Harrington Conservation Restriction
November 14, 2011
By Christa Collins, Director of Land Protection
George and DD of Framingham are familiar faces around SVT, in part because George is a past Director and President of SVT, and now serves as a regular office volunteer; in part because the number of conservation donations they have made are almost too numerous to count on one hand.
Between 1983 and 2000, the Harringtons donated three parcels of land along scenic Edmands Road in Framingham, now known as Harrington Fields. In 2007, the Harringtons made a gift of a conservation restriction on their 80-acre Baiting Brook Meadow Farm on Nixon Road, where they grow and sell Christmas trees. This November, the Harringtons conserved yet another one of their properties through the gift of a conservation restriction on 18 acres on Edmands Road, where their home is located.
This 18 acres consists of a mix of agricultural fields, pasture, and wooded wetland. Baiting Brook, which originates on the Christmas tree farm, runs along the west boundary. The Harringtons graze their horses in a paddock in the back yard, and lease out several acres along Edmands Road to local farmer Tom Hanson. That acreage is considered to have “prime agricultural soils”, a federal designation based on a soil type that indicates that it is especially well-suited to growing crops for human consumption. As more farmland has given way to housing subdivisions in recent decades, protecting the state’s best agricultural soils becomes more and more a priority.
The property fits into an important complex of conservation lands often referred to as the Greater Callahan area, located as it is around Callahan State Park. Directly to the east of the Harrington’s home property is Harrington Fields. To the west and south is SVT’s Baiting Brook and Welch Reservation and Stearns Organic Farm. Adjacent to that is Callahan State Park, which in turn connects to hundreds of acres of state-owned land around the Sudbury Reservoir system. All told, the connected conservation lands and associated waterbodies add up to over 2,000 acres.
In making a gift of the conservation restriction, the Harringtons made a significant sacrifice in value; where there might have been six homes, there can now only be one. This illustrates the Harringtons’ commitment not only to the land but to the character of northwest Framingham – thanks in large part to them, this stretch of Edmands Road has remained essentially unchanged since they bought their house in 1968. We at SVT are immensely grateful for the Harringtons foresight and commitment to conservation.