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Greenbelt and the Town of Lynnfield are working together to protect the 21-acre Richardson Green property on Main Street. Conserving this land would provide access to existing trails on these 21 acres and could provide a gateway in the future to 500 acres of contiguous forest land owned by the Lynnfield Conservation Commission and the Lynnfield Center Water District.
Purchase and protection of this land will also eliminate the threat of additional wells in an area that is already vulnerable to drinking water stress, keep forests intact for cooler air, cleaner water and important wildlife habitat, and help preserve Lynnfield's beautiful character.
While a developer has an agreement to buy the property as part of a 15-lot subdivision for $2,710,000, the Town has a right of first refusal and the opportunity to purchase the land. If this conservation effort is successful, the Town will hold a Conservation Restriction (CR) that will permanently protect the land, and Greenbelt will own the land and be responsible for creating and maintaining a modest parking area and trails.
Lynnfield's 2020 Municipal Vulnerability Plan identified the protection of this land as a priority, and Greenbelt’s recently-completed County-wide land conservation prioritization ranked the parcel as a “Critical Priority” for drinking water, a “High Priority” for natural resilience, and a “Priority” for Inland Flood Mitigation.
An impressive $1,638,750 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant was recently awarded from the Commonwealth towards the purchase of this land, further underscoring the importance of conserving it. This grant - representing the largest awarded in our region and the third-largest in the state in this round of funding - was secured as a result of a collaborative effort between the Town of Lynnfield, the Lynnfield Center Water District, and Greenbelt with oversight from the Lynnfield Select Board.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Lynnfield," said Select Board Chair Dick Dalton recently, and a 2020 survey found that over 80 percent of responding Lynnfield residents felt it "very important" to protect this land.
According to Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director of Ipswich River Watershed Association," With climate change causing hotter days, more drought and extreme storms, conserving forested open space like this parcel is one of the best tools we have to protect both our communities and the endangered Ipswich River."
The Lynnfield Select Board and Conservation Commission are supporting the project through the use of Conservation Funds, the state MVP Action Grant, and other available town funding.
The Ipswich River Watershed Association, Greenscapes North Shore Coalition and the Parker- Ipswich-Essex Rivers (PIE-Rivers) Partnership are also supporting this effort.
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
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.