Wachusett Meadow Protects Modest but Significant Land Parcel
Michael P. O'Connor
PRINCETON, MA—Mass Audubon has recently protected 5.4 acres of land adjacent to its Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary that will further enhance ecological and recreational values in Princeton and the surrounding region.
While modest in size, the parcel situated at the intersection of Gates and Goodnow roads near Wachusett Meadow’s western boundary represents a significant addition to the 1,100 acre- wildlife sanctuary.
This land connects to the 136-acre Four Corners Conservation Area and to several hundred acres of conserved land within the Ware River Watershed as well as north over to the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation.
In addition, a section of the Midstate Trail, a popular long-distance hiking path stretching from Rhode Island to New Hampshire, passes alongside the newly-protected parcel and links to the sanctuary’s network of trails.
As neighbors and Mass Audubon supporters, Lauren and Steve Stimson commented, “This type of acquisition may be small, yet it is extremely meaningful; every parcel of land contributes to this larger system of open space that is an important wildlife conduit and corridor for recreation along the Midstate Trail.
“Our farm is part of a network of forest, fields, wetlands, and swamps that is lucky to be adjacent to Mass Audubon,” the Stimsons added.
Deb Cary, Director of Mass Audubon’s Central Massachusetts wildlife sanctuaries, which include Wachusett Meadow, noted that the conservation organization identified this area as a key protection priority years ago.
“We were grateful to be given the opportunity to protect additional land on the west side of the sanctuary which connects to the Four Corners Conservation Area, includes a section of the historic Boston-to-Barre Turnpike, and is adjacent to the Midstate Trail,” Cary said.
More than $60,000 was raised in a short period of time to secure the property.
“It is inspiring—and very exciting—to have neighbors and friends of Wachusett Meadow answer our call for support so quickly and so generously,” she added. “Although small in size, this 5.4 acre parcel is a wonderful addition to the sanctuary.”
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.