The Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA) helps resolve stewardship issues caused by a prior owner to restore active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Department’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. Funds may be used for materials and contracted labor or equipment rental costs to clear or reclaim inactive fields that are out of production at no fault of the current owner. Examples of eligible projects include clearing vegetation, stabilizing soil loss, correcting drainage issues, cutting back grown in field edges, or reseeding or applying soil or crop amendments to inactive cropland or pastureland in order to bring it back into production. Grant funds of up to $35,000 are available on a cost reimbursement basis with a 15% match of total project costs required by the farm participant.
- Applicant must own, or co-apply with the owner of land that was protected through the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program for at least three (3) years;
- Applicant must not have been the original owner of the property when the land was placed under the APR unless the proposed restoration is in response to damage caused by a natural disaster (i.e. storm) or uncontrollable third party influence;
- The need for restoration must not have been caused by the current owner or responders inaction or lack of stewardship/maintenance.
The Application period for FY 2024 opened on Friday, February 10, 2023 and all responses must be received by 2 pm on Friday, April 7, 2023.