As my inaugural blog post, I would like to write about a project of which I am particularly proud. On February 17, 2012, the Town of Northborough acquired a parcel of open space containing approximately 55 acres. This project was years in the making and involved the participation of many groups, including the Northborough Open Space Committee, the Northborough Community Preservation Committee, the Northborough Conservation Commission, Town of Northborough staff and Sudbury Valley Trustees.
The parcel is located off of Green Street and contains a large open meadow and an upland forest. Howard Brook, a cold water trout stream, runs though the meadow. Although important on its own, the Green Street property is adjacent to the Mt. Pisgah reservation in Northborough and Berlin and will expand important wildlife and recreation areas extending to the Wachusett Reservoir.
Although the Town of Northborough will own the property, the Town will grant Sudbury Valley Trustees a conservation restriction. This is required because the Town acquired the property with Community Preservation funds.
The Community Preservation Act allows communities to create a Community Preservation Fund for open space protection, historic preservation and affordable housing. The Act requires that a real property interest purchased with monies from the fund be bound by a permanent deed restriction limiting the use of the property to the purpose for which it was acquired. The drafters of the Act apparently feared that municipal officials might one day try to convert open space to soccer fields.