At a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, the Coalition welcomed members of the public and officials from the town of Acushnet to celebrate the opening of this former farm and orchard, which was protected last year following a 2016 vote by Acushnet residents to contribute town Community Preservation funds. Acushnet also received a municipal grant from the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program to preserve the property.
With the conservation of Hamlin Crossing, the Acushnet River is now protected on all sides at Hamlin Street. The Acushnet Conservation Commission will hold a permanent conservation restriction on the land.
“This newest addition to the Acushnet River Reserve will contribute to the long-term vision of a ‘greenbelt’: a growing corridor of conservation and recreation lands along the Acushnet River that not only serves to protect the river’s health, but also provides new places where people can get outside and discover their Buzzards Bay,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.
When the Coalition acquired Hamlin Crossing, the property was littered with trash, dilapidated buildings, abandoned cars, and invasive plants. Volunteers who pitched in to clear and beautify the property include students from Tabor Academy in Marion and service members from AmeriCorps Cape Cod, TerraCorps, and the Commonwealth Corps. Several volunteer carpenters and painters also helped renovate an old barn on the property to support property maintenance.
“Preserving open space is important to the residents of Acushnet,” said Acushnet Selectman Roger Cabral. “Fortunately, we have organizations like the Buzzards Bay Coalition that facilitate getting it done.”
The Acushnet River Reserve also includes the popular 19-acre riverfront park The Sawmill, where visitors can walk, canoe, and fish, as well as LaPalme Farm, a 47-acre former dairy farm with a trail through field and forest leading to the Acushnet River. At Hamlin Crossing, visitors can walk the property’s short, easy loop trail through a restored wildflower meadow and woodlands.
Elsewhere in the Acushnet River Reserve, the Coalition recently opened P.J. Keating Woods, a 21-acre parcel of woods and wetlands across from the P.J. Keating Company’s Acushnet quarry on South Main Street. Keating Woods’ trail loops through the woods and a restored meadow, offering visitors an outstanding view of the Acushnet River estuary.