Monday, April 9, 2012

Middlesex Land Trust Announces Expansion of Boardman Preserve

A nature preserve established on Boardman Lane has expanded to over 85 acres.

The Boardman Preserve was established on a site that was originally considered for the Army Reserve Training Center. The Army provided funding for its purchase and is managing a wetlands restoration project, as mitigation for the loss of habitat resulting from the development of the Army base built on Smith Street. The Boardman Preserve is the property of the Middlesex Land Trust, a non-profit which preserves over 800 acres of land in the county, with nearly 300 acres in Middletown.

The Army mitigation plan led to the purchase of 54 acres, leaving 32 acres in the hands of the original owners, Middle Boardman Associates, LLC, led by Pedro Wasmer. At the time of the sale, Wasmer said that he had no specific plans for the 32 acres.

This year, Middle Boardman Associates decided to donate those 32 acres, substantially increasing the size of the Boardman Preserve, and increasing protection for the Sawmill Brook watershed.

According to a press release from the Land Trust,
With this newest parcel the Boardman Preserve now includes both sides of Sawmill and Richards Brooks, creating a significantly larger preserve. In addition to the streams, riparian and wetlands areas, this donation includes a 5 acre trade-land site, a parcel of land donated with the intent to support the land trust's mission through its lease or sale, rather than as conserved property. While the Middlesex Land Trust has no plans to sell the trade-land, it may be used in the future to help fund the protection of additional critically important open space.

David Brown, Executive Director of MLT, told The Eye last year that after 5 years of mandated mitigation by the Army Corps of Engineers, the land would be fully accessible to the public. Brown expressed his gratitude to Wasmer and his associates for their donation to expand the preserve, "As a community we all benefit from their generosity."

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