UPDATE: THANK YOU! With your help, this has been permanently conserved.
Manchester Essex Conservation Trust has protected land in this community over the past 60 years. 1600 acres of land with many miles of trails are under permanent conservation.
- But 20 acres off Rocky Hill Road are under immediate threat. If road improvements and development are approved, then there is a possibility that more development could take place on still-privately owned parcels within the Wilderness Conservation Area south of Rocky Hill Road, due to an existing easement. Getting rid of that easement is a part of this conservation effort.
- The land owner has been considering plans for 16 units of townhouses off the dirt road between the gates on Rocky Hill Road (or other uses), including opening the road end to end. While the plans have not been brought to the town for consideration yet, the engineering firm and project lead that he provided checked out. In light of our prolonged Shingle Place Hill battle in Manchester against an oversized affordable housing development, we know we should take this seriously.
We are close to a deal to protect this land FOREVER but we need YOUR HELP to close the funding gap. The closing date is scheduled for the middle of June 2023. Can you help?
What’s at stake?
• A vast expanse of wildlife habitat in a mostly conserved area could be fragmented by development
• Peace in your neighborhood could be replaced with traffic and speed
• The dirt cart path could be traded for a paved thru road
• A 20-acre section of woodlands and wetlands could be sacrificed
• Vernal pool upland buffers, essential for vernal pool life could be lost, and habitat for a threatened turtle species could be decimated
• 20 Acres of carbon-sequestering trees could be cut down
What has MECT done?
• Defended the Private Way status of Rocky Hill Road for decades
• Conducted amphibian and vernal pool studies
• Contested development plans at the Planning Board
• Made several offers to the owner over many years
• Alerted neighbors to imminent threats of road construction
• Educated the owner about the consequences of unpermitted work in Blandings Turtle Priority Habitat
So what’s the deal?
The owner of these 20 acres contacted us in November with a reasonable offer. After years of defending this privately-owned land, we want to preserve it forever. We have a purchase under agreement. We have funds to cover a large portion of the purchase but we need to raise $300,000 to close the deal in June 2023. We need to move fast to take advantage of this long-sought opportunity to preserve this land! We were not expecting this large purchase after our prior offers were rejected. We need neighbors and hikers alike to help us close this gap. We are reaching out to over 100 neighbors who will benefit most directly from stopping the development of this land once and for all. Can you help us TODAY?
Donate securely by credit card or PayPal at the link below.
This effort is part of a large Capital Campaign to Save Our Woods. Learn more about our $5 Million dollar land conservation campaign here.