Officials announce land conservation for Lynn Woods, protecting more than 2,000 acres of forestland

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The city and the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission, which own and manage Lynn Woods, provided DCR and Greenbelt with a conservation restriction on the land.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation and Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, have partnered to permanently preserve Lynn Woods, the result of a decades-long effort with the City of Lynn to ensure the park “remains an important recreational resource for the region and a supplier of clean water for city residents,” the department said in a statement last week.
More than 2,000 acres of forestland at Lynn Woods will be protected under a new conservation restriction, preserving open space and health benefits to nearby residents for generations to come, according to state and local officials.
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“Lynn Woods is a treasure in our community, and we are committed to prioritizing preservation initiatives that support our outdoor recreation spaces,” Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson said in the statement. “Permanently conserving the Woods ensures that this space will continue to be enjoyed for generations.”
The park also helps protect area residents from the effects of climate change, the Department of Conservation and Recreation said.
Kate Bowditch, president of Greenbelt, called Lynn Woods “nature’s air conditioner for the neighborhoods of Lynn.”
“Greenbelt’s analysis has identified Lynn Woods as the most valuable ‘urban cooling’ property in all of Essex County, and its permanent protection will mean those benefits will be there for future generations, who may need Lynn Woods even more than we do now,” Bowditch said in the statement.
The park, which stretches through Lynn, Saugus, and Lynnfield, spans more than 2,100 acres, with more than 30 miles of hiking, running, skiing, biking, and walking trails and three reservoirs, the statement said. About 40.5 acres in Saugus were added in 2001 to protect the land from a development along the shores of Walden Pond, the department said.
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The Lynn Water Board, now known as the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission, acquired the land in 1870 following a major fire in the city the prior year, DCR said. In 1889, Frederick Law Olmstead advised the city to preserve the land in its natural state for residents to enjoy, and in 1890, Lynn residents approved the creation of Lynn Woods, then just 998 acres.
“The forward-thinking Lynn residents who, one hundred and thirty years ago, donated their land and money to give us the Lynn Woods deserve to have their act of generosity remembered,” Jane Kelley, president of the Friends of Lynn Woods, said in the statement. “I can think of no better way to thank them then to preserve and protect their gift for future generations.”
Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him @NickStoico.

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