City Council approves funding for Callahan State Park expansion

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By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

A map shows the existing footprint of Callahan State park. The parcel of land Marlborough is seeking to buy is highlighted in red. (Photo/Via City of Marlborough)

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough City Council unanimously voted June 7 to approve transferring $150,000 as part of a purchase of more than 33 acres to expand Callahan State Park.

The vote came in response to a request from Mayor Arthur Vigeant filed in the Council’s meeting packet, which was released last week.

City Councilors spoke glowingly of the purchase, of which the city’s $150,000 is a smaller part of a $1.5 Million payment raised through the Department of Conservation & Reservation, a Land and Water Fund grant and contributions from the Sudbury Valley Trustees.

“This is a great example of what can happen when governments at all levels work together to try to leverage some opportunities,” said City Councilor Sean Navin. “For $150,000, the city is going to help protect 33 acres from development and preserve it for the rest of the city to enjoy.”

Navin added that the site purchased is historic, noting that the property’s current owners told him that, during the Revolutionary War, General Henry Knox passed through it with seized cannons to avoid detection by the British Military.

In particular, City Councilors thanked Conservation Officer Priscilla Ryder’s efforts toward the eventual purchase.

The property purchased is located between the current Callahan State Park and land owned by the city of Marlborough off of Parmenter Road.

“It is already very much part of the Callahan State [Park[ in terms of people walking it,” City Councilor Samantha Perlman said.

City Councilor David Doucette said the property is located in his ward, Ward 2, in his remarks supporting the purchase. 

“It is one of the few natural areas that are left in the ward, and I am glad to see it is being preserved,” Doucette said. 

City Councilor Mark Oram called the purchase a great opportunity, especially considering the city only had to pay a very small amount of the purchase price.

“Our portion of it is very minimal, and it’s beautiful property, so I suggest highly we support this tonight,” he said.