Upton

Robertson Property Now Protected with a CR

Photo by Margaret Kush.

In another win for conservation, the Town of Upton and the Massaschusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation now co-hold a conservation restriction (CR) on the 48-acre Robertson Property on Fowler Street. The agreement closed earlier this month.

The property, which spans wooded uplands, forested wetlands, and a lengthy section of Warren Brook, provides an important link in a network of protected lands. It also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including three species of special concern: blue-spotted salamander, eastern box turtle, and wood turtle.

SVT assisted on this project, in which town residents voted in November 2019 to use $177,000 of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds toward the purchase of the CR. Because of the property's valuable ecological characteristics, we had identified it as being of the highest priority for conservation, and we have been working with the Town to protect it for several years. Under the terms of the CR, the property remains privately owned but cannot be developed.

Trails across the land will eventually be opened for public access. 

Conservation Corridor Expands

In the northwest part of Upton, a town characterized by beautiful forests, SVT now holds a conservation restriction on the Bonner property. The CR was granted to us by Metacomet Land Trust, which was given the land for habitat protection and passive recreation.

Named for the late Dr. Barbara Bonner, founder of the Turtle Hospital of New England, the 70-acre parcel adjoins the Sweetwilliam Farm CR and Upton's Whitney Conservation Area on North Street and is part of an extensive corridor of protected land.  Metacomet is building trails on the property that will be accessible from the Whitney Conservation Area trailhead.

Upton to Purchase CR on Robertson Property

Robertson Property. Photo by Margaret Kush.
Robertson Property. Photo by Margaret Kush.

Great news! During Upton Town Meeting on November 5, town residents voted to protect the 48-acre Robertson Property on Fowler Street. The Town will use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to purchase a conservation restriction (CR) on the land, which will be opened for public access, including fishing.

The land provides important habitat for rare salamanders and turtles, and it overlooks Warren Brook, an important coldwater stream that supports native brook trout.

SVT is very excited about the success of this conservation effort, and we congratulate Upton residents for voting to protect this open space.

The property came to our attention several years ago, when we were meeting with Town officials about priority lands in Upton. Because of the property's valuable ecological characteristics, we identified it as being of the highest priority for conservation, and we've been working with the Town to protect this beautiful property and save the wildlife habitat.

The CR was appraised at $619,000, but it will cost the town only $177,000 of CPA funds, thanks to combination of additional funding from the state and a bargain sale by the Robertsons.

Photo by Sherry Fendell

SVT is working with the Town of Upton and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to protect the 48-acre Robertson property on Fowler Street in Upton. The land provides important habitat for rare salamanders and turtles, and it also overlooks Warren Brook, an important coldwater stream that supports native brook trout.

Photo by Bill Shelley

PDF icon Sweetwilliam Farm CR and Whitney Conservation Area CR Trail Map and Guide

Together, Sweetwilliam Farm and the Town of Upton’s Whitney Conservation Area include part of a farm that dates back to the mid-18th century. The farm was once owned by the grandfather, uncle, and cousin of Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin and native of nearby Westborough. 

SVT holds conservation restrictions (CRs) on Sweetwilliam Farm and on a portion of the town-owned property as well. 

Please note: Sweetwilliam Farm is a privately owned working farm and is not open to the public in its entirety. Please follow the signs and stay on the trail. 

Whitehall Woods, Hopkinton
Whitehall Woods, Hopkinton

PDF icon Whitehall Woods Trail Map Brochure

SVT's Whitehall Woods is situated between Upton State Forest and Whitehall State Park on Pond Street in Hopkinton. Together these properties form over 2,600 continuous acres of conservation land.

Whitehall Woods consists of varied terrain and habitat type including white pine-red oak forest with scattered pockets of red maple in lowland areas. A large vernal pool is located near the trail head.

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