Published on July 18, 2022

Key Wildlife Corridor and 110 Acres Protected

Swallow Rise map

On June 15, 2022 Mass Audubon completed the protection of roughly 110 acres of land and a critically important connection between our Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary (a large sanctuary protected for wildlife with little impact from people) and Wendell State Forest. Made of a mosaic of wetlands, agricultural fields, and forest both young and old, this now protected land supports a diverse array of plants and wildlife.

The land was protected with a Conservation Restriction (CR), which allows the land to be perpetually protected, while also remaining privately owned by Swallow Rise Inc.

In addition to the clear natural benefits, the project is also a success of sustainable development and conservation working in harmony with one another. This effort was the first use of an innovative conservation development bylaw in the Town of Wendell that seeks to concentrate development on a small percentage of the property, similar to traditional cluster development. In other words, it protects the most important habitat on their land while concentrating housing in the least impactful locations.

In addition, Swallow Rise, Inc. and Mass Audubon agreed to conserve the land even further and designed the CR so that it would cut the number of units by over half from 27 to 13. This was important given the land’s location. By doing so, we help ensure that the land will always remain an important bridge for wildlife between Whetstone Wood and Wendell State Forest.

A Life Long Dream

Beaver pond on the newly protected land near Whetstone Wood Wildlife Sanctuary

This project represents decades of commitment to protecting our natural world by the owners of Swallow Rise, Inc. Particular thanks must go to Michael and Karen Idoine, who are the founders of Swallow Rise and have been steadfast voices for conservation in this part of Massachusetts.

This is only one aspect of the family’s commitment to nature. Swallow Rise has also participated in the Foresters for the Birds program, which helps landowners manage their forests for wildlife habitat.