Bradstreet Property Acquisition, Rowley

The Bradstreet Farm on Route 1A had been in the Bradstreet family since 1635, when the land was granted to Humphrey Bradstreet by King Charles I of England. The property includes an early 19th century farmhouse and 18th century barn in addition to upland meadow, woodland, and marsh. Sixty percent of the property is part of Rowley’s Great Marsh. 

When the property came on the market, the town of Rowley was able to purchase this 120 acre farm using $2.75M of its CPA Bradstreet Farmfunds. At the time this opportunity arose, proponents of the project did not know exactly what CPA purposes the property would be best suited for, but they agreed that it must be preserved. So along with town officials, they crafted a warrant article to allow the town to buy the property for any of the four CPA uses with the stipulation that Town Meeting must approve a land use plan for the property in the future.

Since the the acquisition of Bradstreet Farm was authorized by Rowley Town Meeting in November 2006, the town developed a land use plan for the property which included all four of the CPA purposes. Approved by Rowley’s 2008 Annual Town Meeting, the land use plan called for 103 acres to be set aside for conservation and passive recreation, nine acres for active recreational use, and two acres for affordable housing. In 2013, Rowley Town Meeting appropriated $17,500 to cover all the costs for a Conservation Restriction to be issued on the 103 acres of open space. Seven acres containing the historic farm house and barn were permanently protected with a historic preservation restriction and resold as a private residence, with the proceeds returned to the CPA fund.

Community GardenThe active recreation never materialized due to site constraints, but the town did construct another much-used recreational area on the parcel - community gardens.  The original garden was constructed in 2010 with 32 plots, and another 12 were added later.  The Agricultural Commission in Rowley oversees the operation of the garden. As of 2015, the affordable housing parcel still had not been developed.