Kamon Farm Drinking Water Supply Protection and Open Space Project
The Town of Ipswich is working with Essex County Greenbelt Association to protect 92.9 acres of land adjacent to Turkey Hill, the last unprotected and undeveloped hillside in Ipswich.
Kamon Farm on Pineswamp Road is a matrix of wetlands, hayfields, and wooded uplands In the Parker River and Ipswich River Watersheds. The property offers significant drinking water supply protection. More than half of the property protects and filters water flowing into the Bull Brook Reservoir and the Mile Lane Well.
The six parcels that comprise the Kamon Realty Trust lands were appraised at $1.3 million in December of 2019. There are no residential buildings on the property, however, there are a few agricultural outbuildings.
The current landowners have owned and farmed the land for 20 years, inherited from their family who farmed the land beginning in the 1950s and 1960s. The Perrys are very excited to see the property conserved in perpetuity, and to have the legacy of the Kamon family live on in this new chapter of the property.
Kamon Farm offers some extraordinary hiking trails, hillside vistas, and quiet respite. Acquisition of this property would create a trail connection to the Town-owned Turkey Hill Conservation Area through established trails on adjacent privately owned conservation parcels. There is significant wildlife habitat in the wetlands associated with Kimball Brook as well.
The property is directly adjacent to Town owned property and offers natural flood storage in both the Parker River Watershed and the Ipswich River Watershed. The natural filtration processes on site protect and improve water quality downstream, including in Bull Brook Reservoir. Maintaining the property’s natural and working lands will allow it to continue to be a natural carbon sink, absorbing excess CO2 from the air.
Greenbelt will own the land subject to a Town-held Conservation Restriction, and will steward and maintain the property. The Town’s responsibilities will be limited to routine monitoring of the property under the terms of the Conservation Restriction, and coordinating with Greenbelt on public access. The public would have access in designated areas for passive recreation once Greenbelt takes ownership.
Total land acquisition cost: $1.15 million. Valued at $1.3 million, cost savings of $150,000
$400,000 requested from the state in July 2020
$400,000 from Essex County Greenbelt Association, who will also assume all long term stewardship costs
Cost to the Town:
$450,000 from the Open Space Bond
Cost to taxpayer: an additional $0.0122 to the tax rate: equivalent to an additional $6.25 annually for a house valued at $500,000