In September, the two groups accomplished step one in creating this preserve. The Coalition and DNRT completed a multifaceted acquisition of the entire 128-acre property. DNRT took ownership of 75 acres of land along Dike Creek, a salt marsh-lined stream that flows into Apponogansett Bay. The Coalition and the Dartmouth Conservation Commission also established a conservation restriction over these lands, ensuring their rich forests and wetlands are permanently protected against development.
In the future, DNRT will work to open these lands into a public preserve, including a trail system that will lead down to the extensive sweep of salt marshes along Dike Creek. This peaceful reserve will offer a stunning place for anyone to take a hike or trail run, go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, or seek out the abundant birds and other wildlife that call the marshes home.
At the same time, the Coalition acquired 53 acres of the property that include farmland, barns, and two homes. The Coaliton has a contract to sell the farm and one of the houses to a couple with South Coast roots, who plan to continue to operate the property as a vineyard. A conservation restriction on this property, held by the Coalition, will prevent any further development while allowing the owners to continue to work the land.
The Coalition is now seeking to sell the second home, a large, beautiful historic home at 227 Bakerville Road on a very private 23-acre estate. This property is being marketed by Milbury and Company Real Estate, subject to a conservation restriction.
By protecting these lands, the Coalition and DNRT have a perfect opportunity to extend an already robust system of conservation land along Apponagansett Bay. Apponagansett Bay Farm is centrally located amidst a complex of existing protected lands, including protected open space on three sides. This property was formerly the last large block of undeveloped land on Dike Creek, leaving it at risk of being subdivided and developed. Protecting this land ensures the preservation of critical wildlife habitat, and provides an important buffer that keeps pollution from flowing into Dike Creek and onward into Apponagansett Bay.
This project has been supported by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, Town of Dartmouth Community Preservation funds, and private gifts from many local supporters.
The Coalition and DNRT are still seeking private gifts to ensure the preservation of Apponagansett Bay Farm as well as Eva’s Garden, an extraordinary organic farm near Allens Pond. For more information about contributing to save these farms, please contact Mark Rasmussen at the Buzzards Bay Coalition at (508) 999-6363 x201, or Dexter Mead at DNRT at (508) 991-2289 x1200.