(photo courtesy of Franklin College)

Franklin College has received a $1.8 million real estate gift from Southpoint Farm LLC. The college says the 29-acre property, which is located near its campus on Forest Road in Franklin, will be a biological field station used for botany and field ecology research by students and faculty.

The college says the property will also support growth of its natural sciences and environmental studies programs.

The property is the second land gift from Southpoint Farm, formerly known as Franklin Tech Park Associates LLC. In 2008, the college says the company donated about 32 acres of land, now known as Hougham Woods Biological Field Station.

“We have used the Hougham Woods property for decades, prior to it being gifted to the college,” said Dr. Alice Heikens, professor of biology at Franklin College. “It has been essential for our conservation and ecology students who have used it for research, internships and classes. We are excited to receive another land donation from Mac to further our field biology classes. We would not be able to offer our students the incredible experiences we do without his generosity, commitment and support of our conservation efforts and field program.”

Harry (Mac) McNaught, president of Southpoint Farm, said the company gifted the land to the college to help foster education among young people.

“The college’s active and thoughtful use of the Hougham Woods to expand its undergraduate and faculty research initiatives is absolutely phenomenal,” said McNaught. “We know this new gift will play a significant role in further enhancing the educational experiences available to the college’s students.”