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Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Bit of GWLT History: Worcester’s Top 10 Conservation Targets

 1987
PROPERTY ACRES STATUS
Cascades Park East/West 60.56 Saved
Coal Mine Brook 71.15 Partially Saved, Lost & Outstanding
Stratton Hill 126.80 Lost
Nick Chase Estate 59.30 Saved
Broggard Farm & Higgins Estate 319.86 Lost
Poor Farm Brook North 85.43 Patially Lost & Outstanding
Parson’s Estate 28.00 Saved
God’s Acre 17.15 Saved
Broad Meadow Brook +/- 245.05 Saved
Crow Hill 42.25 Saved (57.46 acres)

 

 1996
PROPERTY ACRES STATUS
Cascades Park East 41.26 Saved (30.86 acres)
Catholic Charities (Parcel K)(AKA Broad Meadow Brook Savannah) 85.00 Saved
Coes Reservoir Abutters 100.26 Saved
Crow Hill 33.65 Saved (57.46 acres)
Higgins Estate 115.17 Lost
Kettle Brook North 29.60 Saved
Laurel Mountain (AKA Bovenzi) 126.57 Saved
Poor Farm Brook North 46.73 Patially Lost & Outstanding
Stoddard Estate/Brooks 43.62 Outstanding
Wigwam Hill and Coal Mine Brook 47.70 Partially Saved, Lost & Outstanding

 

 1998
PROPERTY ACRES STATUS
Cascades Park East 41.26 Saved (30.86 acres)
Catholic Charities (Parcel K) (AKA Broad Meadow Brook Savannah) 85.00 Saved
Crow Hill 33.65 Saved (57.46 acres)
Higgins Estate 115.17 Lost
Kettle Brook North 29.60 Saved
Laurel Mountain (AKA Bovenzi) 126.57 Saved
Logan Field Extension (AKA Fowler Brook Gorge) 31.03 Partially Lost & Partially Saved
Poor Farm Brook North 46.73 Partially Lost & Outstanding
Stoddard Estate/Brooks 43.62 Outstanding
Wigwam Hill and Coal Mine Brook 47.70 Partially Saved, Lost & Outstanding

A Bit of GWLT History: Nick’s Woods

The sign for Nick's Woods with a group of volunteers

On October 4, 1990 & August 27, 2005:

The Greater Worcester Land Trust was formed in 1987 in response to a development boom. One of its guiding documents was the City of Worcester’s “Top Ten List” of critical unprotected properties. List in hand, the members of GWLT’s board of directors met with various landowners. Typically, their responses boiled down to, “if you have a million dollars we can talk, otherwise…”

Nick Chase was an exception.

Nick’s Woods runs along the east side of Grove Street (122A) from the power lines on the northern edge to the timber frame property sign on the southern edge. Mr. Chase had already registered his property as an official “Tree Farm” and had enrolled the forest in a tax incentive program for owners of managed woodlands (Chapter 61). He viewed a conservation restriction that permanently kept the forest, trout brook, cart road, and ancient cellar holes as compatible with his vision for the property. Mr. Chase offered to donate a CR on the majority of his forest jointly to the City of Worcester and GWLT. On October 4th, 1990 GWLT’s first CR was recorded.

In 2005, Mr. Chase approached GWLT with a new proposal for additional forest property that was not covered by the existing CR. While GWLT’s CR protected the forest from development, the land was private property with a number of rights reserved. Mr. Chase asked if GWLT would be interested in purchasing the entirety of the forest for conservation.

CRs cannot be held by a landowner. As GWLT already held a CR on most of the property, they needed another organization to hold its CR in order for GWLT to purchase it. The Green Hill Park Coalition agreed to serve as an interim holder. CR secured, Mr. Chase and GWLT were able to expand and preserve Nick’s Woods as a 59.76-acre public forest.

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