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 protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.