Final Phase of Bates-Blackman Land Restoration Kicking Off Summer 2022

We have been engaged in a four year plan to enhance community accessibility for our flagship property. Volunteers have cleared an extensive overgrowth of invasive plants from around an existing picnic area to open views across the adjoining stream and meadows, worked on improving the trails, and have begun restoring and upgrading the meadows to encourage native plants. Plans are moving forward this summer with the largest and final phase. While the initial phases of this project have been completed substantially by volunteers and donated equipment, most of the remaining work requires the support of professional vendors and additional materials costs. The GCT has been awarded two grants to support the completion of this project: the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts has awarded the GCT with a grant of $7,500 through its Environmental Preservation and Animal Welfare Program; and voters in Groton approved a grant of $39,545 from the town’s Community Preservation Fund at the April 30, 2022 town meeting.

Fall foliage on the Bates trail

The final phase of the project, kicking off in Summer 2022, will include the following elements. Multiple closures* to the parking and trails are anticipated between June and September 2022 to complete this work. We truly appreciate your flexibility and encourage you to review our properties website or visit to access a rich diversity of local hiking and recreation options.

  1. Expand parking and reorganize entrance, including the addition of an accessible parking space *BATES PARKING WILL BE CLOSED THE WEEK OF JUNE 13th to complete the parking updates
  2. Replace the bridge adjacent to the parking area over James Brook
  3. Install a six foot wide accessible path to the picnic area
  4. Install accessible picnic tables
  5. Improve the trail from the meadows to the top of the drumlin to mitigate hazardous spots
  6. Control invasives and reseed the meadows with wildflowers and native grasses
  7. Create grass walking paths through the meadow areas to better experience the native plantings and animal habitat
  8. Install benches at the top of the drumlin with views to the west across North
    Central Massachusetts into New Hampshire
Volunteers finishing up at one of our many community work parties.

Our sincere hope is that the entire community benefits from the improvements and expanded access to nature and the outdoors, in particular people with mobility restrictions. These parcels are extremely popular due to their natural beauty and proximity to the town center. The expansion of trails, seating, and safety will enhance the visiting experience for all.

While we have been very fortunate to secure multiple grants to fund this project, a substantial portion of the work will be completed with donated funds. To help support this project, please visit our secure online donation website and enter “Bates Project” in the comment field with your donation. Thank you very much for your support!

Arisaema triphyllum or jack-in-the-pulpit is one of the many native wildflowers growing at Bates following the clearing of invasives by our dedicated volunteers.
Rhododendrons form an entrance to the restored picnic area. New accessible picnic tables will be installed in this area following the installation of an accessible trail.