- Once part of the large Smith family farm in the northeast corner of Hubbardston, Fieldstone Farm is a history
book that tells the story of Hubbardston’s agrarian and logging heritage.
- Fieldstone Farm is a large tract on the east side of Hubbardston adjoining extensive acreage in a corridor of conserved land protecting
natural resources and providing recreational opportunities for public use. It encompasses essential forest and wildlife habitat, wetlands, and watershed
for the East branch of the Ware River helping us ensure public water sources are protected.
- The land offers miles of walking trails, and a potential connection to the Midstate Trail and Mt. Wachusett. Providing this opportunity for outdoor activities
is more important now than ever.
Your support will make this conservation project possible. Please make a designated gift today.
More than a year ago, a ‘For Sale’ sign popped up on the land next to Henry’s Grove on Lombard Road in Hubbardston, advertising 275-acres available. Yikes! That’s a lot of land, and adding houses across from and next to Henry’s Grove could seriously impact the conservation values of our existing 94-acres of woods and wetlands. It’s taken months of negotiations, discussions and debate, but the first steps towards conserving those parcels are done. We purchased the land in February, and we’re now working to permanently conserve the 245-acres, the actual amount of land that was purchased.
From the map you can see the important east-west corridor that is assured once permanent conservation is achieved. There’s also designated priority wildlife habitat, water supply protection, and additional miles of walking trails possible once these acres can stay as woods, rather than be converted to houses.
What’s next? Several things still need to happen to assure the land is conserved. A small group of Hubbardston residents are combining forces to guide our next steps. First, a request for $75,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding is on the June town meeting warrant. We are planning a series of walks on the land and mailings to let residents know about this terrific conservation opportunity, and of course, encourage their YES vote. The CPA dollars are part local tax dollars and part state-matching dollars. The CPA funds can be spent on conserving land, historical projects, affordable housing, and active recreational initiatives. Hubbardston uses its CPA funds to complete projects important to the community, and it’s been ten years since CPA funds assisted with conserving land in town.
A second step is raising additional funding to fully cover the purchase costs. The purchase price is $650,000 with an estimated $20,000 in transaction expenses. We are seeking $120,000 in funding from private foundations and individuals. If you’d like to support the permanent conservation of this land, please make a designated gift through the Support tab or contact us at (413) 477-8229.
If you’re doing the math, you’ll see a big discrepancy between the $670,000 in estimated costs and the $75,000 CPA funds and $120,000 in private fundraising. We are fortunate to partner with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which committed $425,000 towards conservation of the land. Part of this funding is designated for their purchase of 94-acres, the land on the west side of Lombard Road that formalizes the conservation corridor between Henry’s Grove and the existing DCR land on Colony Road in Princeton. The other part of DCR’s funding will be matched by CPA support and private fundraising to permanently conserve the 150-acres east of Lombard Road with a conservation restriction held by DCR. The East Quabbin Land Trust committed $50,000 to retain ownership of the restricted 150-acres.
You can see that a plan is in place, but there are still many pieces to fit together to turn the conservation vision into reality. The possibilities are exciting, and the local committee is enthusiastically working to generate support from their neighbors. Please join us on this land conservation journey.