Restoring Lake Mansfield's Native Habitat Now and in the Future

Serviceberry, Summer Sweet, Silky Dogwood, Steeple Bush... These are just a few of the native shrubs that have been planted on the hillside that is at the confluence of Knob Hill Road and Lake Mansfield Road. A grassy slope was left with the undertaking of the storm water mitigation project. Lake Mansfield Alliance has taken on the restoration of this slope as a final step of the project.  Sassafras Land Care owner, Devan Arnold, was hired for the job.

Project Description: The focus of this project is a 2,400 square foot area triangle. The area has undergone a drastic clearing in the early part of 2019 as part of a storm-water mitigation project in which the town added new drains, basins and underground piping (to mitigate unfiltered storm water run off). The aim of this project is to restore the native vegetation community that is largely based on the plant species found already in the general vicinity. This project is a collaboration between the town of Great Barrington, the  property owners,  the Great Barrington Land Conservancy (GBLC) and Sassafras Land Care.


Phase1: The installation of woody trees and shrubs is complete. It was funded by GBLC's Lake Mansfield Alliance Project and supported by the generous donation of plant material by Ward's Nursery and Garden Center. Project Value for Phase 1 is $2,300.

Phase 2: The installation of 12 species of herbaceous perennials including grasses, sedge species, and wildflowers will be completed in spring.

The restoration planting of this area creates a healthy and powerful buffer zone that will help to slow and absorb rain water on this slope. The native plant species were chosen to sustain the wildlife that depends on this lakeside habitat including bird species and pollinators.

In the future: The planting list that Devan has created can be used to inform the plantings along Lake Mansfield Road that have been called for by the Great Barrington Conservation Commission as part of an enforcement order that requires that a significant amount of the newly-laid pavement be removed and plantings must be installed to begin the restoration of this greatly degraded area at the road edge. The order requires this work to be completed by the town by November 2020 as an initial step of lakeside restoration.

Final bank restoration will be accomplished with the Lake Mansfield Road Design Plan that will include the stabilization of the lake edge, storm water drainage improvements, removal of the existing roadway, and the installation of a recreational path.The Lake Mansfield Improvement Task Force is moving steadily ahead to secure the funding needed for final design and construction of this essential improvement that was approved by the Great Barrington Select Board.

Great Barrington Land Conservancy is committed to future stewardship of the Lake Mansfield Area. Since 2005, Lake Mansfield Alliance, a project of GBLC, has worked with the Town to provide stewardship Lake Mansfield and the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest. We believe Lake Mansfield must be a protected ecosystem where people, wildlife, and nature thrive.

TAKE ACTION: Join the Lake Mansfield support group to receive updates, and information about events and volunteer opportunities. Email us at




 Knob Hill Planting - Devan, owner of Sassafras Land Care