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Front Page News

February 21, 2018


Chichester’s Madeline Sanborn Conservation Area

Submitted By The Chichester Conservation Commission

Map: Chichester Main Street Lands


Marsh Pond looking west


Pond at the Shaw Pasture


Between 1989 and 2003, the Town of Chichester acquired four contiguous parcels of conservation land located between Main Street and Marsh Pond.   Two of these parcels were donated for the Town’s enjoyment by Madeline Sanborn in 1989, while two other contiguous parcels were purchased separately with conservation funds.  These lands altogether have been named the Madeline Sanborn Conservation Area (MSCA), an area of about 38 acres available to the town for passive recreation, wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting (except where prohibited due to deed restrictions).   The Town owns an additional 35-acre parcel nearby north of Main Street, sometimes known as the Shaw Field, which is open space but is not designated as conservation land.


In 2017, a 7-acre parcel adjacent to the MSCA was purchased from the Shaw Family by the Town through the Conservation Commission.   This parcel is familiar to people traveling Main Street as mixed woods, a small pond, and open field where livestock have been seen grazing in the past, and has been named the Shaw Pasture.  Corridor 15 snowmobile trail currently traverses the property.  As this parcel is adjacent to the MSCA, it offers the possibility for better access to other town lands and Marsh Pond for town residents’ enjoyment.  The Conservation Commission has started mowing and clearing brush from the field, and hopes to continue to make the land available for mixed livestock grazing, hiking, and snowmobiling.


The MSCA has been designated by the Town as a Town Forest, enabling expenditure of funds from the Forest Maintenance capital reserve account, established from the proceeds from timber sales, for land improvements.  The Town will consider an article at 2018 Town Meeting to extend the Town Forest designation to the recently-acquired Shaw Pasture.  Other warrant articles call for appropriation of Forest Maintenance Account funds for better Main Street vehicular access and additional mowing and rock removal from the pasture. These improvements will be carried out using funds from a capital reserve account, and will have no impact on the property tax rate.






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