47 Acres Conserved in Deerfield North Meadows

We are delighted to announce the successful completion of a conservation restriction in collaboration with Historic Deerfield. The conservation restriction donated from Historic Deerfield to the Franklin Land Trust was recorded on May 10th, 2024.

The project secures 47.9 acres of ecologically valuable land, encompassing more than 25 acres of Prime Farmland Soils, diverse wetlands, and crucial scrub-shrub habitat. This conservation success has been the result of a dedicated multi-year initiative, made feasible through the generous support of an anonymous foundation and a devoted long-time supporter of both organizations.

As part of the conservation effort, the Franklin Land Trust conveyed three parcels totaling nearly 13 acres to Historic Deerfield. Two of these parcels were subsequently conserved under the conservation restriction.

Four of the six conserved parcels are adjacent to existing agricultural fields protected by the Williams Family in the North Meadows, just north of Historic Deerfield.

The conservation of these parcels guarantees that the farm soils will continue to be accessible for agriculture, contributing to the preservation of the region’s historic and scenic charm. Additionally, the forested wetland portions of the conserved land will play a vital role in watershed protection, mitigating flooding events during extreme weather conditions. “Every acre of valuable farm soils that FLT can be part of protecting is one more acre where food can be grown for our neighbors and friends, and that is very gratifying” commented Director of Land Conservation Alain Peteroy.  The Franklin Land Trust’s dedicated stewardship staff will conduct regular visits to ensure that the conserved properties remain in good condition and are used in accordance with the conservation restriction.

Historic Deerfield welcomes all to experience one of the best-preserved villages and rural landscapes in North America through dynamic encounters with the stories, cultures, and material worlds of those who have made New England home.  John Davis, President of Historic Deerfield, explains, “The North and South Meadows of Old Deerfield include some of the richest soils in the United States.  They encompass millennia of use by indigenous inhabitants of the area and centuries of cultivation by English colonists and later farming families.  We are proud to make this agricultural history part of our mission.”

“Historic Deerfield preserves structures, and the Franklin Land Trust conserves land, but our missions are both premised on the same commitment to protecting what makes this area so unique” says Executive Director Mary Lynn Sabourin of the Franklin Land Trust. “The varied landscape of Western Massachusetts is a true rarity. There are very few regions left that retain this balanced mix of historic villages, farms, and wildlands.”