Your membership helps our all-volunteer board acquire and maintain over 30 properties in Groton. This last year we completed critical field work to protect sensitive habitats, and we continued valiant efforts to remove invasive species throughout our properties. 2016 also saw the creation of trails and a wildflower garden at The General Field (see the story below). Trustees also repaired property signs and trails.
If you aren’t a member yet, now is the perfect time to join our efforts. Not only are you protecting beautiful open spaces, you will receive invitations to special events like the vernal pool walk featured in this letter. If you are already a member, now is the time to renew your commitment. We are grateful to our generous supporters. Thanks to you, conservation works in Groton!
This summary of the activity at The General Field is in our annual year-end letter. You can read more about our activities this past year here.
The General Field at 10 Years
In 2006, the GCT worked with the Town of Groton to purchase 144 acres known as The General Field on the Groton/Ayer line to help protect the entire 320-acre Surrenden Farm from development. With the headline “No new taxes will be required” the presentation at a Special Town Meeting that year made the case for such a large purchase. This was a one-time opportunity to permanently conserve 327 acres of prime farmland and with it the most beautiful entrance into Groton. Surrenden Farm had long been a top conservation priority because:
• This historic farm has been in continuous agricultural use since 1680.
• It has great ecological value along its 2.5 miles of Nashua River frontage.
• It completes a 1,525-acre tract of conservation land.
The General Field is so named because it was used communally by local farmers in colonial times.
The land is now under permanent agricultural restriction and is leased to Laurie and John Smigelski of Excalibur Farm. They plant hay and rye grass.
The Groton Trails Committee, working with the Trustees, built a loop trail along the edge of the property offering a scenic tour that includes panoramic views from the new visitor area.
Trustees have begun to develop the visitor area by planting a field of wildflowers and installing informational signage. The wildflowers came on strong and promise to be even more spectacular next spring.