Update - June 30, 2021: It's official! The Kelly Property in Upton has been permanently protected and is now part of the Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area. Thank you to everyone who supported this project. We look forward to officially welcoming everyone to the trails later this year.
SVT worked with the Metacomet Land Trust (MLT) and the Town of Upton to protect the Kelly Property on the eastern edge of Upton and add it to the popular Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area.
The Kelly Property sits within the Peppercorn Hill land and abuts the Rockwood Meadows Open Space. The land hosts mature forests, wetlands, tributary streams of Mill River, a vernal pool, and impressive rocky outcrops. In addition, about 1 mile of the Peppercorn Hill trail network crosses this land.
By conserving the Kelly Property, we have protected its ecological features, closed a gap in the Conservation Area, and ensured the public always has access to the entire trail network.
The Kelly Property covers four parcels. During a Fall 2020 Town Meeting, Upton voters approved the use of Community Preservation Act funds to purchase three of the parcels. MLT purchased the fourth and received a $56,500 Conservation Partnership grant toward the purchase from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
SVT assisted MLT with the purchase, and we raised over $73,000 for the sale to close. Going forward, SVT now holds conservation restrictions on all four parcels and will ensure their ecological values are protected forever.