The Rockledge Realty Trust land is going up for auction on December 1st. I just came back from the Crow Lane area just northwest of the property.
There are auction signs everywhere and brightly colored markers to signify the property in question.
I have always called this piece of property ‘Norbyland’ because at one time Norbert Carey owned it. I also give an affectionate tone to that label because this area has some of the healthiest forest in all of Newburyport. The trees are the finest you’ll find in all of the City. There is a walking trail, the Crow Lane Nature Trail, that feeds off the Little River Nature Trail and takes you directly through the property. It is so lovely that it has ended up being one of the most favorite routes for those who are hikers or who are trekking out with their dogs.
What I can’t figure out is why someone would buy this property? There is also another landlocked piece owned by the Colby’s that is just a stand of forest. Both the Rockledge and the Colby property butt up against the discontinued public way of Crow Lane. Quoting Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings,
“The way is blocked. You cannot pass!”
There are two large vernal pools that have been certified by Natural Heritage – making it very difficult to open up this abandoned roadway. On one end is the old Route 95 roadbed. It has now been turned into the Gloria Braunhardt Little River Bike Path and parallel to it is the Little River Nature Trail. And at the time of the auction, the bidders will have to gaze northward only to see across, the Oleo Woods property, 37.5 acres now administered by Essex County Greenbelt as a conservation restriction. To the northeast and to the south is the Cooper North Conservation Land.
So what is the point of purchasing this property? Because of the trees, you wouldn’t be able to throw even a Frisbee.
Harvest the trees? Well, the whole point of having the Little River Basin left open as conservation land is to allow marshland and forest to soak up water. By removing this absorption, it could translate into devastating floods and massive erosion downstream at farms, the industrial park and the residential areas of Quail Run. I won’t even mention the loss of habitat for wildlife.
For Hunting? Surrounded by human habitation, this whole area is begging to be a safety hazard. Bounded by lands that prohibit hunting, guns could only be used in a narrow area between the Landfill and Low Street within easy view of Port Plaza. And why do some have a sick desire to hunt within the city limits anyhow when we are surrounded by rural communities?
I’m coming to the auction just to see who in the world at this distressed economic time has money to burn!