The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced this week that it has purchased nearly 12 acres in the rural wooded perimeters of Edgartown, completing a long-planned project to protect the westerly entrance to town as largely undeveloped land — both the fields and woodland.
The land bank paid $900,000 for 11.8 acres. The seller was Philip J. Norton Jr. The purchase will boost the total size of the land bank’s Ben Toms Preserve to nearly 30 acres, with some 2,000 feet of frontage on the West Tisbury Road.
“Discussions [to buy the Norton family land] began as far back as 2001, but were suspended when the land bank’s revenue declined in 2009,” a press release issued by the land bank on Thursday said about the purchase. “Mr. Norton waited patiently during this time, for which the land bank was most grateful.”
The conservation project began in 2000 when the land bank bought the vacant lots that are today the Sweetened Water Preserve. The following year the land bank bought an agricultural preservation restriction over Morning Glory Farm.
This week’s purchase completed the plan to protect the woodlands north and west of the farm, keeping a rural, wooded feel along the entryway to town. Ben Toms Preserve is named for the ancient way that runs along the eastern border of the property.