What’s the new land like?

This information from a DCR planner speaks to the environmental quality of the Reservation property.

56.7 acres of open land located in the Town of Canton, MA, acquired from the Canton Wayland Real Property Trust in July, 2010 explicitly for conservation and open space purposes. The parcel includes 13.6 acres of palustrine emergent marsh, 32.6 acres of palustrine forested wetland, 1.8 acres of palustrine scrub shrub wetland and 8.7 acres of upland buffer.

This was a strategically important acquisition, protecting a section of riparian greenway that will help connect Ponkapoag Golf Course to Fowl Meadow Reservation. The property is large (for an urban area), open and natural; protecting 0.65 miles of river bank along the Ponkapoag Brook, a healthy freshwater wetland and one or more potential vernal pools. Existing trails on the property provide opportunities for passive recreation and nature study.

Located immediately adjacent to the Fowl Meadow and Ponkapoag Bog ACEC—an extensive wetland complex that includes one of the largest areas of protected open space within the Boston Metropolitan area. The Emergent marshes and wooded swamps permanently protected and conservation restricted by this land acquisition provide breeding habitat for Mallards and Wood Ducks, as well as potential nesting and foraging areas for the State-Listed Least Bittern. This acquisition provides protected habitat for these imperiled and furtive bitterns, as well as provide habitat continuity—protecting wildlife corridors along the headwaters to the Neponset River.

The 8.7-acre forested upland associated with the parcel is a mix of oak, red maple, and pine; a classic second growth woodland. Located near the headwaters to the Neponset River, these wooded acres provide important buffers, protecting nesting habitat for Mallards and Baltimore Orioles, and water quality within Neponset River. Black Ducks are potentially nesters. Confirmed by Mass. Audubon’s Breeding Bird Atlas 1 (1974-1979), Black Ducks have not yet been noted during their current Atlas effort (2007-2011).

Acquisition and restoration of floodplain along the Neponset River will help mitigate the potential impacts of climate change by preserving habitat connectivity and wildlife corridors, protecting water resources, and buffering infrastructure and development from flooding associated with increasing storm frequency.

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