USFWS Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge System


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge is located in north-central Massachusetts, approximately 35 miles northwest of Boston, MA.  The refuge lies within the towns of Ayer, Devens, Harvard, Lancaster and Shirley.

The refuge consists of approximately 1,667 acres of upland, southern New England flood-plain forest, and wetland communities along nearly 8 miles of the Nashua River corridor.

Oxbow NWR was formed by three land transfers from the former U.S. Army, Fort Devens Military Installation, and a purchase of private land in Harvard, MA.

Two of the transfers from the Army (May, 1974 and February, 1988) formed the original 711-acre portion of the Refuge located south of Massachusetts Route 2.  The third Army transfer occurred in May of 1999, and added the 836-acre portion of the Refuge that is located north of Route 2.  Finally, approximately 120 acres were added to the Refuge in April 2001, with the acquisition of the former Watt Farm property along Still River Depot Road in Harvard.

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