Mechanic Street Conservation Project, Upton

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Protecting Water Resources, Creating Conservation Corridors

SVT is working with partners in Upton to conserve 94 acres of forested land on the Upton-Grafton town line. The property is part of a mosaic of open space and wildlife habitat and has long been a priority for protection. 

At a Glance
  • Located along Mechanic Street and Fowler Street, the property includes a beautiful vernal pool and intermittent streams.
  • The land sits in close proximity to several other conserved lands that together create an important wildlife corridor.
  • The Town of Upton has the right of first refusal to purchase this land from Mechanic Street Realty Trust, but it must act by mid-June 2022.
  • If the Town does not purchase the land, a developer stands ready to buy it and build an apartment complex with a minimum of 200 units.
  • Good News: During Town Meeting on May 5, 2022, Upton voters authorized the purchase. 

Funding for the Town's purchase is expected to come from a combination of sources, including Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, state grants, and private fundraising.

SVT assisted a local community group, Upton's Future, with its goal of raising $200,000 for the project, and in July 2022, they met their goal! If the conservation effort succeeds, SVT will hold a conservation restriction (CR) over the property to ensure its ecological properties remain protected forever.

Project Map

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Property Description

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This forested land on the western edge of Upton includes a beautiful vernal pool, intermittent streams that flow to Warren Brook, and several areas of BioMap2 Core Habitat (habitat for Species of Conservation Concern). It's also an important connector to adjacent areas designated as Priority Habitats of Rare Species by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP).

The land sits within an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) for the Miscoe, Warren, and Whitehall Watersheds. The protection of land in this ACEC is critical to ensuring that the quality of groundwater and surface water resources is safeguarded in downstream communities.

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Why Protect This Land?

With its important wetland habitats, its general lack of invasive species, and its proximity to other conserved lands, this parcel has been a conservation priority for SVT, the Town of Upton, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation.

Its protection would not only safeguard important water resources, but also add another piece to a mosaic of conservation lands that provide essential wildlife habitat in this region of Massachusetts.

  • The neighboring Stefans Farm conservation land spans 120 acres and offers habitat for butterflies, birds, and other animals.
  • Across the street, the Robertson Property, which the Town protected with a conservation restriction in 2019, features forested wetlands and has a lengthy section of Warren Brook. A variety of wildlife, including three species of concern – blue-spotted salamander, Eastern box turtle, and wood turtle – are found on the 48-acre property.
  • Just beyond the Robertson Property, the 2,600-acre Upton State Forest stretches into the neighboring towns of Hopkinton and Westborough. The forest features wetlands, ponds, and streams and provides habitat for an abundance of species.