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.