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Harvard Forest Purchases Petersham Country Club Land

April 5, 2013
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Petersham Country Club - winter

The Petersham Country Club property was officially purchased by the Harvard Forest today, nine months after Country Club leaders initially approached the Harvard Forest with an offer to sell. 

The Petersham Country Club first opened in 1924. The director of the Harvard Forest at the time, Richard Fisher, and his wife Georgina were founding members along with many Petersham residents and Friends of the Harvard Forest.

Land abutting the Country Club property includes the Bryant homestead, which was purchased by the Harvard Forest in 2008. The Harvard Forest has since completely renovated the historic Bryant home and barn and is revitalizing the pastures for a growing herd of beef cattle.

Harvard Forest has not yet determined a long-term plan for the country club property. As they did with the Bryant land, Harvard Forest leaders will work with Petersham community leaders over the next two years to develop a plan that protects open space and public access in concert with the research and educational mission of the Harvard Forest.

According to David Foster, director of the Forest, “More than 90 percent of Harvard Forest lands are forested. The large open grasslands represent important habitat that will add great value to our educational and research programs. Conserved and actively managed open land is a dwindling resource in our region.  Like Harvard Pond, which is actively used by Petersham residents for fishing and skating, we plan to keep the hills open for sledding and skiing for all.”

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