Conservation is a collaborative effort. When land is conserved in any capacity (deeded, restricted, or other), RLF may work with any combination of stakeholders – landowners, neighbors, Lincoln’s Conservation Commission, local land trusts, and state and federal agencies. Together, we preserve and protect Lincoln’s rural character for the benefit of all. There are many wonderful stories and each property is special.
The Wang Property Project at 100 Bedford Road
The Wang Property Project is an innovative private-public partnership to invest in Lincoln’s future. This 16-acre project enhances both Lincoln’s conservation values and provides opportunities for Lincoln’s youth. Nine acres are in process of being deeded to the Town of Lincoln and to the LLCT for conservation land, enhancing watershed protection and trail connections. Three acres are in process of being deeded to the Town for a new athletic field, and the remaining four acres have been purchased by Birches School to expand their nature-based, micro school.
In the summer of 2016, the Rural Land Foundation began to explore the purchase of the 16-acre Wang property, located at 100 Bedford Road. A public-private partnership was formed, providing a unique solution to three different needs.
A new athletic field had long been identified as a Town need, and three acres were allocated to the Parks and Recreation Department to accommodate the increased demand of organized sports. The existing fields, deteriorating due to overuse, will begin to recover as play shifts to the new field.
The nine acres purchased for conservation purposes will connect to existing conservation land and trails. This land is also being made available as a “swap” for the proposed solar panel field planned at the Transfer Station.
Benefits of Collaboration
The partnership with the Birches School provides the Town with access to the site from Bedford Road, the use of the parking lot (built and maintained by Birches School), and access to restroom facilities for athletic events.
Core Values of Conservation and Sustainability
Lincoln has long been known for its commitment and leadership in the areas of conservation and sustainability. The nine acres of conservation land will protect adjacent critical watershed lands, eliminate future development of this prime real estate, create a conservation land swap option for a solar field at the Transfer Station, and provide important trail connections to Flint’s Pond conservation area.
A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity
The last time Lincoln added to its Park and Recreation inventory was nearly half a century ago when the Ballfield Road Campus was completed. Since then, organized sports have become a popular after school activity, with soccer emerging as the leading sport in Lincoln.
While welcomed and encouraged, this has put new stresses on the fields with more than 150 hours of use weekly by more than 600 unique users. The result: dangerous playing conditions characterized by significant topsoil loss, uneven surface areas, and a preponderance of weeds. The new fields will give the Ballfield Road Campus fields time to recover and will accommodate the growth of organized afterschool sports.