In early May, Greenbelt and Mayor James Fiorentini celebrated the decision of the Anton family to forever preserve their family’s farming heritage by conserving 26 acres of farmland in Haverhill.
Barbara DiSalvo and Janice Anton of The Anton Family Trust had appointed Greenbelt to act on their behalf to protect the land in exchange for a tax credit. It is only our second private conservation restriction (CR) project in Haverhill.
"To think of it going to development would have broken my heart," says Barbara.
"I'm frequently reminded of how lucky I was to have grown up on a farm, an education you can’t get any other way. I have supported a number of conservation organizations for many years but this CR is an opportunity to make a larger, lasting impact. And knowing that this piece of land will remain much as it always was is the best part."
Anton Farm has been owned and farmed by just three families since 1765: the Merrills, the Dawleys, and the Anton family when it was purchased by Barbara’s grandfather in 1922.
DiSalvo told WHAV that Fiorentini told her he was not initially in favor of the restriction, but changed his mind because he believed it was the “right thing to do” because it fulfilled her grandfather’s immigrant dream.
Through this conservation gift, Janice and Barbara will ensure that their historic family farm will never be converted to homesites, and can always be used as working farmland.
Ninety-six residents signed a petition in support of the conservation restriction, and over 20 residents and neighbors attended the City Council meeting to voice their support for preserving this rural, farming landscape in Haverhill.
Now, the farm is leased to two local farmers – one who hays, and one who grows rhubarb for his nearby winery, Willow Springs Vineyards.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.