LAtest from your league
BY JIM BERUBE
On behalf of the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs, I welcome you all to this wonderful piece of property.
The Worcester County League was founded in 1929, bringing together the area’s sporting clubs under one “umbrella” in order to work together on topics and issues of common interest.
A number of these clubs had formed as early as the 1870’s. The Fitchburg Sportsmen’s Club was established in 1875 and is thought to be the oldest sporting club in the country.
Currently, the Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs consists of over 60 member sporting clubs with a membership of 20,000 members in Worcester County.
The purpose or mission of the Worcester County League is the following:
The Property History:
When this property was available for sale, the League did not have sufficient funds, so Lou Babbett and Ray Gribbons used their own money to purchase it for the League. Both of these well-known and respected members were very active in the League and served in various official capacities.
Between 1958 and 1967 three parcels consisting of nearly 100 acres was purchased.
In 1973 a new club in the area formed and the League transferred 8 acres to the club to build a club house. After a foundation was built, club members lost interest and the club disbanded.
In 1990, Senator Steve Brewer assisted the Worcester County League in getting the property transferred back to League ownership.
With the proceeds of the conservation easement transaction, the Worcester County League has established a fund for the sole purpose of future purchases of open land. We are hoping to add to this fund over time.
In keeping with our mandate, the League has the property under Chapter 61—Forest Management.
The League has had a long time policy for the land to utilize forestry to enhance wildlife habit. Forestry operations first took place about 20 years ago.
In the last few years, we have been implementing a forest management plan under the capable hands of Certified Forester Jim DiMaio who is with us today.
In closing, I include some words from our County League President, Jim Nishan.
“I would like to thank the following for their hard work and service to the Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs in making this day possible. Jim Berube, Jim Dimaio, David Morin, Dave Papale, Ron Amidon and all others that donated their time and labor. “
“From this day forward the Babbit/Gribbons Property will be forever an open space where everyone will have the opportunity to live and pass on the heritage of an outdoor life style. Some will come to hunt, others to watch fireflies with their kids or just smell the flowers. All will be welcome.”