MILFORD — A conservation easement has been finalized to protect 30 acres of land in Milford, which will permanently preserve the large property near the Granite Town Rail Trail.
“The preservation of open space, particularly in these towns where there is so much pressure for land owners to sell at top dollar to developers, will help keep that rural character forever,” said Sally Wilkins of the Amherst Land Trust, the entity that is holding the easement.
For the past two years, several neighbors have been working to complete the deal that will save the property that abuts the old Brookline and Milford railroad bed for recreation, forestry and agriculture.
With the conservation easement signed last week, the rail corridor’s rural and wooded character will now be preserved, according to Wilkins.
“It has become apparent in the last 15 years that land being managed by conservation commissions also needs to be protected by a third-party, and that is the role of the Amherst Land Trust,” said Wilkins. “In the southern tier, particularly in the outlining subsets of Manchester and Nashua, there has been tremendous development pressure, but one of the things that draws people to this part of the state is its aesthetic beauty.”
The Amherst Land Trust currently holds easements on conservation land in Mont Vernon and Amherst, and this newest land deal is the first in Milford.
Neighbors on Melendy Road in Milford who were instrumental in signing over their development rights and donating the property to the town include Pauline and Donald Boggis, Sandra Frades, Steven and Carmela Horlitz, Bob and Michele Moulton and Olav and Jeanne Nieuwejaar.
“I can’t say enough about my gratitude and pleasure to work with these landowners for the last several years,” Chris Costantino of the Milford Conservation Commission said in a release. “They are an inspiring group of landowners who had a dream and made it happen.”
The Milford Conservation Commission has been charged with protecting the 30 acres of land now donated and owned by the town.
Frades, one of the Melendy Road neighbors, said this has been a dream of members of the neighborhood for a long time.
“We are happy to be able to give this land to Milford so it can be enjoyed by future generations,” Frades said in a statement.
According to Wilkins, there are still quite a few parcels of land in Milford that are undeveloped, and while there are several large parcels remaining in Amherst, the majority of those have applications in place to potentially be subdivided for future development.
Since its inception in 1975, the Amherst Land Trust has saved more than 400 acres of property from development and kept it open to the public, according to a release.