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Mercer Family Preserves Round Pond

Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2021

360 acres of forest and waterfront protected forever

Land conservation is ultimately about people and choices. We are honored to help landowners preserve the landscapes that have meaning to them personally, and to the broader Berkshire community.

BNRC recently acquired approximately 360 acres from the Long Pond Road Nominee Trust, including all of Round Pond and its dam. Prior to this, the Mercer family has owned Round Pond for generations. At one time, Fred Mercer offered donkey rides on the trails behind the pond. Now the braying donkeys are gone and it is a quiet place to walk. In winter, anglers with tip-ups and sleds ply ice along the stump-studded western shore.

The 360 acres acquired in June 2021 compliment recent transactions on Tom Ball Mountain and weave together over 1,000 acres of conservation land. The extended reserve protects over 482 acres of Core Habitat, defined by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program as habitat that is critical for the long-term persistence of rare species. This seems particularly important at a time when so many species are struggling to survive.

To complete this project, BNRC partnered with the Department of Fish and Game, who purchased a conservation restriction over the acreage. This steadfast partnership allows us to leverage your donations and secure tracts of lands that might otherwise be out of reach, and it guarantees public access. Public access is coming here too, but please be patient. We currently do not have any parking, and there are no good alternatives along the narrow road. By this time next year, we plan to have off-street parking and marked trails. For now, we ask that you be patient and wait until BNRC can open the reserve. Land conservation transactions take faith, goodwill and perseverance: faith that BNRC can raise the purchase price, goodwill from donors who make it possible, and perseverance on the part of landowners who wait while we negotiate grant programs and partnerships. Together we can make our communities more livable for humans and wildlife alike.

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