SVT Acquires CR on Westford's Salt Box Farm
In July, the Westford Conservation Commission and SVT acquired a conservation restriction (CR) on 45 acres of Salt Box Farm on Hildreth Street and Wright Lane in Westford. The scenic property includes open meadow, hay fields, woodlands, wetlands, and a vernal pool.
Salt Box Farm also connects several other existing conservation lands: Westford’s Prospect Hill Conservation Area (where SVT also holds a CR), the Hildreth Hills Conservation Land, and 65 acres of Town Conservation Land.
To fund the purchase of the CR, the Town of Westford allocated $1.163 million, and the Westford Land Preservation Foundation (WLPF) is raising $185,000 from individual donors (see "Fundraising Campaign," below). SVT provided technical assistance during the acquisition and will help in the long-term monitoring of the property as a co-holder of the CR.
The CR will permit some farming and grazing as well as forestry and other conservation uses. The view of the property from Hildreth Street will be permanently preserved via a scenic buffer. There are also plans to create a public trail that will connect Hildreth Street to the Burns Hill Trail on the Town Conservation Land.
Thank you to all who supported this important effort!
WHY PROTECT THIS LAND
Given its topography and road frontage, Salt Box Farm was a prime target for residential development, which would have permanently degraded the conservation values of the land.Its protection now offers a wide range of conservation and recreation benefits, including linking existing conservation land, preserving more than 10 acres of deciduous wooded swamp and a large certified vernal pool, expanding a local trail network, and preserving Westford’s scenic character.
Protection of the property will create a 189-acre conservation corridor by connecting the Hildreth Hills Conservation Area to the north with Town-owned conservation land to the south and a 3-acre parcel recently protected by the Westford Conservation Trust to the west. The CR also includes a public trail easement, which will connect to and expand an existing 2-mile trail network. Finally, protecting the farm will help preserve the scenic character of Westford and maintain a valuable working landscape.
Our partner, the Westford Land Preservation Foundation, is just $35,000 from reaching its goal of $185,000 to support this important purchase. To learn more about how you can help and take advantage of a challenge matching gift, please visit the WLPF website.