Scott and Gladys Olson generously donated their 4.9-acre property in Princeton, MA, so it could become part of Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.
While modest in size, the parcel situated at the intersection of Gates Road and Goodnow Road—near Wachusett Meadow's western boundary—represents a significant addition to the 1,100-acre sanctuary.
A section of the Midstate Trail, a popular long-distance hiking path stretching from Rhode Island to New Hampshire, passes right alongside the newly-protected parcel and also links to the sanctuary's network of trails.
These additional acres help preserve the integrity of the natural landscape, and secure a larger area for wildlife movement—a critical need as our climate changes.
Scott and his family have owned this land for almost 40 years. Scott grew up in Holden, attended Wachusett Regional High School, and ended up living in Princeton. He and Gladys reside in New Hampshire now, and together they decided the best thing for the land would be to donate it to Mass Audubon.
"I have a trove of wonderful memories of my life in Princeton, particularly time spent walking in the sanctuary at all times of day in all seasons of the year," Scott wrote, on behalf of his family. "I took my 41-year-old son on his first hike down our dirt road into the sanctuary when he was six days old."
"It gives me profound satisfaction to know that the land will be conserved in perpetuity for others to share."
The generosity of the Olsons is a lasting legacy to the people, wildlife, and nature of Massachusetts.