Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wildlands Trust Takes Over Brockton Audubon Land

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The Wildlands Trust is set to bring new life to a 126-acre preserve of forest land and trails behind the Hancock Elementary School that was once a well-walked sanctuary owned by the Brockton Audubon Society.
“We’re really excited that the transfer of ownership has finally been completed,” said Karen Grey, executive director of for-the-moment Duxbury-based Wildlands Trust Inc.
Grey, a 1981 graduate of Brockton High School, joked that not many people are aware there was once a vibrant and active Audubon chapter in the city of Brockton—something the Wildlands Trust hopes to change.
Grey said the transfer of ownership began about 2 years ago several years after she learned about the property when she began working for Wildlands Trust.
Through residents, city officials and the two remaining trustees of the dormant Brockton Audubon Society, Grey said the trust began working to transfer ownership, and after miles of red tape, court proceedings and approval from the state Attorney General’s Office, the land passed into the hands of the trust on March 15.
“We are pleased and proud to be taking on the vast responsibility of protecting this land forever for the people of Brockton,” Grey said.
Grey said the paperwork took some time because the 93-year-old Brockton Audubon Society is a charitable trust and the land had to be conveyed to a non-profit or similar trust, many legal trails had to be followed, but now that they are done, Wildlands Trust is ready to bring the land new life.
The group’s first public activity will be participating in the city’s annual “Keep Brockton Beautiful Day,” Saturday, April 21.
Because the Brockton Audubon Society has been dormant for many, many years, volunteers and members are few and far between so Wildlands Trust is seeking volunteers to help them clean up the debris and trash that borders fences that enclose the 126-acre stretch.
Grey said not to let the location of the property fool you, 100 yards into the site the zooming cars on Pleasant Street and backyards of the housing developments that encircle the land fade and a hiker will be truly amazed at the pristine nature of—well nature in Brockton.
The Wildlands Trust is also looking forward to a new-old home in Plymouth. The trust began in Plymouth and then moved its headquarters to Duxbury. Last summer the group penned a deal to buy the 7 acre Davis-Douglas Farm off Long Pond Road in Plymouth.
Grey said anyone wishing to volunteer for the Brockton cleanup or become a member can contact her at or by calling 781-934-9018.

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