Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Conservation Grants to Communities and Land Trusts

More than $2.7 Million Awarded to 9 Communities and 10 Land Trusts
For immediate release:
12/17/2015
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Conservation Grants to Communities and Land Trusts

Katie Gronendyke,

Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $2.7 million in grant funding for land conservation projects.  Grants were provided to nine communities through the Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant Program and ten land trusts via the Conservation Partnership Program (CPP).  

“Local parks and open spaces are important investments, providing recreational opportunities and the chance to experience and understand nature,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will help ensure that we have provided natural environments for our residents to visit and experience the outdoors close to home.”

“Municipal partnership are very important to the our administration, and that is why I am so pleased to see state government working with communities and land trusts to conserve land for future generations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through the LAND and Conservation Partnership Programs, we are able to provide resources to those at the local level who are motivated to protect these parcels.”

The LAND Program (formerly the Self-Help Program) was established in 1961 to assist municipal conservation commissions in acquiring land for natural resource protection and passive outdoor recreation purposes. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) will provide $1,855,172 to nine municipalities with up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plans. 

“The Commonwealth’s open spaces have made a large impact on my life,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Under the leadership of the Baker-Polito Administration, we are investing in parks and habitat conservation to ensure that individuals and families across the Commonwealth have an opportunity to experience all that our state’s natural environment has to offer.”

The Conservation Partnership Program provides funding to assist land trusts in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purpose. The Commonwealth will provide a total of $873,975 to 12 projects.

The following communities are recipients of LAND grant awards:

 

MUNICIPALITY

PROJECT NAME

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

TOTAL GRANT AWARD

Amherst Stosz & Stowes Property The Town of Amherst will acquire 14 acres of land adjacent to town conservation land to increase connectivity to the Cushman Brook Riparian Corridor project. Cushman Brook is one of the healthiest streams in the region providing high quality aquatic habitat and swimming and fishing opportunities for the region. $183,557.50
Belchertown Holland Glen Conservation Area The Town of Belchertown will acquire 45 acres of land to add to the town’s Holland Glen Conservation Area.  The conservation area protects the Lawrence Swamp aquifer and provides hiking opportunities to the public.  The parcel includes waterfalls and scenic vistas. $127,160.00
Dunstable Miller CR This project consists of the acquisition of 6.72 acres of land opposite the historic Butterfield house (ca. 1790) and the Meeting House Cemetery (ca. 1754), which contains the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers.  Preservation of this parcel is crucial to the town’s effort to retain its rural character. $166,500.00
Fall River St. Vincent's Home Farm Acquisition The City of Fall River will acquire a 30 acres farm, which contains an extensive and intact wetland system sloping south to Steep Brook, a perennial stream.  The city will restore a natural open meadow habitat between the agricultural fields and remove invasive species. This property will provide opportunities for hiking, bird/wildlife watching, and community gardening.  $317,450.00
Kingston Albertini Land Purchase The project is a unique opportunity to acquire a 32 acre property coming out of Chapter 61 protection that connects to the 240-acre Cranberry Watershed Preserve. This project will contribute to ongoing efforts to restore a productive fish run in the Jones River. It helps to fill a gap in the on the Bay Circuit Trail. $195,000.00
Northampton Rocky Hill Connector Acquisition The City of Northampton will acquire a 16 acre connector property between the 80+ acre Rocky Hill Greenway and the state hospital agricultural lands. This property includes habitat of rare wildlife, priority rare species habitat, aquatic core habitat, small-river floodplain forest, and a medium-yield aquifer. $97,408.00
Petersham Gross Farm CR Acquisition Initiative The Town of Petersham will conserve a 238 acre property actively mowed for hay. This property borders Moccasin and Cardinal Brooks, with a mix of prime agricultural and forestland soils. This property provides protection for a critical watershed for the Quabbin Reservoir. $242,336.00
Princeton Fieldstone Farm The Town of Princeton will acquire 164 acres of farming land critical in preserving the town’s character. This property has been designated as important to the state’s biodiversity conservation efforts. The property also offers good opportunities for hiking, hunting, and environmental education. $400,000.00
Royalston Eagle Reserve Recreation Area The project will permanently protect 83 acres of working forest land with open water, bog, shrub swamp and marsh habitat. This property abuts the 28,000 acres Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, which is noted for the presence of bald eagles, Blue-spotted Salamander and Wood Turtle. $125,760.00

 

The following land trusts are recipients of Conservation Partnership grant awards:

 

Grantee

Project Name

Project Description

Grant Award

Attleboro Land Trust Deborah Richardson Preserve The project consists of 57.68 acres in Attleboro and includes a reach of Chartley Brook with extensive wetlands, which is designated as BioMap 2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape.

