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Kamon Farm | Ipswich Photo: Neil Ungerleider
Greenbelt worked with the Town of Ipswich to protect Kamon Farm, a 93-acre portion of Turkey Hill, which is the last remaining undeveloped, unprotected hilltop in Ipswich. We're thrilled to announce that Greenbelt has successfully reached its $400,000 fundraising goal, thanks to help from almost 200 individuals, a generous matching gift challenge, The Bafflin Foundation, Fields Pond Foundation, The George H. and Jane E. Mifflin Memorial Fund and Institution for Savings Conservation Fund. The project was also made possible with funding from the Ipswich Open Space Bond Program (thank you, Ipswich residents!) and the MA LAND Grant Program. Conserving these 93 acres will permanently protect public trail access, drinking water, wildlife habitat and active farmland. Greenbelt anticipates the property will be open to the public this fall.
Along both sides of Pineswamp Road, Kamon Farm features open hayfields, forest and wetlands that connect existing protected land in the Ipswich and Parker River watersheds. More than half of the property protects and filters water flowing into the Bull Brook Reservoir and the Mile Lane Wells. Portions of this land have been used for hay; in the future, agricultural uses compatible with drinking water supply goals will continue.
At the time of European contact, Pawtucket people who became known as the Agawam Indians were growing corn on the lower slopes of Turkey Hill and exploiting the subsistence resources of the nearby wetlands and pine groves. They canoed to Ipswich Bay and Plum Island Sound via nearby Bull Brook to Rowley River.
The Kamon Farm area was periodically occupied by Indigenous People since PaleoIndian times circa 14,000 years ago, when bands of hunter-gatherers met near here for the cooperative hunting of caribou. Stone artifacts from archaeological sites on and around Turkey Hill are housed at the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge.
Public access to hiking trails that connect to other conserved land will be enhanced and maintained. A parking area will be created. The property will be open, free of charge, from dawn to dusk daily.
The purchase price was $1,150,000, which was below current market value. Greenbelt will own and manage the parcel as part of our region-wide reservation system, available to the public for passive recreation, and portions of the open fields will be managed for agricultural purposes consistent with drinking water protection goals.
A parking area will be created, and the trail system will be expanded and improved with interpretive and directional signage.
The Town of Ipswich will hold a Conservation Restriction on the land, adding a further level of protection.
82 Eastern Avenue
PO Box 1026
Essex, MA 01929
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Greenbelt thanks the photographers whose work is featured prominently on our website: Jerry Monkman, Dorothy Monnelly, Adrian Scholes, David Alden St. Pierre & Neil Ungerleider