Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank adds to holdings

The newly acquired parcel links two earlier purchases. — Photo courtesy of MVLBC

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commission last week announced the purchase of an 11.8-acre property in Edgartown off West Tisbury Road opposite the town wastewater treatment plant.

The price was $900,000 and the seller was Philip J. Norton Jr., according to a press release.

James Lengyel, Land Bank executive director, said the acquisition completes the conservation plan commenced by the land bank in 2000, when it prioritized the undeveloped lands — both field and woodlands — along the West Tisbury Road, the entrance to town from the west.

In 2000, the Land Bank acquired the vacant lots that now comprise the Sweetened Water Preserve; in 2001 the land bank purchased an agricultural preservation restriction over Morning Glory Farm. Last week’s acquisition was the culmination of the Land Bank’s efforts to protect the woodlands north and west of Morning Glory Farm, which have now been aggregated in a conservation area known as the nearly 30-acre Ben Toms Preserve — named for the ancient way which forms the preserve’s easterly border.

Discussions began as far back as 2001, Mr. Lengyel said, but were suspended when the land bank’s revenues declined in 2009. Mr. Norton waited patiently during this time, for which the land bank was most grateful.