Pictured above: Realizing the importance of clearly marking conservation boundaries, John Worrell & Linda Ammons hung Opacum signs along the perimeter of Funning Pine Woods. John & Linda donated a conservation restriction to Opacum Land Trust in Autumn of 2006, forever keeping Running Pine Woods in its natural state.
Knowing where your property boundary is and marking it prevents accidental encroachments and other activities that might violate the Conservation Restriction. In the real world, these things do occur and Opacum takes its duty to defend any Conservation Restriction very seriously. This is why any Conservation Restriction must have an endowment which is solely for the purpose of defending the property should the need arise.
Running Pine Woods is 17 acres located on Wales Road (Route 19) in Brimfield. The land is next to a part of Brimfield State Forest. While most people see the dollar signs in their land, John & Linda see something a bit different. They see the land they have loved and cared for, and decided to permanently prevent development of that land. That is what a Conservation Restriction is and does- it is a flexible tool which enables landowners who cherish their property to see now, and into the future, that the land will remain free from man-made changes. They can sell this property with the conservation restriction. The land is protected, a duty overseen by Opacum.
At John & Linda’s place, there are birdhouses in the pasture, a garden in the backyard where they grow vegetables, strawberries and rhubarb (they make a mean strawberry rhubarb cobbler), wildflowers that they pick for their table, plants from which they forage and they enjoy passing time on their quiet woodland trails. One cannot underestimate the power of a person’s connection to the land, especially those who have dug into it with their hands, harvested their food from it, and drank from its freshwater springs. This connection is what drives landowners to consider the option of conservation instead of selling it for development.
The property falls within the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program’s BioMap Core Habitat. This is significant because it will provide forested habitat in the long term for rare and common species of plants and animals that live in the Quinebaug Watershed. The area serves as upland habitat for rare species of amphibians and reptiles which shall remain nameless…there is no doubt that this area is ecologically significant.
By accepting this conservation restriction, Opacum once again has a chance to make a positive contribution to conservation, people and wildlife habitat. Though a relatively small parcel, it has huge impact on many levels – size doesn’t matter, it’s an important piece of land ecologically, and it has deep meaning to John & Linda.
Thank you, John & Linda, for such a generous donation.