For Immediate Release - December 08, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $744,000 For Conservation Partnership Grants

Funding Will Protect 330 Acres of Commonwealth’s Natural Resources

BOSTON – December 8, 2016 The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $744,545 in funding for local land conservation projects across the Commonwealth. The grants are being provided to ten land trusts by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Conservation Partnership Grant Program and will protect over 330 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Quabbin Reservoir.

“Local conservation areas are important investments that provide citizens of the Commonwealth access to open spaces and the opportunity to enjoy nature,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Conservation Partnership Grants are instrumental in helping protect Massachusetts’ unique natural habitats for our residents and visitors alike.”

“By establishing close partnerships with local land trusts, our administration is committed to protecting Massachusetts’ ecological resources for future generations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The Conservation Partnership Grant Program allows the Commonwealth to provide our local partners the resources they need to protect our state’s the most important working lands and wildlife habitat.”

The Conservation Partnership Program assists non-public, not-for-profit corporations in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purposes. Potential projects fall into one of two categories: Land or a conservation restriction (CR) purchased by an eligible applicant or due diligence for land or a conservation restriction gift donated to an eligible applicant.

“From the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s nearly 500,000 acres of parks and forests to small family farms, the Commonwealth’s open spaces have large impact on the lives of all residents,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues its commitment to investing in open spaces in which residents can recreate and enjoy all that Massachusetts has to offer.”

The following ten projects will receive the Conservation Partnership grants:

Grantee Project Name Project Description Grant Award
Andover Village Improvement Society Franciscan Acquisition The project will acquire 26.60 acres of land that is part of the Bay Circuit Trail, upstream of the water intakes for Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen, and within NHESP BioMap2 core habitat. $85,000
Brewster Conservation Trust Gulls Way Forest The project will purchase an 11.11 acre property supporting two buildable residential lots and will protect a native Cape Cod forest. $75,000
Buzzards Bay Coalition Shaw Cove Fields and Marshes Conservation Project The project will acquire 62 acres on Nasketucket Bay adjacent to a large contiguous area of existing protected open space and will protect the bay's resources, as well as working farmland. $85,000
Dennis Conservation Trust Swan River Overlook The project will protect 3.5 acres that are a combination of upland, brackish marsh, and salt marsh and will help protect the water quality in Swan River, a Critical Natural Landscape. $75,000
East Quabbin Land Trust Carlson Road Realty Trust CR Acquisition The project will acquire a CR on 53 acres that abuts the Muddy Brook Wildlife Management Area and helps to add to a corridor of protected land between the WMA and the Quabbin Reservoir.  $85,000
Greater Worcester Land Trust Malden Brook Woods The project will protect 13.66 acres of land that is one of the last unprotected portions of Malden Brook Farm, which remains the last working farm in Holden. $80,350
Kestrel Land Trust Pelham Emerald Necklace Project The project will connect to existing protected open space and ensure the continuity of core habitat available to wildlife, securing public access from Arnold Road and enabling the expansion of existing trails for passive recreation. $85,000
Massachusetts Audubon Society Butterworth - Rutland Brook WS The project will acquire 84 acres in fee to add to the existing Rutland Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and help to protect water quality in the Quabbin Reservoir. $85,000
Opacum Land Trust Thomas Forested Parcel The project will protect a 76 acre parcel of woodland that is adjacent to Brimfield State Forest and will provide an additional entry point to the forest.  $85,000
Rutland Land Conservancy Cannon-Putname Nature Preserve The project will help pay for the due diligence on a gift of land that has frontage on two roads and contains hardwoods and a wetland. $4,195

“Investing in conservation projects is crucial to protecting our resources on the Cape,” said Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich).  “Thank you to everyone in the office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for advancing this funding to protect our open space, wildlife, and water quality.”

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as Secretary Beating, for their ongoing commitment to preserving our fragile environment on Cape Cod,” said State Representative Timothy R. Whelan (R-Brewster). “Both the Dennis and Brewster Conservation Trusts will be bolstered in their efforts to preserve Cape Codes natural beauty by this significant commitment, for which I am extremely grateful.”

“The first land trust was founded over 100 years ago right here in New England, and the many others since, throughout the region, have played an indispensable role in protecting open spaces of all kinds,” said Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture.  “These groups are a major part of that mission and I am thrilled that they have received support from the state to continue the great conservationist work that they do.”

“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for awarding these funds and recognizing the importance of preserving our open spaces,” said State Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden). “I am thrilled that the Rutland Land Conservancy was chosen as a recipient. Congratulations to all of the communities who received grants, as they will be providing increased opportunities for outdoor recreation and resource protection which benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth and generations to come.”

“Congratulations to the Greater Worcester Land Trust on receiving a Conservation Partnership Grant from the Baker-Polito Administration for the protection of the last working farm in Holden, Malden Brook Farm,” said State Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I commend the partnerships that have been made through the grant program and look forward to the implementation of the grants.”

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