DNRT Completes North Hixville Conservation Project – Protects 62 Acres

n hixville pond

DNRT is delighted to announce the purchase and protection of 62 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and open fields off North Hixville Road in North Dartmouth. The property will be named “Wernick Farm” in recognition of the family that owned the land since the 1950s, and DNRT plans to open it to the public within the next year.

According to DNRT Executive Director, Dexter Mead, the Wernick Farm is a “hidden gem” with massive white pines, winding trails, and three lovely spring-fed ponds. It includes lands designated by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program as “Critical Natural Landscape” and is adjacent to the 14,000-acre Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, which extends from the northern edge of Dartmouth through Fall River to Freetown.

DNRT was able to protect the property thanks to grants from the Dartmouth Community Preservation Fund and the Bafflin Foundation, as well as the generous support of 72 individuals and families. With the help of the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the project also received a key grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

n hixville path

Moreover, the project could not have been done without the commitment of Reva Newfield (nee Wernick) and her children to preserve the farm. Reva’s parents, Norman and Charlotte Wernick (called Zaidie and Bubbie by the family), each immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s, were married in 1930, and bought the first piece of the farm in 1956. Reva’s children, Gary, Sandy, Heidi and Marsha, all fondly recall days spent at their grandparents’ farm with friends and family, picking blueberries, apples, pears and corn, digging potatoes, chopping wood, and swimming in the spring-fed ponds. Said Heidi, “We are thrilled that DNRT will own and maintain the property as a reserve. It is truly a dream come true. Bubbie and Zaidie would be thrilled as well.”