Project Background

Russells Mills Village is one of Dartmouth’s true gems. With many houses from the 18th and early 19th centuries, it has changed little in the past 100 years, earning it recognition as an Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The surrounding landscape contributes much to its rural character and visual appeal, with the scenic millpond, the Paskamansett and Slocum’s Rivers, farm fields, and woodland. Thankfully much of this landscape is permanently protected from development, including DNRT’s 284-acre Destruction Brook Woods to the west and 31-acre Parsons Reserve to the south.


In 2021, DNRT partnered with the Dartmouth Conservation Commission to successfully protect a key 24-acre property just north of the village, thanks to the support of the state, the Dartmouth Community Preservation Fund, and many individuals and families. DNRT now has the opportunity to protect an adjacent 25 acres of woodlands, which will double the size of the protected area and expand it to stretch from Fisher Road to Woodcock Road.

With your support, this project will:

  • Protect the rural character around historic Russells Mills Village and preserve scenic views along 450 feet of Woodcock Road and along 1,680 feet of the northern boundary of DNRT’s 2021 acquisition.
  • Conserve woodland that provides significant wildlife habitat and forest protection, including 19 acres designated as “Priority Habitat for Rare Species” and an area of rock outcropping that is rare in Dartmouth.
  • Provide public access to an extensive nature trail network that will be connected to a parking area on Fisher Road and to an additional 8 miles of trails at DNRT’s Destruction Brook Woods Reserve located across Fisher Road.
  • Conserve the last significant gap in a “greenway” of open space that stretches nearly 7 miles from the mouth of Slocum’s River to UMass Dartmouth!
Russells Mills Woods

We Need Your Support

Click map to enlarge

DNRT has spent two years working with two families to get this land under contract. However, in order to complete our purchase, we need to raise a total of $524,500 in gifts and pledges by December 2022. We are requesting $202,500 from the Dartmouth Community Preservation Fund. If this grant application is successful, that leaves $322,000 that DNRT must raise from generous people like you – those who care most about preserving the scenic beauty, natural resources, and rural landscape of Dartmouth.

Note that payments can be made over two calendar years – 2022 and 2023 – allowing donors to maximize charitable income tax deductions. Please join with others who care about conservation in Dartmouth and make a gift or pledge today.