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Land Conservation News 

Topsfield Votes to Preserve Historic Donibristle Farm

Community residents, working in partnership with  Greenbelt, successfully championed an effort to conserve Donibristle Farm in Topsfield.  A local fundraising campaign energized 100 donors who collectively raised $400,000 towards the $900,000 acquisition cost.

At Town Meeting May 2nd, and again at the ballot on May 4th, Topsfield residents resoundingly authorized an allocation of up to $500,000 for the balance needed to permanently protect 44 acres of beautiful wooded hillside located on Hill Street and Rowley Bridge Road. Once the country estate of renowned historian James Duncan Phillips, the property features towering trees and an extensive trail system.

Greenbelt is grateful to the landowners who provided the opportunity to substantially preserve this National Register-eligible property. A parking area, trail markers and signage need to be built and installed. We look forward to opening the Donibristle Farm Reservation to the public for nature observation and recreational use later this year.

Woodland Acres in Rockport Under Agreement

Greenbelt has entered into an agreement to acquire a 47-acre parcel of land in the Pigeon Cove section of Rockport.  Commonly known as “Woodland Acres” after the 75-lot subdivision that had been approved over two decades ago, the land has been a top priority for conservation and trail advocates for many years.  

Working in partnership with the Town of Rockport, Greenbelt will purchase the land from the current owners and convey the property to the Town, subject to a Conservation Restriction to be held by Greenbelt.  The land will be permanently preserved as open space, with publicly accessible trails.  

A significant feature of the property, which contains vernal pools and has been designated as core habitat for rare species by the state Natural Heritage Program, is the fact that it abuts the Town’s land and parking area at Pine Pit.  Pine Pit is the starting point for access to the rail bed, which continues through the woods into Gloucester.


Land Stewardship Update

Cape Ann Tree and Iron Tree Donate Day to Greenbelt

On May 28 - National Arbor Day - two local tree companies teamed up to help Greenbelt clear downed branches and trees from the John J. Donovan Reservation in Hamilton.

Cape Ann Tree and Iron Tree each donated a full crew and equipment for the entire day and the results were amazing.  Smaller tree branches were chipped, and tree trunks loaded and hauled away. Greenbelt offers our sincerest appreciation to both these local companies for their generosity.


Join Our National Trails Day Event June 3

Join Greenbelt and the Friends of North Andover Trails at the Leonhard Farm in North Andover to help construct a new hiking trail through a wooded area that was protected in 2016 by a conservation restriction granted to Greenbelt by the Leonhard family.

The event will be from 9 am to noon with refreshments provided. We will park and gather at the end of Bruin Hill Road in North Andover.

For more information and to register for the event, please contact Greenbelt's Christine Viola.


Community Engagement

Greenbelt Honored as Trailblazer

Essex Heritage, in keeping with its long tradition of supporting the region’s unique cultural heritage, hosted its 20th Anniversary Gala: A Toast to the Trailblazers in April at the Peabody Essex Museum. More than 300 people from local, regional, state and national organizations and businesses attended the bash to toast the extraordinary organizations and people who make the Essex National Heritage Area so exceptional.

The public submitted nominations for 131 Trailblazers – and Essex Heritage received 4,077 votes to determine which Trailblazers were to be toasted at the Gala. Greenbelt was the 1st place winner in the category Preserving This Special Region. President Ed Becker accepted the award, which recognized Greenbelt for being a role-model organization for conserving woodlands, and scenic lands for public access, and for our current efforts to protect 10,000 acres over the next decade.

 Will We See You at Greenbelt’s Annual Meeting?

Join us this Thursday, May 18th for an evening of celebration, community-building and fun!

We’ve added a special element to our annual Creative Potluck Supper & Annual Meeting this year.  Come early – 5:30pm – to toast all who helped make the Capital Campaign a great success.  Supper will start at 6pm, followed by the Annual Meeting, with the election of officers, directors and awards. 

Please consider bringing your favorite dish to share.   RSVP your attendance and food plans to Alexandra or call 978-768-7241, ext. 10.


Lynn Woods Weekday Hike

Join Greenbelt and members of the YMCA/North Shore's Y Connections hiking group for an  invigorating spring hike through Lynn Woods, one of the country's largest municipal parks, on May 18th from 9:30 - 11:30 am. 

Dan Broderick of the Friends of Lynn Woods will be the walk leader . The hike will follow a route on a wide, well-maintained road that will take us to historic Dungeon Rock and then on to Stone Tower  with a 360 degree exposure with terrific views.  FREE. RSVP


Art in The Barn Volunteer Call

Our 28th Art in the Barn is just around the corner.

The show, which features 150 local artists, is made possible thanks to the help of over 60 volunteers.

This year the show runs from June 9-11, but volunteer opportunities begin on June 5th. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Shelley to learn more.

Have Fun with Us!


Lynn Woods
Weekday Hik
May 18, 9:30 - 11:30 am.
Led by Dave Broderick from the Friends of Lynn Woods.

106 Pennybrook Road, Lynn. FREE RSVP  


Creative Potluck & Annual Meeting

May 18th
5:30 Cocktails
6:00 Potluck
7:00 Meeting
Cox Reservation, Essex


"Warbler Alley" Walk
with expert Jim Berry
May 21, 7 am - 9 am.

Pike's Bridge Road, West Newbury.
Limited capacity. FREE. RSVP   

28th Art In The Barn Exhibit & Sale

Find that special piece of artwork, seek out a special gift for a family member or friend, or simply come to browse and enjoy the festivities. Cox Reservation, EssexFREE.

Fri, June 9: noon - 4:00 pm

Fri Night Party: 6 - 8:30 pm

Sat, June 10: 10am - 5:00 pm

Sat, June 11: 10am - 5:00 pm

Dogtown Weekday Hike

Join Greenbelt and the Y Connections hiking club for an energetic exploration ofRockport and Gloucester's Dogtown Region. 
June 15,   9:30 - 11:30 am

Meet at the top of Summit Avenue in Rockport.


Geocaching Adventure

Family Fun! Join Greenbelt and expert Carl Nelson to learn about and practice geocaching.
June 23,   1:00-2:30 pm  

Cox Reservation, Essex


Thank you for your interest in local land conservation 

Greenbelt | Essex County's Land Trust 
82 Eastern Avenue Essex, Massachusetts 01929

Phone: 978.768.7241 | www.ecga.org | Email: ecga@ecga.org
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