Main content

Conserving Doe Valley Farm

Posted Monday, December 5, 2022

The conservation restriction for Doe Valley Farm is scheduled for completion this month. Mount Grace has been working with Don Flye to ensure his historic Petersham farm will be protected forever from development and remain scenic working land, as well as a recreational and educational resource for our community.

Don Flye is a dedicated owner and steward of 20 acres of forest and farmland abutting Davenport Pond and the New England Equestrian Center of Athol. He has also been a dedicated Mount Grace volunteer for over a decade and was our 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Over the past few years, Don and his son Michael have been working with Mount Grace to ensure their family’s land will be protected for future generations.

Doe Valley Farm is a working landscape with a well-managed forest, five acres of pasture, and several historic farm buildings dating to the 18th century. Locals and the nearby equestrian center have used the trails along the property border that connect to Davenport Pond for many years. Don welcomes people to board horses on the farm and has partnered with Mount Grace to host a series of pasture management workshops for farmers and soil scientists to share information about caring for the land. 

Don is generously donating a conservation restriction to Mount Grace on his beloved homestead, utilizing the Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit.  Protecting these rolling hills, woodland paths dotted with blueberry bushes, and the community’s connection to this land are a longtime dream of Don’s. 

“It’s been an important project for me as well. I have learned so much about the history, people, and places of the Mount Grace region and my new hometown of Petersham from Don, a true pillar of the community,” said Farm Conservation Program Manager Rocio Lalanda, “I look forward to our continued friendship and long bike rides together.”