The Wapatequa Woods Reservation in Vineyard Haven will expand by 30 acres thanks to a long-planned purchase of undeveloped scrub oak land just north of Thimble Farm, the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank announced Friday.
The land bank paid $1.5 million for the property which is situated in a wooded area that stretches from Vineyard Haven to West Tisbury. A tiny sliver of the land (.03 acres) is located in West Tisbury but the bulk of it (29.6 acres) lies in Vineyard Haven. The sellers are Lynne Silva and James Richards.
“This has been a land bank priority for 15 years,” land bank executive director James Lengyel told the Gazette. The added land will provide aquifer protection in the recharge area for the Vineyard Haven water supply and also act as a greenbelt separating the residential neighborhoods that deeply border the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven and State Roads, he said.
The purchase expands the size of the Wapatequa Woods Reservation to 135 acres.
Iron Hill lies to the east and Co-housing is on the west.
The reservation trailhead is on Stoney Hill Road opposite Thimble Farm.
Other recent land bank activity in the area includes the acquisition of 3.2 acres in June 2013 and 9.2 acres in August 2012. That purchase was a joint effort with the town of Tisbury.
Mr. Lengyel said trails are planned for the property and a management plan will be written.