The Land

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The story of Fruitlands is the history of an evolving landscape. Located in rural Harvard, Massachusetts, Fruitlands has an unparalleled view across the Nashua River valley. Our 210 acre grounds is composed of varying cultural traditions and ecological habitats, we tell stories about the New England past.

Native Americans, Shakers, Transcendentalists, and nineteenth century artists each represent an important moment in the history of our New England landscape.

The Story... 

Fruitlands has 210 acres of land. About 150 acres are forested, while 60 are open fields. One of the main ways we manage our land is by actively maintaining our field to forest ratio. The fields provide important habitat for various species of birds, butterflies, and other plants and animals. We also manage our forested land. Our land management program tries to balance the needs of educational and interpretive programs, wildlife habitats and sound forest management. We also make land management decisions based on the historic resources located on the property. Passive recreation, people who just want to take a relaxing walk in the woods, is the last major concern we try and balance into our land management program.

Visit and Discover... 

When people visit Fruitlands, they learn ways of exploring the land to find clues that allow you to reconstruct the landuse history. Landuse history is based on tremendous changes wrought by human culture on the landscape. Sometimes these changes are dramatic, other times the changes are subtle because they happen more slowly, but may lead to an effect as dramatic a change as more expedient changes. The museum is actively engaged in invasive species control and habitat development.