Invitation to Comment on Land Use & Management Plan for Blythswood Estate Public Easement

One of the objectives of the Swampscott 2013 Open Space & Recreation Plan (OS&RP), available online, is to create “maintenance programs” for each of the Town’s open space and recreational properties. Land Use and Management Plans for the Charles M. Ewing Woods and Harold A. King Forest have already been prepared.  The OS&RP Committee has now drafted a plan for the Blythswood Estate Conservation Easement, one of only two remaining summer estates on the town’s oceanfront.  A copy of the draft Conservation Easement Management Plan for Blythswood Estate can be found here.

On June 28, 2011, Frances Wilkinson, the owner of approximately 6.5 acres of property located at 23, 27, and 29 Little’s Point Road (known as Blythswood), conveyed to the Town of Swampscott, a Conservation Restriction in perpetuity over the entire property. The Conservation Restriction specifically includes an easement across a portion of the property for public access. This ten‐foot easement runs along the northeastern boundary of the Blythswood property (along the property line with White Court). This Management Plan pertains only to the Blythswood Public Easement and sets forth the actions the Town must take to maintain the easement consistent with the Conservation Restriction and other relevant town restrictions and requirements.

This document sets forth how best to manage the public easement and what actions will be taken to maintain that easement.  A checklist for Conservation Land Maintenance is also included.  The OS&RP Committee is interested in receiving input from you, the residents of Swampscott, and so is accepting public comment on the draft plan through September 1, 2017.

What are some of the highlights of the Blythswood Estate Easement Plan?

In 1847 James L. Little of Brookline, Massachusetts purchased the Blythswood Property, and began construction of Blythswood which was completed in 1848. James L. Little’s son, Arthur Little, was a famous architect who subsequently designed and oversaw the renovation of many of the estate homes in the immediate area as well as other notable estates on the North Shore of Boston. Arthur Little oversaw the renovation of Blythswood when he owned the property around the turn of the last century.

The draft plan identifies immediate work that needs to be done for the public easement, such as signage, path clearing, and removal of invasive species.

The long-term routine maintenance consists of litter control and vegetation clearing from the trails and is proposed to be coordinated through the Conservation Commission and the OS&RP Committee with assistance from the Department of Public Works and/or volunteer individuals and groups.

Creation of a “Friends of” Swampscott Conservation Lands

To further ensure the protection and maintenance of Town conservation land such as Harold A. King Forest and Ewing Woods, the OS&RP Committee is interested in fostering the creation of a “Friends of” Swampscott conservation lands similar to the Friends of Lynn Woods and the Marblehead Conservancy. If you would be interested in participating in such an effort, please contact the Director of Community Development, Pete Kane.