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PAXTON, MA-The state’s Metropolitan District Commission has purchased 530 acres of watershed land here and in Holden for $5.2 million. The purchase is part of Governor Jane M. Swift and former Governor Paul Celluci’s campaign to protect 200,000 acres of open space–roughly 2% of the land in Massachusetts–from development by 2010.

With this purchase, the administration is halfway to its goal. According to Shawn Feddeman, spokesperson for Governor Swift, the purchase involved two parcels bought from private property owners. In addition, the state will receive a permanent conservation restriction on 2,800 acres of watershed land in the towns of Holden, Rutland, Princeton and Paxton. “The state is a better manager of the open space,” Feddeman tells

According to a released statement, the Swift administration has worked with local officials, nonprofit land trusts and landowners to reach the goal, acquiring 42,000 acres in the last fiscal year alone. That includes the recent purchase of a conservation restriction on 2,000 acres in Ludlow and the purchase of 18 acres of land along the banks of the Charles River.

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