Massachusetts

Reed Brook Preserve


Why You Should Visit
Reed Brook Preserve is nestled in a picturesque hemlock ravine with Reed Brook running down from the west to the northeast to the Deerfield River. At the end of the trail a small overlook provides a beautiful view of the Deerfield River Valley.

Location
Whitcomb Hill Road, Florida, Massachusetts

Size
207 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Nature Conservancy purchased the first tracts at the Reed Brook Preserve in 1982, through the generosity of Winifred Irwin Clapp and her family, to protect one of the most unusual bedrock geologic features in Massachusetts: a serpentine outcrop. Serpentine is a grayish-green to dark-greenish-gray rock that has high levels of magnesium and heavy metals like chromium. This outcrop forms a cliff-face running east to west for several hundred yards. It harbors a specialized natural community that has adapted to the extremely nutrient-poor harsh soil conditions. This natural community type is globally rare and a regional conservation priority.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Between 1982 and 2003, the Conservancy protected four tracts of land. Since that time the main focus has been preserve monitoring and maintenance. In the summer of 1996, a small downburst or tornado struck the hemlock ravine and completely leveled a small area of trees surrounding the ravine and brook. Subsequently the lower section of the Reed Brook trail had to be re-routed because of fallen timber and unstable hillsides.

 

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