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303 acres of Nobscot Scout Reservation preserved

Planning & Community Development (posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008) | Email this story

A 303 acre portion of the Nobscot Scout Reservation in Sudbury was permanently conserved today by Sudbury Valley Trustees, the Town of Sudbury, and the Knox Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America. The protection of this beautiful and historic land has long been a high priority for Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) and the Town. The property has now been protected through the purchase, by SVT and the Town, of a conservation restriction that will allow the reservation to continue operating as a Scout camp while permanently limiting development of the property.

Following eight years of negotiations among the parties, an agreement was reached last summer that allowed SVT and the Town to purchase the conservation restriction (CR) from the Knox Trail Council.  The purchase price was appropriated by Sudbury’s spring 2008 Town Meeting, from Community Preservation funds, and the remaining funds were raised privately by SVT. A LAND (Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity) grant from the State was received and will be used to reimburse a portion of the Town’s contribution to the purchase price. A major grant from the Sudbury Foundation made up a considerable portion of the private fundraising effort led by SVT, as did substantial gifts from a Scout parent, several Sudbury residents, many foundations and hundreds of additional donations from community residents.

 “The Nobscot Scout Reservation is the largest undeveloped parcel of land in Sudbury,” said Town Manager Maureen Valente, “and conservation efforts for decades have been focused on its preservation. The property abuts over 150 acres of Town-owned open space, and includes Tippling Rock, which offers spectacular views from Boston to New Hampshire, and will provide significant opportunities for community passive recreational use. We are grateful to the Knox Trail Council for the opportunity to work with them on the mutual goals presented by this project.”

The Nobscot Scout Reservation has been operated as a Boy Scout camp by the Knox Trail Council since 1928 and is located in both Sudbury and Framingham. The 452 acre Reservation represents one of the largest undeveloped pieces of open space in the Metro West area, and borders Callahan State Park and two pieces of Town conservation land. The Reservation is well-used by the public, who hike its trails, and enjoy views from Nobscot Mountain and Tippling Rock.

 “Nobscot has been a part of generations of youth’s development, life skills and life memories,” said Dennis Prefontaine, Scout Executive of Knox Trail Council. “The Council has spent the past 12 years focusing on significant restoration of the facilities. This preservation will mean that this magnificent ‘urban oasis’ will be available to generations of Scouts yet to belong and the surrounding community.”

Nobscot’s significant features include habitat for two state-listed species and several historic sites. In addition to protecting the natural and historic resources of the site, Knox Trail will continue the Council’s current policy for public access, and will ensure perpetual public access to the Bay Circuit Trail – a hiking trail that runs from Duxbury around Metropolitan Boston and back up to Newburyport.

 Sudbury Valley Trustees is a regional land trust active in 36 Metrowest communities and headquartered in Sudbury. SVT’s “Campaign to Conserve Nobscot” fundraising effort was the largest undertaken around a single project in the organization’s 55 year history. Executive Director of SVT Ron McAdow said, “Those to come after us will enjoy a great benefit—permanent conservation of this large, historic property—made possible by funds from the Town of Sudbury, the Sudbury Foundation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and exceptionally generous private contributions from individuals and foundations.”
 

Knox Trail Council serves the 21 towns of the metrowest area, with over 6,700 youth members and 2,200 adult volunteers.  In 2007, 8,078 participants used Nobscot Scout Reservation, including scouting groups, schools, churches, and other community groups.  Knox Trail Council also owns a 305 acre facility in Bolton called Camp Resolute, which serves as a summer camp.

“Nobscot is preserved, but much work remains ahead of us since there are still over 1,000 acres of land in need of protection within Sudbury,” said Larry O’Brien, Chairman of the Sudbury Board of Selectmen.  “We hope to continue our sucess through partnering with Sudbury landowners and working with the Community Preservation Committee in preserving open space that is such a great part of the character of Sudbury.”

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