The 40 acres of bucolic meadows and mixed-deciduous forest surrounding the headquarters of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust are a pleasure to wander through. Take a leisurely walk around the arboretum, where signs will help you identify and learn about the native trees of our region.
Margaret Power Biggs donated the land to Mount Grace in 1999 to be a small arboretum showcasing indigenous trees and vegetation.
“My hope for the future is that the land will become a welcoming and restful place for everyone who wishes to visit; a place to learn and to study – whether trees, stars, birds, or butterflies – for people of all ages… Skyfields will be truly for and by the people.” —Peggy Biggs
We believe that Peggy Biggs’ vision has come to fulfillment. You can walk around the gently sloping hills of Willis Woods on a loop trail created in 2006 down to Route 32 and see the “Treemendous Trail” signs created by Athol High School students in 2016. Many wildflowers such as the bluet, common blue violet, mayflower, wood anemone, jack-in-the-pulpit, eastern star flower, and lady slipper can be seen in blossom in springtime around the Arboretum. Wildlife abounds on the property as well, including fox, fisher, hawks, owls, songbirds, porcupine, white-tail deer, turkeys, and black bears.
Skyfields abuts the Lawton Tree Forest. The 365-acre Lawton Tree Farm was the first Mount Grace project. This 221-year-old tree farm, with over 2 miles of road frontage was in immediate danger of being developed into over 200 house lots when Mount Grace was formed to successfully save the land, scenic views, stands of hardwood and softwood trees, and three ponds.
These extraordinary grounds house so much history as well as natural beauty. We invite you to come explore our backyard with us.