Conservation Stories

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.

Project Background

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.

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The Adams Property Conservation Project

In Thoreau’s Woods and Yours: A Prime Parcel and Public Trail for Preservation

With the generosity of more than 30 neighbors and funds from the RLF, the LLCT, the Community Preservation Act, Walden Woods Project, and Ogden Codman Trust, 3.7 acres of woodland and an important connecting trail were conserved in 2019-2020.

Two properties totaling 13.8 acres lie in the heart of Thoreau’s Walden Woods: one 10 acre parcel had already been conserved, and the second 3.7 acres was being offered by Doug and Trish Adams at significantly below the appraised value.

The now conserved area lies between Baker Farm Road and Granville Road. A frequented walking trail provides an extensive connection among the Flint’s Pond, East Codman, Baker Bridge, Pine Hill, and Walden Pond  areas. A corridor for wildlife, such as pileated woodpeckers, red foxes and mink, extends from Adams Woods and the Baker Bridge Fields to the Flint’s Pond conservation land. Undeveloped upland forest, an open field, and wetlands abut a spring-fed pond and grove of beech trees visited regularly by Henry David Thoreau.

This conservation project saved an important trail and a lovely parcel of land. Together, the neighborhood and the wider community were able to conserve, preserve, and protect this land in Thoreau’s woods and yours.

For archival purposes, you can access the campaign page and see the project materials here.

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