Prospect Hill Community Orchard, Harvard


Prospect Hill Community Orchard is a stunning 75-acre orchard in Harvard that is part of an extensive corridor of already conserved land. It has been owned and operated by Community Harvest Project, a nonprofit with a mission to engage volunteers in the fight against hunger, since 2014. Now, in an effort to protect this important piece of the conservation corridor and to ensure the future of this charitable work, a team of partners are working to raise funds to endow the orchard by purchasing an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on the property.

At a Glance
  • Location: West Harvard
  • Size: 75-acres
  • Land Type: Agriculture (orchard)
  • Goal: Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on 70-acres
  • Project Partners: Community Harvest Project (CHP), Harvard Conservation Trust (HCT), MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), Town of Harvard

July 2022: The project partners have raised the money necessary to purchase the APR. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this project. The land will now be permanently protected with an agricultural preservation restriction, although due to the lengthy nature of such projects, the closing will not take place for several months.

SVT especially wants to thank the many foundations and individuals who donated to our fundraising effort, with a special nod to the pool of donors who together offered a $30,000 challenge match for our crowdfunding campaign and to the generous donor who stepped in at the last minute with a large contribution to ensure we reached our $105,000 goal by the June 30 deadline.

Watch a Video About the Project



Project Maps

Prospect Hill Community Orchard Project Map

Why Protect This Land?

Protecting Prospect Hill Community Orchard will:

  • Protect critical farmland: PHCO boasts excellent farmland soils, and has long been a priority for protection at the local, regional, and state level.
  • Connect already conserved lands: PHCO is part of an extensive corridor of already protected land that includes Dean’s Hill, Fruitlands, and the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. A trail through the property will be available most of the year for public access for passive recreation such as hiking and bird watching.
  • Fight hunger: Community Harvest Project (CHP) is guided by a mission to engage volunteers in the fight against hunger. Since 2015, CHP has donated over 360,000 pounds of apples to food banks with the help of hundreds of volunteers.
  • Promote long-term stewardship of the landscape and community: CHP's board has developed a plan that includes anticipated uses of the proceeds from the sale of the APR. To read it, download Prospect Hill Community Orchard: Strategic Plan for APR Proceeds.

How We Will Protect This Land

The property will be protected through the sale of an agricultural preservation restriction (APR) on 70 of the 75 acres, which would permanently extinguish development rights on the property and allow farming to continue. It will be held jointly by MDAR and the Town of Harvard.

Harvard Conservation Trust will hold an easement for a trail along the southern edge of the property, connecting Prospect Hill Road with the Dean's Hill Conservation Area.

Project Funding

  • Project Cost: $2,500,000
  • MDAR Funds: $1,239,000
  • Harvard CPA Funds: $400,000
  • SVT Crowdfunding Campaign: $105,000
  • HCT and CHP have raised additional funds from private foundations and individuals.