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South River Greenway and Walking Trail Plan

Funding for this project was provided by MassBays to Wildlands Trust (2012)

About the project

The South River is a National Natural Landmark with many priority habitats and associated endangered species. It is an important herring run and offers impressive scenic views. However, over the years this river has suffered neglect from inadequate land uses, residential and commercial overdevelopment, lack of visibility, and lack of access along its riparian corridor. Additionally, high bacteria counts in the river have resulted in closed shellfish beds in the upper reaches of the river, primarily due to storm water runoff from impervious surfaces. The South River Greenway and Walking Trail project provided an opportunity to increase awareness of and access to the river, highlight its importance and habitat value to visitors, and engage the local community in the protection and appreciation of the river. The project also built upon acquisition by the Town of Marshfield of three properties along the South River in 2007 and 2008 by assessing the feasibility and beginning the process of developing a South River Greenway and Walking Trail. 

The South River Greenway and Trail plan served as a roadmap for the town, Wildlands Trust and the Mass Bays' South Shore regional partner, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA), to implement the Greenway. This project compiled information for specific parcels along the proposed walking trail, including parcel ownership, current and past land use, physical characteristics (topography, vegetation, etc.), and property highlights; identified strategies to implement the Greenway with particular emphasis on implementing the proposed walking trail; developed information for landowners to learn about the proposed South River Greenway Trail and opportunities for their participation in the form of a Q&A sheet; worked toward implementing the Plan together with the Town of Marshfield and the NSRWA. Also, through this project the partners provided support to Marshfield's Open Space Committee and Community Preservation Committee for the acquisition in October of 2012 of a 36-acre parcel, which abuts the South River and anchors the Greenway to the north and east. 

The final report includes the proposed Greenway plan, parcel by parcel information, and short and long term recommendations for implementing the plan: South River Greenway and Walking Trail Plan. 

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