the trustees of reservations
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The Trustees of Reservations

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CR Properties open to the Public, Profile #1: Bates-Blackman Conservation Area in Groton, MA

Conservation Restrictions mostly protect private land in Massachusetts.  Since nearly all of these are closed to public access, we ask you to respect the landowners' privacy, and not trespass upon them. 

However, cities, towns, and other land trusts often grant CRs to The Trustees of Reservations, as an extra layer of protection for their conservation land - and most of these are open to the public. These conservation areas provide beautiful vistas, valuable wildlife habitat, protect our wetlands and water quality, and best of all, are open to recreation, for all the naturally curious families and hikers of Massachusetts to enjoy!  Think of these Special Places that we do not own, but help protect, as honorary additions to our 107 Reservations! 

Elly, our volunteer CR Monitoring mascot, scanning the wetland for beavers.

This is the first post in a series about CR properties that allow access for hikers and nature lovers.

Bates - Blackman Conservation Area - Groton, MA

The Bates-Blackman Conservation area is owned and maintained by the Groton Conservation Trust, and provides nearly 50 acres of forest and field along a forested ridge line on Indian Hill in Groton, and beautiful wet meadows below.  The Bates Land came to the Conservation Trust in 1968, and the adjacent Blackman land in 1984.  Wishing to see an additional layer of protection on the land, the Blackman family worked with the Conservation Trust and TTOR, to place a CR on the entirety of the conservation area in 2006.  

Two volunteer CR monitors climb up Indian Hill toward the golden fall foliage.
Here's the scoop on what you might see!  A western view of pastoral orchards and sheep on the farms below, stretching out to the Groton School's towers, and the hills and mountains of Central Massachusetts on the horizon.  Beyond the nearby ridges of Groton, Shirley, and Harvard, Mounts Wachusett (2,006' feet) and Watatic (1,832' feet) are visible, representing the state's two highest points east of the Connecticut River, while mighty Mount Monadnock (3,165' feet) in New Hampshire peeks up at the northern end of the vista!  To top off your visit, you can hope to see birds, heron and beaver activity in the wetlands, vernal pool life in the springtime, and resident mammal sightings in the fields and hilltop forest! 

We won't spoil the whole view, but there's Mount Wachusett gracing the horizon about twenty miles west!
In the words of the Blackmans, the place "frees one from the daily world left at the bottom of the hill, and encourages one to associate with horizons, perceived, imagined, and beyond."  We couldn't say it better ourselves!  The Trustees of Reservations are proud to help protect this conservation land  through a CR - and we hope you enjoy your visit as much as we enjoy monitoring it!  

Check out the Groton Conservation Trust's Guidebook for directions and a trail map!

1 comment:

Lady Slipper said...

Watched 2 herons working on nests last wk. Lady Slippers should be in bloom soon. Walked in search of the 50 plus beauties. Usually see them just after Mother's Day. Hadn't seen any sign of them then. Walked opposite path today. Could do without the ticks this early.