In 2005, the Cohasset Town Meeting voted to approve a citizens’ petition to place a Conservation Restriction (CR) on an 8.715 acre property owned by the Town off Route 3A between Stop & Shop and Red Fox Lane. The purpose of the CR is to protect the Town’s drinking water supply. After years of work on the exact language, the Trust was granted a Conservation Restriction in 2012.
The land has isolated wetlands that are connected hydrologically and form a contributary watershed to Peppermint Brook, a perennial stream that drains the site. The natural vegetative cover on the site protects the quality and flow of surface water in Peppermint Brook, a first-order headwater tributary of Cohasset’s drinking water supply reservoir (Lily Pond). Protection of the site’s natural vegetative cover contributes to the long-term quality and supply of water in the reservoir.
A mature deciduous forest consisting primarily of red oak, red maple, black birch, and white ash covers well over half of the site. Wetlands (deciduous wooded swamp) and a potential vernal pool occur on the southern half of the site.
Vernal pools serve as critical breeding habitat for wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and some invertebrate species. Woodland vernal pools are identified as a ‘priority natural plant community type’ by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP).
The site provides cover, feeding, and breeding habitat for local resident wildlife. In addition, naturally vegetated habitat, such as that existing on the site, provides important resting and ‘refueling’ areas for migrant birds passing through the area enroute to breeding grounds elsewhere in the region.
The site adjoins additional town-owned land located north and northeast of the site. The town-owned land is forested and complements the naturally vegetated land occurring on the site. The Trustees of Reservations’ 824 acre Whitney-Thayer Woods Reservation and the 100 acre Brass Kettle Brook Conservation Area are located just over 1,000 feet southwest of the site.
The double layer of protection created by Town ownership and a CCT-held CR ensures that this land will remain in its natural state forever.