Looking Forward

WRLFarm_View-7-WalkingTrails-Update_small2_15.05.21

The Wright-Locke Land Trust purchases the 12.5 acres surrounding the Farm

GREAT NEWS! On August 3, 2015 the Wright-Locke Land Trust purchased the 12.5 acres of land surrounding the Farm from the Town of Winchester. This successful outcome is the result of years of hard work by many in the Town who value the resource that the Wright-Locke Farm has become for the community. Thanks to all our volunteers and especially to our very generous donors, the majority of whom are Winchester residents, who made this a reality.

The Winchester Spring Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly to approve the sale of the 12.5 acres of land surrounding Wright-Locke Farm to the Wright-Locke Land Trust. This 150-21 vote was a major milestone in our efforts to save this important open space, enhance the activities and programs of the Farm and to insure public access to this historic parcel in perpetuity.

Background Information on the Land Trust Bid

In response to the Town’s request for “best and final” proposals from the bidders, the Land Trust offered $8.6 million for the 12.5 acres of land immediately to the north and west of the Farmstead. The addition of this important land will enable the Conservancy to further it farming activities and educational programing while preserving important public land between the Farm and adjacent conservation land in both Winchester and Lexington.

The Land Trust’s $8,600,000 purchase price was derived from the following sources:

Outright Gifts and Financial Pledges $6,900,000
Acquisition Loan $1,000,000
Winchester Conservation Commission $300,000
Residential Development Payment $400,000
TOTAL: $8,600,000

The offer was not contingent on any zoning or other public approvals and as such $8,200,000 of the total will be paid within 60 days of Town Meeting approval, making the Land Trust bid essentially “risk free” to the Town. The balance of $400,000, the Residential Development Proposal will be paid upon the permitting of at least 2 house lots but no more than 3 house lots in the southwest corner of the property near the Stub Road off of Pepper Hill Drive.

It goes without saying the the Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy, which is responsible for the day to day oversight of the Farm, wholeheartedly supported the Land Trust bid as being in the best interest of the Farm. In fact, it is a result of the Conservancy’s efforts over the past 4 or 5 years that the Land Trust was able to garner such unprecedented financial support within the community, enabling this preservation outcome.

The Land Trust gained the backing of other important stakeholders in this process. Support for the bid comes from:

  • Selectmen
  • Finance Committee
  • the abutters
  • Planning Board
  • Conservation Commission
  • Historic Commission
  • Design Review Committee
  • Dodson Flinker, the Town’s Development Consultant 

WE NEED YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

Now that the land has been saved, we are moving on to the important work of developing our Program Center at 82 Ridge Street and providing safe parking for our many farm visitors. We are starting the planning process for the Program Center and expect to have a schematic design later this fall. Now is a great time to get involved. There are many ways to contribute to this effort. Contact us with your ideas for what this Center could become or how we can creatively use our new land.

First and foremost, we need your financial support as we start the fundraising effort for this project. Donations of any amount are needed and gratefully appreciated. Click the link to contribute today.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  • Read our 2016 Newsletter to learn about major happenings at the Farm this year.
  • Visit our History page to learn about the Farm while under the ownership of the Wright, Locke, and Hamilton families through present day management by Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy.

We want to thank all our supporters who have been following the important issue of the future development of the 12.5 acres surrounding Wright-Locke Farm.