The Community Preservation Act (CPA) allows communities to create a dedicated local fund to conserve natural areas, improve outdoor recreation, protect historic places, and increase affordable housing options. Community preservation funds have been used in nearly every community around Buzzards Bay to purchase and permanently preserve thousands of acres of land and open them to the public. Rochester is the only town in the Buzzards Bay region that has not adopted CPA.
For this project, CPA funds were used to purchase 10 acres on the Weweantic River in West Wareham. The land includes 1,300 feet of riverbank along the river, as well as mixed pine/hardwood forest, an abandoned cranberry bog, and a four-unit apartment building.
Under the deal developed and managed by the Coalition, the Wareham Conservation Commission will own 8.7 acres of this land, and the Coalition will hold a conservation restriction to ensure it is protected forever. Working together with the town, we will create and open a trail along the river that connects this property to neighboring Westgate Conservation Area. Brockton-based Father Bill’s & MainSpring will own the apartment building on the remaining 1.5 acres to provide affordable housing.
This collaborative project is one piece of a larger effort to protect a corridor of land along the Weweantic River, Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river. These lands protect clean water in the river and habitat for fish and wildlife, including species like migratory river herring and threatened eastern box turtles.