Home Demolished, Land Cleared for Reservation Access
Rarely is there a second chance for conservation.
The demolition of a dilapidated house at 107 Essex Street in Ipswich last month provided just that, opening new visitor access to the Castle Neck River Reservation.
The plan for the land, quickly cleared in just two days, includes a parking area and an all-access trail leading up a gentle slope to the top of a knoll, enabling all visitors to take in the expansive views, watch birds and other wildlife, and enjoy nature. Visitors with mobility limitations will have access to nature via a short walk or wheelchair trip from their vehicle.
Since 2011, Greenbelt has worked to protect nearly 900 acres of land in the area, much of which is visible from the site.
Standing atop the knoll, one can see the expanse of the 128-acre Castle Neck River Reservation, and in the distance see the white pines atop Willow Hill at the Donovan Reservation in Hamilton. Looking to the north, the view expands across Maplecroft Farm, all the way to Heartbreak Hill. These signature landscapes are at the nexus of an even larger greenbelt that extends from the interior forests of Boxford to the Great Marsh and Crane Beach.
The 1950s house, owned by a “conservation buyer,” sat on two acres of land. Greenbelt purchased the house for $220,000. An additional $30,000 is budgeted for site work including the parking lot and trail.
The Highland Street Foundation and the Clark Family made substantial donations to the project.
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.