Saving the Smith Property: We Reached Our Goal!
Update, November 6, 2018: We reached our crowdfunding goal!
Nearly 100 donors came together to contribute over $35,000 to this campaign ($35,799 to be exact). This enthusiastic support energizes us to secure the remaining funds for the project through foundation grants. Thank you to all who contributed.
SVT and the Town of Harvard—with the cooperation of Littleton Conservation Trust—are teaming up to purchase the 60-acre Smith Property and protect its ecological assets.
The property, which has been owned by the Smith family for generations, includes forest, wetlands, and old farm fields. It runs along both sides of Whitcomb Avenue and is wedged between Black Pond in Harvard and Beaver Brook in Littleton.
With all of these features and with caverns and caves scattered throughout, the Smith Property has become a beloved community asset, well-known for its spectacular views, its unique wildlife habitat, and its agricultural history.
Once we purchase the property, we'll create hiking trails so the public can explore and enjoy this beautiful landscape.
SVT must raise $185,000 for our portion of the project. We have applied for several foundation grants, and we have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $35,000 toward the purchase price by November 15.
Trail Opens at Horse Meadows Knoll
On Saturday, September 29, SVT and the Harvard Conservation Trust (HCT) wrapped up a two-year collaborative project with the official opening of our new hiking trail at Horse Meadows Knoll. Several local officials and many interested hikers joined us for the early-morning event, which included trail walks led by SVT staff and board.
This lovely property on Sherry Road in Harvard is a great place to view bird, beaver, and bat activity. The 1-mile trail meanders by a beautiful pond and wetlands, and it also passes rocky outcroppings and goes up and over a drumlin-shaped knoll.
Explore it for yourself! Learn more and download a trail map.
About the Property
Horse Meadows Knoll sits adjacent to the Horse Meadows Reservoir, which is now a beautiful naturalized pond. The property is forested with a mixture of hardwood species, white pine, and hemlock, and it provides habitat for multiple endangered species.
The Harvard Conservation Trust (HCT) and SVT worked together to protect this land. HCT owns the land, and SVT holds a conservation restriction. SVT manages the land and worked with HCT to create hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the reservoir and its associated wetlands.
Walkingstick in Harvard
August 30, 2018
Robin Right photographed this walkingstick in Harvard.
Gray Tree Frog in Harvard
August 10, 2018
Robin Right photographed this gray tree frog in Harvard.
Dragonfly in Harvard
July 13, 2018
Robin Right photographed this dragonfly in Harvard.
White-tailed Deer and American Crow in Harvard
June 30, 2018
Steve Cumming used his automatically triggered wildlife camera to photograph a white-tailed deer and an American crow in Harvard.
Success with Horse Meadows Knoll Fundraising!
SVT is excited to announce that we have met our fundraising goal for Horse Meadows Knoll! In Fall 2017, we launched a $285,000 fundraising campaign to assist the Harvard Conservation Trust in its efforts to protect this beautiful 47-acre property, and we are thrilled with how our members and the general public responded.
Many individuals stepped up with generous gifts, and the property's outstanding conservation values won the support of eight different foundations. We are especially grateful to Shalin Liu and the Summer Star Foundation for Nature, Art and Humanity, Inc. for getting us across the finish line with a generous $7320 gift.
We are working to establish a parking area and hope to open the property this fall. Stay tuned for updates!
White-tailed Deer in Harvard
July 2, 2018
Robin Right photographed this white-tailed deer in Harvard.
Tour a New Conservation Project
SVT and the Town of Harvard are teaming up to purchase the 49-acre Smith Property on the Harvard-Littleton line. By acquiring this land, we can ensure that its spectacular ecological assets are well managed in perpetuity, and we will be able to create public hiking trails that connect to those on adjacent conservation lands.
The Smith Property consists of 49 acres of forest, open fields, wetlands, and old farm fields. The property is wedged between Black Pond in Harvard and Beaver Brook in Littleton, with 1200 feet of frontage on both sides of Whitcomb Avenue in Harvard and Littleton. The Littleton Conservation Trust currently holds a conservation restriction (CR) over part of the land.
The public is invited to tour the property during a walk led by SVT’s Sr. Land Protection Specialist Ashley Davies:
- “Explore the Smith Land: Black Pond Walk” on August 4, 10:00 to 11:00 am Learn more and register
The walk is free and open to all ages.
The effort to acquire the Smith Property is part of a new initiative for SVT—the Ridge Initiative—an effort to protect over 800 acres of land along a ridge that runs from southwest to northeast along the Harvard, Boxborough, and Littleton lines. This area includes hundreds of acres of already protected lands as well as hundreds of acres of unprotected lands that emerged as some of the highest priority land for protection in SVT’s service area through a recent analysis of ecological values. A property that SVT and the Harvard Conservation Trust have conserved, Horse Meadows Knoll, serves as the southern anchor of the Initiative’s project area. The Smith Property serves as the northern anchor.