The 15-Acre Creed property on Orchard Street is a beautiful, expansive property providing both high-quality habitat and a stretch of intact marsh and upland critically important for climate change resiliency as sea levels rise. There are many native plants on the land.
Archaeological surveys of the 1930s and 1940s identified dozens of Indigenous sites along the Parker River and throughout its watershed. The river was a vital canoe route to the Great Marsh, Plum Island Sound, and the sea and also to the Merrimack River via the Artichoke River.
The “Artichoke” name comes from Samuel de Champlain’s observation in 1606 that the tubers of a kind of sunflower that the Indigenous people were growing there tasted like artichokes. The colonists, referring to their mission of establishing a New Jerusalem in a “New World”, named that plant the Jerusalem Artichoke, and that’s how the river got its name as well.
The land was the homeland of a Pawtucket farmer and fisherman, Pumpasanoway (“Old Will”) and his extended family. He and the sagamore Masconomet of Agawam were tributary to Passaconaway and members of the Pennacook Confederation of bands. Pumpasanoway’s heirs sold the last of the Pawtucket homelands in Old Newbury during the 1680s and followed other Pawtucket bands north to Canada.
This property is not yet ready for visitors from the public, although future plans are for a new Greenbelt reservation with a footpath passing through open fields and leading to a scenic overlook of the Parker River.
Conservation of this land adds to 66 nearby acres Greenbelt has already preserved.
Private fundraising supported the conservation of this property, and preserves the historic, scenic landscape of this part of Byfield – scenery that has remained largely unchanged for well over a century.
Greenbelt will manage the land for conservation and passive recreational purposes.