Trustees of Reservations’ trails closed (including Chestnut Hill Farm’s)

Above: Over the past week, Chestnut Hill Farm invited the public to enjoy its trails, though encouraging social distance. Last night that changed. (image cropped from Facebook)

This afternoon should be a beautiful one to get outside in Southborough. The Trustees of Reservations is asking the public to resist the temptation to walk their trails.

Following the Governor’s Stay-at-Home advisory, TTOR decided to close its trails to the public. The news was posted to Chestnut Hill Farm’s Facebook page last night. The farm’s online farmstand will remain open for pre-ordering food to pickup.

Here is the announcement:

These are unprecedented times, and we must be both brave and prudent. Recently we have seen that our special places have become sanctuaries for those seeking safe spaces to get out of their homes, to occupy their families, to get exercise, to spend time with animals, to practice social distancing with acreage to spare. We are grateful to provide these opportunities, for the chance to serve in both times of leisure and in times of stress.

Thus, with today’s announcement from Governor Charlie Baker to suspend all non-essential businesses, we are saddened to announce that we will comply with this advisory by closing all Trustees properties beginning tomorrow, March 24 until April 7. All staff who are not involved in the care and maintenance of agricultural production and necessary operational care will be at home. All gates and parking lots will be closed and we ask the public to respect these barriers. We will continue to operate our agricultural operations in compliance with the guidelines issued for the care and feeding of animals, and the production and distribution of food. Our farms will only be available for the pick-up of food products. **CHF’s online farm stand is still active and we’ll still have Saturday pickups for your orders.**

We recognize that many of our properties are without gates and are within safe walking distance from others and could be safely visited within the parameters of the Governor’s directive. We ask that those who choose to visit those properties be respectful, follow guidelines about litter, safety, and dog behavior. We understand that these changes will feel dire to many who have come to rely on the daily use of our properties. We ask that everyone comply with the Governor’s orders, that you respect the closures of our properties, and that you keep your families and others safe during this unpredictable time.

Despite our closures, we will continue to pay all staff. We are available to answer emails and questions, can process Memberships and gifts made online, and we are working to creating virtual resources that you can enjoy at home.

Thank you for understanding how difficult this decision was. When we receive word from officials that it is safe to gather, we look forward to welcoming all back to our special places.

For more info:

Prior to this, the farm had encouraged the public use its trails as a way to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining social distances. It was also one of the farm’s activities for how to entertain and educate children home from school. 

Still, not all of the farm’s activities require leaving your own yard. Here’s another recent activity from their Facebook page:

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