Horseshoe Pond, Berlin

Photo of Horseshoe Pond shore.
Photo by SVT staff.

SVT and the Town of Berlin realized a long-held dream in Fall 2022 when we permanently conserved the 100-acre Horseshoe Pond property on the northeast corner of Mount Pisgah—an environmentally important area that supports critical wetlands, an extensive wildlife corridor, and passive recreation.

Located at the intersection of Linden Street and Lyman Road, Horseshoe Pond (formerly known as McGrail Farm) was the largest remaining piece of unprotected land on Mount Pisgah. SVT temporarily purchased the property to give the Town enough time to secure grants to take ownership and create a public conservation area. The Town now owns the land and is currently in the process of granting a conservation restriction to SVT.

Together, we will forever protect the remarkable wildlife habitat at Horseshoe Pond, and we will maintain a hiking trail that connects to the Mount Pisgah network.

In fact, outdoor enthusiasts have been hiking across the Horseshoe Pond land and enjoying its dramatic topography for years, and the conservation of this land protects that right forever. This successful project provides additional access to open space in perpetuity for the benefit of all in the surrounding communities, and welcomes everyone to explore and enjoy this new conservation area. (Trail Map-English; Mapa de Trilhas - PortuguesMapa del sendero - Español .)

This land was protected thanks to a Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program action grant, Town of Berlin funds, and additional funds contributed by private foundations and individuals. 

Open a map of the project area (pdf).

The protection of Horseshoe Pond:

  • Expands the Mount Pisgah Conservation Area, which includes lands owned by SVT, the Town of Berlin, the Town of Northborough, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This property was largest remaining piece of undeveloped land on Mount Pisgah.
  • Protects undeveloped woodlands that provide a buffer against the effects of climate change. Undeveloped lands filled with diverse species of plants are better able to adapt to changing climate conditions.
  • Protects water resources. This undeveloped land filters the water that flows into streams, ponds, and wetlands.
  • Safeguards essential habitat for wildlife. Large corridors of conserved lands give wildlife “room to roam” in search of food and nesting spots. Bobcats, black bears, and moose have all been spotted in the area. The land also provides much-needed habitat for the threatened wood turtle. 
  • Ensures public access to existing hiking trails. Protection of this land will protect public access to a popular trail that connects to the Mount Pisgah trail network. 

After SVT temporarily purchased the land in September 2022 as an interim buyer, the Town reimbursed us and took ownership in November 2022. The funds came from a combination of sources, as outlined below. (Read more about this project: English; Español; Portugues)

  • Purchase Price: $1,250,000
  • Berlin CPA Funds Approved at Special Town Meeting on 11/8/2021: $490,000
  • Berlin CPA Funds and Free Cash Approved at Annual Town Meeting on 5/2/2022: $660,000
  • SVT Crowdfunding Campaign: $36,000
  • Private Foundations: $150,000
  • State Grant - Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program: $874,268