Maxant gift protects open space in Still River

What Ted Maxant has done, in the words of Paul Willard, chairman of the Conservation Commission, is “generous beyond belief.” With the selectmen’s approval this week, Maxant gave the Harvard Conservation Trust a permanent conservation restriction on 5 acres of open farmland in Still River to help preserve the historic landscape of the area.

Peter Dorward, president of the Harvard Conservation Trust, and David Outman, the organization’s executive director, presented the offer to the selectmen Tuesday. They explained that Maxant, who bought the buildable lot last June, intends to keep it as farmland. He retains ownership, but the trust will hold the conservation restriction that governs how the land can be used. The land will be open to the public for uses that do not conflict with conservation purposes. In fact, Dorward said, Maxant has put up two cairns to mark the way into the land from the Historical Society.

The newly protected acreage is next to the William T. Maxant Trust land, an area of more than 20 acres on Willard Lane in Still River already under conservation restriction with the Conservation Trust. Some years ago, Ted Maxant also gave the town 19 acres of forest and wetlands along Bowers Brook on the other side of town, off Ayer Road

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