In 2004, Cohasset Town Meeting approved the purchase of old private woodlands in the Town’s primary drinking water watershed reservoir, Lily Pond, with the provision that a conservation restriction be placed on the land.
Funding came from Water Department revenues, state grants, Conservation Preservation Act funds, and the Cohasset Conservation Trust.
In 2008, the last parcels of Brass Kettle Conservation Area were purchased by the Town of Cohasset completing 4 years of land purchase that now comprise 120 acres of Lily Pond watershed protection.
Setting aside this significant acreage serves multiple purposes: protecting the watershed, vernal pools and historic stonewalls, providing a wildlife refuge and walking trails that connect to Whitney-Thayer Woods and Wompatuck State Park.
These trails create an interesting network that starts at the parking area at the King Street trailhead, west to Wompatuck Park and then north to Whitney-Thayer Woods and Turkey Hill. The historic path, once called Great Lot Lane, linked Hingham and Cohasset and crosses two tributaries of Brass Kettle Brook which are bridged by rock slabs. A side trail leads to paths near Lily Pond.
The many stonewalls seen from the path are reminders that the land was once cleared of trees by the grazing of livestock. Several of these walls follow the 18th century parcels of land along east-west property lines that comprised border when the was the town was divided into precincts.
The National Heritage and Endangered Species Program identifies the entire property and much of its surroundings area as core habitat for rare species. There are more than 70 species of trees and plants inhabiting this woodland as well as a wide variety of animals and birds including grouse, partridge and deer.