LYNNFIELD — Out with the old and in with the new.

Essex County Greenbelt has changed the name of Richardson Green to Lynnfield Woodlot. The 21-acre parcel of land is located near where the communities of Lynnfield, Middleton, North Reading and Peabody intersect on upper Main Street.

Lynnfield Woodlot had been previously eyed for private development until the town of Lynnfield and Essex County Greenbelt partnered to purchase the property and protect it in perpetuity with a Conservation Restriction.

The Select Board unanimously voted last November to purchase the 21-acre property, 1425 Main St., for $2.7 million. The Select Board assigned the property to Essex County Greenbelt to manage. The closing took place in early May.

The $2.7 million land purchase was mostly funded with a $1.6 million Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) action grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The town of Lynnfield contributed $771,000 for the purchase while Essex County Greenbelt donated $300,000, which was raised through private donations.

Lynnfield Woodlot abuts land owned by the Conservation Commission and the Lynnfield Center Water District, and the property is located in the Ipswich River Watershed. A local advocacy group known as the Richardson Green Citizens’ Group frequently urged the Select Board to exercise its right of first refusal because they were concerned that developing the property would negatively affect the LCWD’s water supply, the Ipswich River Watershed and would result in over 3,200 trees being clear-cut.

“With climate change causing hotter days, more drought and extreme storms, conserving forested open space like this parcel is one of the best tools we have to protect both our communities and the endangered Ipswich River,” said Ipswich River Watershed Executive Director Wayne Castonguay in a statement.

The Lynnfield Conservation Commission holds the Conservation Restriction, which covers the entire 21-acre property.

Essex County Greenbelt owns and manages over 6,000 acres of conserved property across Essex County. The lands are free and open for the public to explore trails and places to hike, paddle, bike, cross-country ski and enjoy many other outdoor activities. Greenbelt’s staff maintains public access to all its properties and creates and maintains trails, installs signage and fencing and conducts other land stewardship duties. Essex County Greenbelt is now preparing plans to provide public parking, signage and trail maps for Lynnfield Woodlot.

Lynnfield Woodlot has been seen as a keystone property and entrance to an even larger forested parcel of more than 600 acres known as Willis Woods. This acreage comprises the largest undeveloped area in the Ipswich River Watershed and is principally owned by the Lynnfield Center Water District and the town of Lynnfield. Willis Woods is bisected by the former Salem-Lowell railbed and touches the endpoints of proposed and existing recreational trails in Middleton, North Reading and Peabody.

A comprehensive Willis Woods trail network represents a significant future opportunity to connect the residents of these communities through their respective existing and planned trails and on to further trail networks in the county and beyond. A vision plan was recently prepared prepared by the four communities and will soon enter a design phase.