capable of growing tons of vegetables, grains and hay. The diverse wetland drains northward through mixed hardwoods providing excellent forage and nesting sites for many wildlife species. Travelers along Old Stage Road and Mill Road enjoy aesthetic views out over the bountiful fields.
The conservation restriction is focused on allowing sustainable farming practices, conservation of the wetlands and woods, and will also provide public access to the fields, wetlands and woods. There will be a building envelope, probably an acre or two in size, around the barn site to allow for permanent structures associated with agriculture. The rest of the land will be dedicated to conservation uses, and also allow for temporary farming structures like portable chicken pens, beehives or greenhouses.