SOLF hopes to create shrubland habitat at Beals Preserve

Above: A path through the woods at the Beals Preserve

The Southborough Open Land Foundation has received a federal grant to create a wildlife habitat for at-risk species on the Beals Preserve. They’re hosting a meeting on Tuesday night to give more details about the project. Read on for an overview:

The Southborough Open Land Foundation invites you to a meeting at the Community House at 8 PM on December 7th.  We are pleased to announce that SOLF was selected to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers the program.

The aim of the project is to improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species such as the New England Cottontail and the American Woodcock.  Approximately 6 acres of the Beals Preserve will be cleared to create a shrubland, restoring that area to more closely resemble the landscape of fifty years ago. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has given official approval for the required forestry work. The clearing portion of the project will be of short duration, while SOLF commits to long-term management activities to ensure the integrity and viability of the improved wildlife habitat.

We are hosting the meeting to give you the opportunity to learn more about the project in detail and to provide answers to any questions that you might have. We hope to see you there.

The Beals Preserve today is a mixture of woodland and pastureland, but years ago it was primarily farmland. The forested areas have developed in the last 40 years or so.

SOLF will go before the Conservation Commission later this month to get their go-ahead. A timeline for the project has not yet been made available.

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11 years ago

How would this affect surrounding properties? For the first time in over a decade we had a “bunny habitat” on our property this summer and I must admit I wasn’t too pleased about the effect on my garden. Are New England Cottontails as prolific as other rabbits? Are they what I have on my property now? What will they do to adjoining properties?

Dick Chase
11 years ago
questions
11 years ago

Great information. Thanks! I am going to assume that my bunny problem is courtesy of the Eastern Cottontail, not the New England Cottontail.

Cute little buggers!

Claudine Araujo
11 years ago

Will Southborough residents still be able to enjoy this sight to walk our dogs? We love it there.

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