Boston Rd Drew Parcel APR by Marian Harman

Hill Orchard by Marian Harman

Farmland is disappearing in Massachusetts. We are losing agricultural lands and farming opportunities at an alarming rate. To try to stem the tide of farmland loss, the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) established the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program in 1979. It was a first-in-the-nation model for many other states. The MDAR website states, “the primary purpose of the APR program is to preserve and protect agricultural land, including designated farmland soils, which are a finite natural resource, from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture, and to maintain APR land values at a level that can be supported by the land’s agricultural uses and potential.”

The APR program works by paying farmers the difference between the full market value of their land and the agricultural value of the land. In that way, the landowner retains ownership of the land, but cannot sell the land for anything but agriculture. The program has worked well. It has protected 800 farms and 68,000 acres in Massachusetts.

Westford has followed the State trend. The 2006 Master Plan states, “From 1985 and 1999, Westford experienced the second greatest loss of agricultural land of any town in Massachusetts.”     read more…

Upcoming Events

You can always check our upcoming events from the News and Events page. Here is a current list:

Date/Time Event
Saturday, April 1, 2017
9:00 am - 10:30 am

Burn's Hill Early Spring Hike


Take an early Spring walk on the Burn’s Hill Loop Trail, led by Westford Conservation Trust President Ron Gemma.

We will walk on varied terrain from hill tops with excellent lookouts to the Vine Brook headwaters and a large marsh area with heron nesting sites.

The trail is a bit rugged and hilly in places. Wear sturdy footwear appropriate to the weather.

Park along Rome Drive near the trail marker.
Sociable dogs on leash are welcome. Walk is free of charge, and no sign-up is required.
For further information call Ron at 978-692-5668.


Location: Burn’s Hill Trail, Westford MA

(click event name to see full details, including directions, if available)

Saturday, May 13, 2017
7:30 am - 9:00 am

Spring Bird Walk


Baltimore Oriole

Join Westford Conservation Trust birder Lenny Palmer for an early morning ramble at Westford’s birding “hot spot”, Emmet Conservation Land. We will search Nashoba Pond and wetland areas on Town and Audubon conservation lands for returning migrants and nesting resident birds. Bring binoculars and wear sturdy shoes as land can be rocky and hilly in places.

No dogs please. Park in the Town parking lot at the end of Trailside Way off Powers Road.

Walk is free of charge and no sign-up is required.

For more information call Lenny at 978-392-9876


Location: end of Trailside Rd, Westford MA

(click event name to see full details, including directions, if available)

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Westford Conservation Trust Chosen for Charitable Donation Program

WORCESTER, Mass., Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Westford Conservation Trust has been selected as the first beneficiary of the new Coghlin Companies Caring Corporate Citizen (“5C”) program. The program was formally launched in 2016 to further demonstrate Coghlin Companies’ commitment toward encouraging volunteerism and providing financial support to community service and philanthropic organizations that are important to its loyal team of Caring Associates  read more……

December 2016 – Westford Wildlife by Marian Harman

Tufted Titmouse by Doug Pederson

Happy New Year!

At this time of year I like to review the reports to Westford Wildlife Watch from the past year. In 2016, fifty-three residents and one elementary school from all over town sent in flora and fauna reports, some monthly, and others only once or twice. Altogether, there were 2123 different reports. That’s a lot of reports from a few dedicated reporters! We now have data going back to 1996, and there have been many changes in that twenty-year time frame. I enter all your data on Excel spreadsheets each month; the reporter’s name, where the animal was seen, how many animals were seen, category of animal (bird, mammal, amphibian, etc.) and whether the animal was an adult or a juvenile. At the end of each year, the data is analyzed and graphed by Westford residents Mau and Maurilio Fernandes, a labor of love for which I am very grateful. It allows us to see population changes for each species over time.  Read more…..