Board considers conserving land near Mt. Pisgah

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

Trails run through the Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area, near where Northborough is considering conserving a new plot of land.
Trails run through the Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area, near where Northborough is considering conserving a new plot of land.

NORTHBOROUGH — The Town of Northborough is considering conserving several acres of land on the back portion of a tract at 665 Howard St.

The land abuts the Mount Pisgah Conservation Area, which spans 164 acres in Northborough, Boylston and Berlin. 

The land in question is owned by Bruce and Marilyn Macalister, Northborough’s Conservation Agent Mia McDonald told the Open Space Committee July 14. 

She cautioned that the conversations were preliminary. 

“Anything that’s adjacent to [Mt.] Pisgah or more that area is definitely an attractive thing,” said committee member Brian Belfer. 

The land borders 615 Howard St., which Northborough already owns. The Board of Selectmen recently voted to put that land under the supervision of the Sudbury Valley Trustees on June 28. 

Trails run through the Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area, near where Northborough is considering conserving a new plot of land.

That tract measures approximately 19 acres in the back portion of a larger piece of land on Howard Street. It was owned by a relative of the Macalisters. 

Campbell said adding 665 Howard would expand the town’s conservation area up to their area near Mount Pisgah. 

“It seems interesting and attractive on this basis and fills many of our criteria for what we would consider attractive open space,” Campbell said.

According to the town’s presentation, the land would include a cliff and trails. 

The Bennett Farm was across Howard Street, and McDonald said the four siblings were each given 23.52 acres. 

McDonald said the Macalisters, who have their home on the land, would like to draw a new property line at the edge of a field up to the property line along Howard Street. 

She said that, from the town’s initial trail maps, the Tyler Trail and a second unnamed trail already run across the Macalisters’ land. 

“It’s a beautiful spot,” said committee member Leslie Harrison. 

Trails run through the Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area, near where Northborough is considering conserving a new plot of land.
Trails run through the Mt. Pisgah Conservation Area, near where Northborough is considering conserving a new plot of land.

According to McDonald, the next step will be to get an appraisal, which was recommended by the committee, and a survey of the land. Additionally, the Macalisters will have to draw a line where they want to separate the parcel. 

The appraisal will be paid for out of the town’s Open Space administrative fund, McDonald said.

Recently, the cost for an appraisal has ranged between $3,000 to $4,000, which depends on the size and complexity of the land, she said. Once the town receives those appraisals, they will be taken to the town’s Conservation Commission.

The staff also anticipated that another sibling who lives near the site will also contact the town. Another nearby tract is owned by someone who the family knows, McDonald said.

“They’re talking about it, which was the goal,” McDonald said.

Photos/Laura Hayes