Byline: Gail Stanton
WINCHENDON - Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr. yesterday said the town has received a $3,000 grant from the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership to assist in efforts to preserve Murdock Farm on Elmwood Road.
Mr. Kreidler said the money will be used to help pay project appraisal costs, estimated at $6,000.
According to Alana Morlock, an administrative assistant in the planning and development office, the goal of the project is to put an agricultural preservation restriction on the farm. Ms. Morlock said she has a personal interest in preserving the farm.
"My great-grandfather Peter Morlock started the farm in 1885," she said. "He had no choice; he had been fired from his job and had a wife and 16 kids to take care of."
By bottling the extra milk his cows were giving, she said, Mr. Morlock was able to start his dairy farm by selling to his neighbors. Originally on Glenallen Road, the farm moved to its present location in 1920.
Now 122 years later, the threat of developers coming in and building on the land has the Murdock family and the town joining forces to help protect it.
With the $3,000 grant, plus a $1,000 anonymous donation and a $10,000 grant from the Robinson Broadhurst foundation, the funds are in place to pay for the preservation application process.
Aside from the usual application guidelines, the process was tweaked to help other area farmers also preserve land. As part of the Robinson Broadhurst grant, the owners of Murdock farm have agreed to give $10,000 to the town for the next applicant who goes through the grant process.
The money will not come from the Robinson Broadhurst grant itself, but from money the state pays to land owners to...