White Oak holds a conservation restriction on four abutting parcels collectively known as Camp Kinnywood. The 53 acres host a trail system accessible from Dawson Road in Worcester. Trails interconnect with trails on the Holbrook Forest.[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”2″ gal_title=”Kinnywood”]
Girls, Inc., a well-known Worcester non profit organization, has for years provided a summer camp experience for inner city girls at Camp Kinneywood, located in Holden on the Worcester border. The land of Camp Kinneywood was donated to GI in 1934 by Clarence Kinney; prior to donation it had been a dairy farm. The forest land was donated by a vote of Holden’s selectmen when the town acquired the parcels by tax lien in 1942.
In 2008, White Oak and Greater Worcester Land Trust jointly campaigned to acquire the land from Girls, Inc. The acquisition was completed in 2009 with GWLT owning the land and White Oak holding a conservation restriction.
The land is on the southern edge of three thousand acres of wooded land, and connect with 58 acres owned by the Worcester’s Conservation Commission. Most of the conserved land to the north is owned by the City of Worcester’s reservoir system, and hence is off limits to the public for security reasons. This has allowed wild life to flourish. Camp Kinnywood is an important public resource because it is open to the public, unlike the vast adjacent reservoir lands, and provides a window to view the wildlife of the area.
The woodland is mixed, with oak, maple and red maple in the wet hollows. The red maple swamp found there is part of the headwaters of Tatnuck Brook, via an unnamed brook running through the property. Deer, moose, coyote, fox and bear are known to use the land. Wildlife species such as these depend on forest interiors (areas far from an edge and uninterrupted by roads) for a significant portion of their life cycle.