About the Wald-Fender Parcel
Land Bank funds and the state Self-Help program (which evolved into the MA Land Grant program) enabled the town to purchase 51.3 acres of a former gravel pit on Thomas B. Landers Road in 2000. The previous owners, David Wald and William Fender, had plans to develop the property.
The parcel is wedged into the triangle formed by Thomas B. Landers and Sam Turner roads, not far from the Coonamessett River and the Coonamessett Greenway Heritage Trail.
The former mining operations on this property are reflected in the regenerating pitch pine and open sandy areas that now support a variety of grasses and wildflowers. There is a mature white pine forest on the east end of the parcel; a short trail winds through the woods.
On the southwest end is a vernal pool. Visitors who stop by at sundown in late spring or early summer will likely hear a chorus of spring peepers. Lucky visitors might also hear the call of a barred owl known to visit the area.
While most of the property is protected by a conservation restriction, the town put six acres abutting Thomas Landers Road under selectmen’s jurisdiction. The deed states the six acres can be used for recreation. Ballfields, for example, could be built there.
In 2017, The 300 Committee purchased the 70-acre Shallow Pond Woodlands, across Thomas Landers Road. This open space link between Wald-Fender to the north and the Breivogel Ponds Conservation Area to the west creates a 183-acre swath of permanently protected land that helps preserve important wetlands and habitat.
Visitors can park at Shallow Pond Woodlands. There is also a small turnout for parking on the north side of Thomas Landers Road, across from the entrance to a private gravel operation.