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.
The deadline for closing on the property is June 30, 2021. Funding from the Open Space Bond Authorization was approved by Town Meeting in October, 2020 and the State LAND Grant was successfully awarded to the Town in November 2020. Greenbelt is currently raising private funds for their portion of the project and anticipates fulfilling their goal over the next several months.
Cost to the Town:
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
*When visiting outdoor recreational areas in Ipswich remember to abide by current Covid 19 State and local policies. If a parking area is full or open space areas are crowded, please find another area to visit and come back another time. Wear a face mask, keep a minimum of 6 feet apart from anyone not in your "bubble" and respect the health and well being of all while we navigate through this pandemic.