In Property Swap, Nantucket Land Bank Takes Over Ownership Of Mill Hill Park

JohnCarl McGrady •

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Photo courtesy of Nantucket Land Bank

A long-delayed land transfer between the Town of Nantucket and the Nantucket Land Bank was finalized last Wednesday, with the Land Bank receiving a 16.5-acre property including Mill Hill Park and Dead Horse Valley in exchange for the Nobadeer playing fields and a small parcel at 174 Orange Street.

“It’s quite a victory over a long period of time,” Tracy MacDonald, the Town’s real estate specialist, said.

The exchange is seen by both parties as mutually beneficial. The town has already been managing the playing fields since 2009 and has invested millions of dollars into them. This deal will give them ownership. The acquisition of the Orange Street property will allow a recently installed bike path near the Milestone rotary to exist on Town land.

For their part, the Land Bank hopes to improve the maintenance of the Mill Hill and Dead Horse properties.

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“We specialize in maintaining parks and open space, and thus these newly acquired properties are better suited to our mission,” the Land Bank wrote in a statement posted to social media. “Some of our goals are to improve the connectivity between these parcels, remove invasive species, and begin routine maintenance of the land.”

The Town and the Land Bank first began to plan the swap in 2020. At annual Town Meeting in 2021, voters backed a home-rule petition facilitating the trade, but approval from the state legislature was necessary before the Select Board could sign off. The State Senate passed the legislation the following year, but the House did not. This year, Nantucket Representative Dylan Fernandez was finally able to guide the bill through the State House, clearing the way for the final approval granted last Wednesday.

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