Drumlin bulldozed

On May 20, Wajid Jenkins witnessed something he hoped he’d never have to see, even though it had been years in the making. The Alexander Company began clearing 5 acres of land in Fitchburg, knocking down several trees, including some oaks that were about 200 years old.

It was the final death knell for the Drumlin Farm, where Jenkins had lived from 2002 to 2009, when he was evicted. The land was a unique forest and farm located in the middle of an urban area. Its residents had big dreams for it, hoping to expand the farm, create affordable cooperative housing and a public park.

Jenkins is sad about the project for many reasons, but seeing the trees knocked down was salt on the wound. “It was awful,” says Jenkins, who now lives in a nearby apartment complex. “They could have planned a development that could have incorporated those heritage trees into the plan. You can see examples of it all around town.”

On the site, Alexander will construct the $35 million Artisan Village, 169 units of affordable housing. The first units, available next spring, will be for people making 50 to 70 percent of the county median income, which amounts to $35,000-$49,000 for a single person, according to Matt Meier, the company’s vice president of real estate development.


Ken Notes: these are tough decisions and when sold it is too late! I encourage every community to consider a Land Conservancy TODAY, if there is property worth saving work with businesses and investors to buy the land or at least get a right of first refusal on it.

- - Volume: 7 - WEEK: 23 Date: 6/6/2019 9:11:57 AM -