Town Meeting Protects Gavins Pond Land

The Town Meeting article seeking to permanently protect the Gavins Pond Land as conservation land passed by more than a two-thirds vote last May. Thank you to all who helped and supported!

After Town Meetings rejected three attempts to place additional soccer fields on the land  surrounding Gavins Pond, the conservation community in a warrant article for May 2017 Town Meeting asked the Selectmen to formalize permanent protection of the land by placing it under the management of the Conservation Commission.

The land was acquired by the town in 1986 “for aquifer protection purposes, including the Gavins Pond water supply well site.” Composed of forest, meadows, pond, and streams, the ~63 acres lie in the Groundwater Protection district and overlie the Billings Brook aquifer  and the town’s well #7.  This land is also designated by the state Natural Heritage program as priority habitat for several rare species of plants, butterflies, and turtles, including the Eastern box turtle and the frosted elfin butterfly.

By agreement, the area will be divided into three parcels: 27 acres under management of the Conservation Commission (parcels F-1, F-a, and F-b on the map), with the Selectmen retaining control of 8.5 acres containing the existing soccer fields for recreation purposes and 28.23 acres comprising the pond and well #7. Surveying and deeds for the new parcels are in process, and all necessary documents will be recorded at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.