Gift of 28 Acres Honors the Memory of
South Attleboro Civic Leader Charlie Denham
On October 31, 2013, the Attleboro Land Trust received a generous gift of
approximately 28 acres of conservation land in South Attleboro. The
parcel, named the Shaw-Denham Memorial Forest, is located
between Pitas Avenue and Jody Way and is bisected by a power line
right-of-way that will be familiar to anyone who walks the backwoods in
that part of the city. The land was donated by Lois Fournier of
Centerville and Charles U. Denham III of Attleboro, in keeping with the
wishes of their late father, Charles U. Denham, Jr.
Donors Lois Fournier and Charles
Denham III sign deed donating the Shaw-Denham Memorial Forest to the
Attleboro Land Trust. Looking on from left to right are attorney Jim
Lewis, ALT President Ted Leach, and ALT Board Member Charlie Adler.
The elder Denham passed away on
January 28, 2013, at the age of 100. Charlie Denham was actively
involved in the Attleboro community throughout his life through
volunteer work for his church, the PTA, the United Way, and the Boy
Scouts. He was also known to many in Attleboro through his service for
20 years on the Attleboro Board of Election Commissioners.
This land had been in Charlie's family
for generations and he invested much time and effort to secure the title
and to find a use for the property that would honor the memory of his
Conservation of this land will help to
protect the quality of ground water and of the nearby Seven Mile River.
Approximately 50% of the land is within Rivers Protection Act buffers,
and over 90% of the land is classified as medium-yield aquifer. The land
contains a diversity of habitat types, including upland woods, wooded
swamp, and streams. These habitats support a wide variety of plants and
of resident and migratory wildlife populations. Future plans for the
property include public walking trails. At present there is no
convenient public access.
The protection of this parcel was made
possible through the Massachusetts Land Conservation Tax Credit Program
which disburses up to $2,000,000 annually in grants of up to $50,000 per
land donation. The Attleboro Land Trust was assisted locally by
Attleboro Mayor Kevin J. Dumas, the Department of Planning and
Development, the Municipal Council, and the Conservation Commission in
meeting the requirements for this program. The office of attorney Jim
Lewis provided the pro bono legal work needed for this acquisition.
Volunteer Gary Krofta contributed an assessment of the property's
natural features. The Attleboro Land Trust is indebted to the donors and
to everyone who helped make this acquisition possible.