FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Town of Wellesley and Wellesley College Announce Completion of North 40 Sale
The Town of Wellesley Takes Ownership of the Parcel Known as The North 40; Wellesley College Will Participate in Planning for the Property
WELLESLEY, Mass. (June 8, 2015) –Wellesley College and the Town of Wellesley today announced that the sale of the parcel of land known as the North 40 has been completed. Now that the Town owns this important community resource, it will begin the process of determining its future use with participation from the College.
Since the sale was announced in December 2014, the transaction has received overwhelming support. A special town meeting in January resulted in a near-unanimous vote in favor of the purchase, and in March, 80 percent of residents casting votes at the Town election voted to approve the purchase.
“The citizens of Wellesley have demonstrated their strong support for the Town purchasing this important site, which neighbors and residents have enjoyed for so many years” said Barbara Searle, Chair of Board of Selectmen. “It was important that the Town control the future of the North 40” added Dave Murphy, the Selectman currently leading the Town’s efforts to acquire the property originally championed by former Selectman Don McCauley.
Last summer, the Town initiated a visioning process for the future use of the site, in order to determine whether the Town should make a bid. Having completed the acquisition, Town officials can now begin to develop the process for building on the results of the initial visioning, to develop a long-term plan for the future of the Town-controlled site. “The Town takes this work seriously, and will build on the open, inclusive and deliberative process that we began, with input from neighbors and key stakeholders throughout the Town,” said Dave Murphy.
The College, as a close neighbor, will continue to work with the Town during this visioning and planning process. Wellesley College will have two representatives on the planning committee, along side other neighbors and stakeholders who will also be included in the Town’s process. Under the terms of the sale, the Town and the College have agreed upon sustainability practices to be used in future development, as well as protection from light pollution per the International Dark-Sky Association guidelines.
“The College and Town of Wellesley share more than a name, we share a long history of constructive partnership. Given the proximity of the North 40 to our campus, and the importance of this issue to the entire Wellesley community, the College looks forward to participating in the process to determine the future use of the site as a Town-wide resource,” said Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly.
Last year, the College selected the Town’s bid from among 13 proposals. The Town’s proposal was selected because it showed responsiveness to the College Request for Proposal criteria regarding issues of open space, sustainability, and impact on neighbors and Town services. At least 50 percent of the land will be preserved in perpetuity as open space.
For more information and details on the sale of the North 40, visithttp://www.wellesleyma.gov/Pages/WellesleyMA_North40/index.
About Wellesley College
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been the preeminent liberal arts college for women. Known for its intellectual rigor and its remarkable track record for the cultivation of women leaders in every arena, Wellesley—only 12 miles from Boston—is home to some 2400 undergraduates from every state and 75 countries.
Sofiya Cabalquinto, Director of Media Relations, Wellesley College,781-283-3321, email@example.com
In March 2015, Meghan C. Jop, Deputy Director Board of Selectmen, confirmed that the Board of Selectmen are focused on the due diligence, closing, and remediation. The establishment of a new North 40 Committee will likely take place in the fall of 2015.
For environmental assessment information, maps, recommendation reports by the Natural Resources Commission, Housing, Recreation, DPW and School Departments, neighborhood surveys and more, see:
The North 40 was purchased in part with $10 million dollars of funding from the CPA. The Community Preservation Committee has proposed the acreage to be under deed restriction to the Select Board. Watch the discussion from the November 14 Select Board meeting starting at 1hour 26minutes.
The Wellesley Trails Committee submitted a Statement on Protecting the North 40 to Town Boards. Read it here:
The skies cleared for a beautiful ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the boardwalk at the North 40 Vernal Pool, which provides both access and protection to this important resource.
Selectman Jack Morgan and NRC Director Brandon Schmitt addressed the large crowd in attendance, and lead volunteer Bill Giezentanner had the honor of cutting the ribbon. The boardwalk was funded by the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and built with over 500 hours of volunteer labor.
See the video about the boardwalk here.
There's even a video:
Over 500 People Explored the North 40!
Frank Lloyd Wright