Success! Ciesluk Forest Is Protected--Now Known as Forty Caves
After more than a year of planning, negotiating, and fundraising, SVT and the Towns of Berlin and Clinton have protected Ciesluk Forest, an important natural resource that straddles the town line. And more good news: A formal site survey found that the forest spans 63 acres and not 55 acres as we initally thought.
The Town of Clinton purchased 22 of the acres and the Town of Berlin purchased 41. This past week, SVT agreed to terms on a conservation restriction with each town. Going forward, we will be responsible for building and maintaining recreational trails across the land and ensuring its wildlife habitats remain healthy and vibrant.
The protection of Ciesluk Forest adds to the abutting conservation areas of Garfield Woods, Forty Caves, and Musche Woods. Collectively, these four conservation areas, totaling 241 acres, will now be known as Forty Caves.
"The Towns of Berlin and Clinton were wonderful partners in this endeavor," said Ashley Davies, SVT's Senior Land Protection Specialist, "and we would not have been successful without a grant from the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity [LAND] program." The project received also received essential funding from the two towns, foundation grants, SVT, and private donors.
SVT is creating new trails across the land, which will allow us to reopen the access to our Garfield Woods Reservation This land has been closed for several years because the only access point crossed an active railroad line. Stay tuned for news about the trail opening, most likely in early August.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this project.