Stow Acres Open Space, Recreation, and Housing Page

This page contains all available information related to the Stow Acres partnership including Conservation,  Open Space, Recreation, and Housing. This page will have information on all aspects of the planning and permitting. 

For decades, residents of Stow have been concerned about the future of Stow Acres, the Town’s largest (36 hole) golf course and the largest undeveloped parcel in Stow. This 360-acre property contains significant conservation values – including riparian corridors along Elizabeth Brook and the Assabet River, scenic views from Randall Road and Gleasondale Road, and opportunities for significant large-scale conservation and restoration.  

In 2019, when rumors began circulating about the possible sale of Stow Acres, the Town and the nonprofit Stow Conservation Trust (SCT) began negotiations with the property owners. These discussions led to the creation of a groundbreaking partnership that included the Town, SCT, a private for-profit purchaser, and the owners of Stow Acres, who worked together for two years to develop an overall vision for the entire property with the support of a professional landscape design firm, Dodson and Flinker.  Together, the partnership identified priority locations to focus development and meet the town’s housing diversity needs, and areas that had the highest conservation and recreation values which will support future trails, recreation facilities, restored wetlands and streams, and conserved corridors along Elizabeth Brook and the Assabet River.  Multiple community forums were held to build community consensus in support of the overall land use vision for the property.  

The Town and the Trust worked with the property owners to negotiate a two-phase plan for the conservation and recreation use of more than 85% of the property. In May 2021, residents voted overwhelmingly at Town Meeting to expend Stow Community Preservation Funds to purchase a Conservation Restriction with public access trail on the 151-acre South Course of Stow Acres for $1.5 million.  In October 2021, they again voted in favor of expending $2.5 million toward the Town purchase of approximately two-thirds of the North Course for conservation and recreation purposes, with the balance of the purchase price to be raised from gifts and grants.  The purchase is expected to be consummated in late 2022.  The overall vision will guide the development of the remaining 1/3 of the North Course as a village-style housing community.

Please see the tabs at the left to learn more about the various aspects of this project.