The Carters’ Folly land consists of approximately 21 acres of forest and wetlands located near Old Dunstable Road and includes a connection to Allens Trail. The parcel is adjacent to GCT’s Skitapet land, as well as the New England Forestry Foundation’s Baddacook Woods. The land contains mature oak, maple, hickory, and white pine forest at higher elevations, and wetland resources in the form of an intermittent stream and the southern end of a deep marsh. The parcel lies within the Petapawag Area of Critical Environmental Concern and is identified as NHESP Priority Habitat.
Carters’ Folly was donated to the GCT by Anne Carter and the Carter Family in 2021. The Carter family used the land for summer gatherings for many years.
GCT Trustee Rick Muehlke described the history of the land in our August 2021 newsletter:
In 1953 Anne Pitts was an assistant professor of economics at Harvard when she met Dr. Franklin Carter, a psychiatrist associated with Massachusetts General Hospital. After their marriage, in 1954 they purchased adjoining parcels of land in Groton with their friends and Cambridge neighbors Ed and Jean Mason who are known to many in the Groton community. The Groton Conservation Trust (GCT) has been interested in permanently protecting the Carters’ 21 acres, ever since Joseph and Jeanne Skinner donated the 51-acre “Skitapet Conservation Land” to the Trust in 1983 and 1989. This 21-acre Carter parcel is part of what is now 88 acres of uninterrupted east-west conservation land. A gap of only about 75 feet separates the north edge of the Carter parcel from over 2,190 acres of conserved land to the north, owned by seven different conservation organizations. Anne Carter and her daughter Sarah proposed “Carters’ Folly” as the name for the property. “Carters'” because it honors Anne and Franklin Carter. “Folly” because they never did anything with the land, other than enjoy it in its natural state. The Groton Conservation Trust sincerely thanks Professor Anne Pitts Carter for the gift of this beautiful and important property.