Southborough – At the Board of Selectmen meeting April 21, 2020, Chairman Brian Shea announced that Chestnut Hill Farm will be reopening the trails to the public for passive recreational use as of April 24. This comes after the Trustees of the Reservation closed Chestnut Hill Farm trails as part of a larger closure of properties around the commonwealth that they manage, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Charlie Baker’s order on stay-at-home for non-essential services and social distancing.
“The Covid-19 situation presented a unique challenge to the Chestnut Hill property”, said Shea, “and the Board is thrilled that we have been able to work cooperatively with the Trustees to develop a plan that considers safety and protection of health to the farm operations, but also allows for passive recreation consistent with the conservation restriction, and also with guidelines in the Governor’s Executive Order. The Board urges all to be aware of signage that will be in place, and to be respectful of our town citizen volunteers that will be on site to offer guidance. We’re confident that all who will be using the trails will do so with adherence to physical distancing protocols that have become our new norm.”
Both the town and the Trustees have agreed to a plan to allow residents to use the trails for passive recreation, while maintaining the required social distancing. The Trustees will be adding additional roping and signage to keep residents out of active farming areas and away from workers and animals. The parking lot will be open, and the town is asking that parking be limited to the lot only. No street parking will be allowed, and the street will be posted with “No Parking” signage, which will be strictly enforced. If the parking lot is full, the Board asks residents to come back to use the trails at another time. Also, residents are asked to adhere to any new and existing regulations regarding trail usage and note that there are no dogs allowed on the property.
Chestnut Hill Farm is also offering farm-fresh food for purchase and contact-less pick up via their online store. To place an order visit thetrustees.org/shares.