The City of Worcester joined forces with the Massachusetts Audubon Society (Mass Audubon), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Town of Princeton, to secure a conservation and watershed preservation restriction on the 124-acre Fieldstone Farm. Located in Princeton, the land drains to Worcester’s Quinapoxet Reservoir. The $2.84 million purchase will permanently protect the site. Worcester invested $100,000 from its Water Enterprise Land Acquisition Account and the State contributed $820,000 for the jointly held restriction. The land will be held in fee by the Town of Princeton. According to The Landmark, an additional $700,000 in private donations were contributed, though additional fundraising is still needed. The investment will prevent future development that would impact the water quality of Cobb Brook, which leads to the reservoir. Limited recreational use of the site, including trails, will be allowed.
Another 60-acre site will be sold to Hubbard’s Farm in Princeton, with permanent restrictions from Mass Audubon. Commissioner Paul Moosey, Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks (DPW&P), noted that “by partnering with other agencies and organizations, the city will be able to gain more watershed protection for its drinking water at a much lower cost.” Land preservation is part of an integrated approach to protecting and managing public water supplies. It can help reduce the burden on drinking water treatment plants by lowering the risk of contamination. The Coalition applauds Worcester for its well-rounded approach to addressing water resources in a way that is both environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible, and the City’s partners for their cooperation and support.