Eagle Project Breaks New Ground

The Handy Street Conservation Area is an 80-acre parcel of land purchased by the City of Attleboro in 2014 with the involvement of the Attleboro Land Trust and Mass Audubon, and a substantial grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  There are trails crisscrossing the area, making it easy to get lost on the property.  The Attleboro Land Trust has designated a main trail route that utilizes some of the existing paths to form a loop, beginning and ending at the main entrance on Handy Street.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (right) with crew installing signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

Scout Jason Zenofsky of Troop 61 in Norton has completed an Eagle project that involved the installation of directional signposts at 33 trail junctions along the route.  Digging holes to a depth of two feet for each of these posts was challenging, to say the least.  Sometimes the problem was large rocks.  At other times the Scouts hit hardpan, which is soil that has hardened like concrete and has to be chipped away with a heavy iron bar in the shape of a chisel.  Thankfully, Jason and his crew persevered, and the signposts were all installed.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (next to signpost) with his crew after installation of 33 signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

In the spring, the ALT will put the finishing touches on the trail, which will be named in memory of Larry St. Pierre, who served as ALT president from 1991 to 1994 and 1997 to 2001.  A temporary map of the trail is available here.

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Seniors Visit Richardson

The Attleboro Council on Aging Hiking Group visited the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve on June 22.  The popular weekly event is coordinated by Juliet Teixeira, vice president of the Attleboro Land Trust (in the green Hike Attleboro T-shirt).

Hikers on the Wyman Loop Trail as it crosses the Lower Hayfield at the Richardson Preserve.

For more information, contact the Larson Senior Center at 774-203-1906.

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Lands under our protection: 492 acres owned; 236 acres restricted; 728 acres total.

A New Partnership in Plainville

The Attleboro Land Trust has partnered with Wildlands Trust, a regional land trust based in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to ensure the continued preservation of land that has been under the stewardship of Crystal Spring, a spiritually-oriented ecology center in Plainville, since 1991.  Until recently, Crystal Spring was a vital center for learning and practicing ecological pursuits such as organic gardening.  Sadly, the center is now closed and a 6-acre portion of the land containing residential buildings and meeting spaces has been sold.

While Crystal Spring has closed its doors, the vision of the Dominican Sisters who founded the center was that most of the land would remain in its natural state as forested upland, and they made sure that the necessary protections would be in place before they left.  In 2008 Wildlands Trust agreed to play a role in this plan by holding a legally-enforceable conservation restriction on the vacant portion of the property.  Last year, Wildlands Trust transferred the responsibility for that conservation restriction, which protects 36 acres, to the Attleboro Land Trust.  Soon, the Dominican Sisters will convey ownership of the 36 acres to Wildlands Trust.

Once that final step is completed, Wildlands Trust will assume an expanded role as as owner and manager of the property and its hiking trails, which will be open to the public.  The ALT will carry the ongoing responsibility for monitoring the condition of the property on an annual basis, and making sure that the terms of the conservation restriction are observed.

The completion of this agreement with Wildlands Trust brings the total area of conservation land protected by the Attleboro Land Trust up to 728 acres.

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Membership dues ($25 individual, $50 household) or donations in any amount may be made online to the Attleboro Land Trust here:

Wildlife at the Richardson Preserve

These photos were recently submitted to us by John Nunziato, long-time photographer and newcomer to the Richardson Preserve.

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