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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Matching grant received to purchase permanent conservation restriction at nearby Vandersluis property

Land Trust to work with Hopedale and Mendon Conservation Commissions

The Metacomet Land Trust received a Conservation Partnership Grant from the Commonwealth in the amount of $175,000. It represents the match for funds designated at Mendon’s November Town Meeting ($175,000) for the purchase of a permanent conservation restriction for the property on North Avenue owned by Jim and Cheri Vandersluis.

The Trust is currently having the property surveyed and we are completing other due diligence to satisfy the terms of the grant. The purchase must be completed and the permanent restriction recorded at the Registry of Deeds by the end of June.

The 116 acres will be known as the Maple Farm Wildlife Preserve and will stretch from North Avenue on the west side to the Hopedale boundary on the east side. Muddy Brook runs through the property north to south. There is also a permanently protected conservation property on the north side of the property and conservation properties abutting the property to the east. Combined, the area provides terrific wildlife habitat for the area and the potential for environmental classrooms for nearby schools.

The land trust will work with its partners including the Mendon and Hopedale Conservation Commissions and the property owners to develop and maintain trails with potential connections to other protected properties.

To steward the property, Metacomet Land Trust plans to form a “Friends of Maple Farm” volunteer group to help with care, protection, and ongoing trail maintenance of this special property. We will be kicking off a fundraising drive to support these efforts and we look forward to a celebration this summer when the purchase is concluded.

For more information, please visit or email ail [email protected]

Submitted by Lisa Mosczynski of the Metacomet Land Trust