View looking south from Sibley Farm fields off Greenville St.
Sibley Farm in Spencer was CGLT's first major project as a land trust, working with Greater Worcester Land Trust (GWLT), Mass Audubon, and the Town of Spencer to raise $2.9 million to permanently protect 351 acres of land between E. Main St/Route 9 and Greenville Street. In 2007, developers had permits to build a strip mall along Route 9 and condominiums on the remaining part of the properties once known as Sibley Farm and Seven Springs Farm. However, the land was foreclosed after the 2008 economic crash, and the bank (DCU) offered the land for sale at a vastly reduced price to a conservation buyer. The fundraising effort allowed Mass Audubon to purchase the property, retaining about 25 acres to build a parking area for their abutting Burncoat Pond Sanctuary, and then resell the remaining 325 acres to Greater Worcester Land Trust, with deed restrictions granted to CGLT and the Town of Spencer,
81 acres of farm fields along Route 9 are protected by an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR), meaning that those acres are permanently restricted to commercial agricultural use only. The non-APR 271 acres of Sibley Farm are protected by a Conservation Restriction (CR) which permanently restricts development on the property. As owner of this CR, CGLT is responsible for monitoring the non-APR acreage and its boundaries each year, and our members actively volunteer for trail projects and invasive weed management projects organized by GWLT.
NOTE THAT HUNTING ON SIBLEY FARM IS ALLOWED IN SEASON ONLY WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM GREATER WORCESTER LAND TRUST (LANDOWNER)
Trail Access: On East Main St/Rte 9 next to Ahearn's parking lot, and at 131 Greenville St, Spencer (Audubon Parking Lot)
Sibley Farm is 325 acres of farm fields, woods, streams and ponds connecting on the south and east to Mass Audubon's Burncoat Wildlife Sanctuary. The land is owned and managed by Greater Worcester Land Trust (GWLT), and the Conservation Restriction for most of the property is co-held by CGLT and the Town of Spencer.
Several trails run through the property including part of the Mid-State Trail and the Spencer Snowbirds snowmobile trail. Trails are used for hiking, horseback riding, x-c skiing, geo-caching, camping, and wildlife viewing.