It is with great excitement that I'm finally able to reveal a project that I've been working on for over a year for the Town of Bridgewater - Bridgewater's first open space and historic preservation acquisition using Community Preservation Act funds!
The Keith Homestead acquisition, a joint effort between the Town of Bridgewater and the Commonwealth's Department of Fish and Game (DFG), will protect the 14-acre property at 515 Lakeside Drive for open space, historic preservation, and passive recreation purposes.
Acquisition of the property will provide numerous benefits including:
- protection from the approved 10-lot single family subdivision
- preservation of the historic 1783 Georgian style Keith Homestead and maintaining this resource in the context of its historic landscape of field and forest
- expansion of the large block of existing conservation land consisting of the Wildlands Trust for Southeastern MA's Lake Nippenicket Preserve and the Commonwealth's Hockomock Swamp Wildlife Management Area
- preservation of one of Bridgewater's most scenic areas along the shores of Lake Nippenicket, a 500-acre recreational resource at the headwater of the Town River
- enhancing public access to the Lake and surrounding wildlife preserves with a new DFG trailhead and car-top boat launch
Bridgewater Town Council approved the $1.297M CPA expenditure on 5/24/11 and the Town is scheduled to close on the property at the end of June. The homestead will be protected with a permanent Preservation Restriction and the open space will be permanently protected with a Conservation Restriction held by DFG.
This project is an excellent example of land conservation and historic preservation advocates working collaboratively to take this project from a "nice idea" to reality. I'm proud to be working with the Town of Bridgewater, especially, Troy Clarkson, Bridgewater Town Manager, the Community Preservation Committee, Conservation Commission, as well as Joan Pierce from DFG on this very exciting and important project.
Special thanks to David McGowan from The Nature Conservancy and Scott MacFadden from Wildlands Trust of Southeastern MA for their truly invaluable support during critical negotiations and project plannning.