NEW Management Plan at Dwelly Conservation Area

MANAGEMENT PLAN AT DWELLY CONSERVATION AREA AIMS TO MAKE IT A HAVEN FOR NATIVE PLANTS.

We are excited to announce that Dwelly Farm Conservation Area on Barre Road in Templeton will become the focus of an intensive land management strategy to remove invasive plants, reestablish native plants and pollinators and improve the habitat for the American Woodcock.  As part of the plan, a three-acre field will be created on Barre Road.  The long-term goal is to make the property a showcase for native plants that visitors can enjoy while exploring the well-maintained recreational trails.

North County Land Trust was bequeathed the 68-acre Dwelly Farm property in Templeton through the will of David Dwelly in 2010. The property was purchased by the Dwelly family in 1912 who ran a dairy farm there until 1969. Some of the fields have reverted to forest but remnants of farm equipment, fields and walls can still be seen.

Over time the property became infested with invasive plant species such as Glossy Buckthorn and Japanese Knotweed. These thugs of the plant world crowd out native plant species compromising the native wildlife that depend on them for survival.  North County Land Trust plans to remove these invasive plants so that native plants can thrive and restore a healthy ecosystem to the property.

The mix of forests, forest edges, old fields and wet meadows at Dwelly Farm provide great habitat for American Woodcock.  NCLT plans to honor the property’s agricultural past by reclaiming a former pasture that has since grown into a stand of pine.  This reestablished field will be planted with native plants and flowers beneficial to pollinator insects and will increase the habitat for woodcock.

North County Land Trust consulted with Broad Arrow Forestry, the Natural Resource and Conservation Service and Mass Wildlife to develop a sound management plan for Dwelly Farm conservation area. The management goals are to maintain a multi-use trail system for passive recreation, encourage growth of native plants, enhance the habitat to benefit native pollinators and woodcocks, and educate the public about native and invasive plants.  To accomplish these goals, our plan is to:

1) Work with Landscape Stewardship Inc. to remove invasive Glossy Buckthorn and Japanese Knotweed through chemical and mechanical treatment over a three-year period.

2) Remove trees from a former 3 acre field and sow native plants that will benefit wildlife.

3) Plant native shrubs and flowers in woodland areas.

4) Engage volunteers in the on-going management duties.

5) Develop a nature trail highlighting native plants and pollinators and maintain existing trails to encourage recreation and education on the property.

All work is expected to start in the spring of 2020.  Community Preservation Funds have been approved for the project and NCLT thanks the residents of the Town of Templeton for their support. There will be challenges along the way.  We’ll need to be vigilant in our efforts to manage the invasive plants during and after chemical treatment to ensure that our native plantings are able to take hold on the property. We hope you will join us on this journey by learning about native plants and wildlife with us, enjoying the property through recreation, and volunteering help the Dwelly Farm Conservation Area management project succeed!   If you would like to volunteer please contact Jassy Bratko, Director of Land Protection at jbratko@northcountylandtrust.org.

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