Perry Land

This property abuts the Groton Conservation Trust Fitch Woods Property, which abuts the Groton Conservation Commission McClain’s Woods property. Mahoney Lane, a former road and current major trail runs though these properties with associated loop trails. Mahoney Lane is off of Chicopee Row, parking available.

Article by Alice Cary, and first appeared in a 2012 GCT newsletterIMG_0174

While snowshoeing on trails near Williams Barn a year ago, Richard Perry began thinking about how much he enjoys using the town’s many wonderful conservation lands. That sort of rural relaxation is one of the things this former city dweller most cherishes about life in Groton.

As Perry contemplated how other people’s donations allow him to snowshoe, trail run, hike, mountain bike, canoe and fish, he decided, “I can do that too.” A Nashua Road resident since 1997, Perry was moved to donate a parcel of his own 15.48 acres to the Groton Conservation Trust. After contacting the GCT and having the necessary surveying and legal work completed, Perry donated a 6.67-acre parcel to the Trust in December. Not only is Perry’s donation generous, it’s a beautiful spot that abuts acreage in Fitch-Woods already owned by the Trust. “His land was originally owned by the Fitch family,” explains GCT President Ed McNierney, “so it’s a rare opportunity to put two parcels back into common ownership after being separated.”

Perry decided on this particular parcel because it sits at a higher elevation than the rest of his property. Sprint had previously contacted him about installing a cell tower there, an offer that Perry refused.

“Sprint was really pushing hard, and I understand why,” Perry remembers. “No spot is as high near there. The views are spectacular when the leaves are off the trees. You can see for miles.” Perry says the donation process was easy, although conducting surveying and seeking town approval took a bit longer than expected. “Ed gave me the steps and I ran with it,” Perry says. Perry Gift, continued from page I. He had wanted to be able to donate a strip of his property that would allow public access to his parcel from Nashua Road, but this proved unworkable because of zoning regulations. “His house lot is large, but is an oddly shaped hammerhead lot,” McNierney says. “He needed to keep it a legal hammerhead lot after he was finished with the donation.”

Perry hopes that many people enjoy his donation, and that neighbors and other residents might be inspired by his gift. “I think people should think about the benefit they get from GCT properties,” Perry muses. “Really give it some thought. I hope other people will do the same thing.” McNierney adds: “Rich’s donation is an excellent illustration of how land conservation happens today. You don’t have to own a 200-acre woodlot to think about conserving land. The Perry Land isn’t even our smallest property, but its value isn’t measured only in acres. It’s measured in the important habitat it protects and the expansion of an already protected area.”