Essex, MA: Located in the heart of thousands of acres of protected land, Green Meadows Farm & Vineyard Hill exemplify all that Greenbelt strives to achieve in conservation.
Since the 1980s, when former Greenbelt President Ed Becker toured the property in the back of Major General Patton’s pickup truck, the land that is Green Meadows Farm and Vineyard Hill in Hamilton and Topsfield has been a high conservation priority for Greenbelt. For decades, neighbors, community members and visitors have also appreciated the beauty and bounty of this land.
The farm stand closed in 2017 ahead of a permitting process to seek approval for a medical cannabis grow facility on a portion of the farm. When the Patton family changed their plans for this property this spring, they offered their land for sale to Greenbelt, and in the few short months that followed, an outpouring of support emerged for the project.
Green Meadows Farm was known for years as one of the few certified organic farms on the North Shore, raising vegetables, berries and heritage breeds of livestock; more than twenty acres of open fields remain in agricultural production today. Although the farm stand is no longer there, the future of local farming on the property is bright.
Across Asbury Street from the farm, Vineyard Hill has an incredible ridgeline trail well-loved by equestrians, runners, hikers and nature enthusiasts. Trails throughout the 89 acres on Vineyard Hill connect directly to Greenbelt’s Shaw Field, the adjacent Brick Ends Farm, Bradley Palmer State Park and beyond.
Greenbelt’s vision for the property includes continued agricultural production on Green Meadows Farm, and permanent protection and maintenance of the extensive trail network on Vineyard Hill. Working with partners and adjacent landowners, Greenbelt will explore new trail connections linking these 148 acres to the area’s vast network of protected land.
Greenbelt was able to permanently protect Green Meadows Farm and Vineyard Hill thanks to incredible support from generous individuals near and far who love this land for so many reasons: its trails, farmland, watershed protection, riverfront, habitat, scenery and history.
Kate Bowditch, Greenbelt President said, “We are grateful to our many donors, including the Institution for Savings, and to the Patton family for providing the opportunity to purchase and conserve their family land. Projects like this highlight the importance of patience and taking the long view, while still being nimble so we can move rapidly when the time comes.”
Learn more at ecga.org/greenmeadowsvineyardhill
Greenbelt – Essex County’s Land Trust works with local individuals, families, farmers and communities to protect the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas of Essex County. Since 1961, Greenbelt has protected more than 17,600 acres of local land. For more information, visit ecga.org or call 978-768-7241.