In 2014, SVT initiated the Tri-Town Landscape Protection Project, an effort to protect at least 500 acres of the region’s most ecologically and recreationally important land.
Working with the Towns of Berlin, Boylston, and Northborough, SVT reached out to key landowners to encourage their participation in the project, and secured a Landscape Partnership grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The nine-square mile area was selected because it already contained over a thousand acres of conserved land, including the Mount Pisgah Conservation Area and lands around the Wachusett Reservoir (see map of region). This landscape includes quality habitat, working farms, and recreational trails, and is part of a connected corridor of conservation lands that extends northward into New Hampshire.
As of 2022, the project has conserved 473 acres on 13 properties (see Tri-Town Project: Conserved Properties).
The goal of the project was to:
- Protect important wildlife habitat.
- Maintain working farmland.
- Increase recreational opportunities.
- Protect air and water quality.
- Town of Berlin
- Town of Northborough
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Town of Boylston
Thank You to the Landowners
Although SVT and our partners managed this multifaceted project, it was the participating landowners who were indispensable in making the project a success. Their love of land led them to choose conservation over development. Some landowners made gifts of land or conservation restrictions (CRs); others realized significant income through the sale of property but have allowed us to stretch our conservation dollars further by accepting less than the fair market value of their land.