The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 19, 2001


Ed. note: The following are excerpts from the January 10 letter to Ben Benfield from Art Milliken, on behalf of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, acknowledging the generous gift of land.

See Accordcing To Ben...

A.E. (Ben) Benfield (photo: Rik Pierce)

Dear Ben,

I am writing on behalf of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Inc. to acknowledge receipt of your generous gift, for conservation purposes and subject to your life estate, of approximately 71 acres of land located between West Street/Pope Road and the Acton Border........

The Carlisle Conservation Foundation is overwhelmed by your extraordinary act of generosity which will benefit for all time the cause of open space in the town we all love and whose rural character we work to maintain. But let us put this most recent gift in context. At the Annual Meeting of the Conservation Foundation last June we celebrated our 40th anniversary and noted that the Conservation Foundation was formed to receive the gift from Ben Benfield of the Spencer Brook Reservation, up til this time CCF's largest holding. Now the 31 acres of the Spencer Brook Reservation will rejoin the land across West Street to which it was originally connected. The result is a permanent conservation holding of more than 100 acres on both sides of West Street.

The current edition of the Carlisle Open Space and Recreation Report has highlighted the western part of town as having open space most in need of permanent protection. The past year has exceeded our most optimistic expectations. A portion of the Valentine farm (the cow pasture at Acton and West Street) has been placed in permanent conservation as has the Rundlett property at the corner of Log Hill Road............The Foundation hopes to secure additional permanent conservation restrictions in the West Street area this year. The momentum for maintaining open land, which you had a major role in starting, continues and CCF and the townspeople of Carlisle are most grateful.

A walk of the Spencer Book Reservation made by several CCF Directors last month demonstrates the value of preservation. There is pasture that is kept mowed as when the land was farmed. There is cover for wildlife and the remains of a deer were found, perhaps brought down by a coyote. There is the swamp and the open vistas which it affords and in this case the first sighting by those present of a bald eagle in Carlisle. We take this as a sign of appreciation for our work and a good omen.

On behalf of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation and all of the residents of Carlisle, many, many thanks for your life's work and for this marvelous addition to our permanent inventory of preserved open space.


Arthur N. Milliken, President

Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Inc.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito