Two years after its conservation and with the help of hundreds of staff and volunteer hours to clean up and restore the property, Hamlin Crossing’s nine acres of restored wildflower fields, quiet woodlands and 800 feet of river frontage are now open to the public as part of the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s growing Acushnet River Reserve.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, 11/9/18, the Coalition welcomed members of the public and officials from the town of Acushnet to celebrate the opening of this former farm and orchard, which was protected last year following a 2016 vote by Acushnet residents to contribute town Community Preservation funds. The town of Acushnet also received a municipal grant from the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program to preserve the property.
With the conservation of Hamlin Crossing, the Acushnet River is now protected on all sides at Hamlin Street. The Acushnet Conservation Commission will hold a permanent conservation restriction on the land.
“This newest addition to the Acushnet River Reserve will contribute to the long-term vision of a ‘greenbelt’: a growing corridor of conservation and recreation lands along the Acushnet River that not only serves to protect the river’s health, but also provides new places where people can get outside and discover their Buzzards Bay,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.
When the Coalition acquired Hamlin Crossing, the property was littered with trash, dilapidated buildings, abandoned cars and invasive plants. Volunteers who pitched in to clear and beautify the property include students from Tabor Academy in Marion and service members from AmeriCorps Cape Cod, TerraCorps and the Commonwealth Corps. Several volunteer carpenters and painters also helped renovate an old barn on the property to support property maintenance.
“Preserving open space is important to the residents of Acushnet,” said Acushnet Selectman Roger Cabral. “Fortunately, we have organizations like the Buzzards Bay Coalition that facilitate getting it done.”
The Acushnet River Reserve also includes the popular 19-acre riverfront park The Sawmill, where visitors can walk, canoe and fish; LaPalme Farm, a 47-acre former dairy farm with a trail through field and forest leading to the Acushnet River; and P.J. Keating Woods, a 21-acre parcel of woods and wetlands with a loop trail that offers an outstanding view of the Acushnet River estuary.
At Hamlin Crossing, visitors can walk the property’s short loop trail through a restored wildflower meadow and woodlands to look for birds and wildlife. Hamlin Crossing is located at 126 Hamlin St., Acushnet, across the river from White’s Factory.
The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The organization works to improve the health of the Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research and advocacy and is supported by more than 9,600 members.
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