$85,000.00

The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. Edgewood Farm The project abuts Town of Truro open space and the preserved lands of the National Seashore.

$85,000.00

Essex County Greenbelt Association Bryant Farm Conservation Restriction The project will protect open farmland views along the Way, which is used regularly by local walkers and equestrians as well as the Rockport Schools.

$65,000.00

Greater Worcester Land Trust Asnebumskit Ridge The project links the 2 mile Asnebumskit Ridge Trail to the north to the 5 mile Woonaskachu Path and has been visited by Nipmuc families and Thoreau.

$85,000.00

Greater Worcester Land Trust Donker Farm North The project abuts two GWLT parcels - Cook's Brook and Donker Farm - and is primarily upland with three pockets of wetland and a mix of hardwood upland species.

$42,887.50

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust Downs Family Conservation Area The project includes extensive forested wetlands and lies within the Quabbin Reservoir Watershed.

$2,587.00

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust Sugarbush Farm The project is on a rolling hillside at the base of Jerusalem Hill, abuts over 7,000 acres of protected state forest, and is entirely within the Nature Conservancy’s resilient sites for terrestrial conservation.

$85,000.00

Opacum Land Trust Thomas Forested Parcel The project will acquire a 76.6 parcel of forested land that abuts the Brimfield State Forest and that has a history of informal public access for passive outdoor recreation.  It has a flowing stream, as well as two distinctive geological features - a large erratic boulder and a small gorge created by a tributary of Foskett Mill Creek.

$83,500.00

Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, Inc. Birdsall-Douglass Property The project is a part of a larger partnership to preserve 4.5 acres with 430 feet of pond frontage on a Commonwealth Great Pond.

$85,000.00

Sudbury Valley Trustees Hannaford Conservation Restriction The project consists of approximately 26 acres of land across the street from Sweet Autumn Farm and is mostly wooded uplands and wetlands.

$85,000.00

Wellfleet Conservation Trust Link Lot at Drummer Cove Trailhead The project is a part of a larger decade-long partnership to preserve more than 10 acres with about 3,000 feet of tidal frontage on Drummer Cove and to secure a one mile looped walking trail.

$85,000.00

Westport Land Conservation Trust Lower Angeline Brook Conservation Project The project will protect Angeline Brook (a coldwater stream) and nearby Westport River Estuary, provide recreation opportunities, and expand a large contiguous area of existing protected land to create a greenway corridor along Angeline Brook.

$85,000.00

 

“I thank 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 communities of Paxton and Princeton have been chosen as recipients, and I congratulate 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.”

“We are fortunate to have some of the best open spaces in the country right here in the Commonwealth,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D – Spencer). “Funding to preserve that land is a major necessity, and I want to commend the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to that.”

“I have always considered recreational land to be an important public service, vital to establishing a high quality of life, and I am so pleased with the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to open space in our communities,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport). “The Fall River grant is of major social importance, offering residents certain recreational and environmental opportunities that will enhance their health, wellness, and community as a whole.”

“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support in supporting and preserving open space in our urban areas as well as our natural resources in our suburbs,” said State Representative Paul A. Schmid (D-Westport).  “The communities of Fall River and Westport will benefit greatly from the restoration and protection of open space around Steep Brook and the cold water stream of Angeline Brook, and I look forward to the progress of both projects.”

“Congratulations to the nine communities that received grants through the Local Acquisitions for National Diversity (LAND) Grant Program, and the ten land trusts that received grants from the Conservation Partnership, especially the ones in the 1st Worcester District,” said Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester).  “These grants demonstrate the Commonwealth’s commitment towards environmental conservation and I look forward to seeing how each municipality implements this opportunity.”

“Conservation Partnership grants embody the crucial underpinning of all environmental protection: collaboration to achieve a great goal,” said State Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich).  “Thanks and much appreciation to everyone in the administration who make this support tangible, and to the Cape's environmental advocates who are such strong partners for the Commonwealth.”

“The open space at the St. Vincent's Farm property in my district is a hidden treasure, and I'm glad to see it receive this funding to preserve it and make it even more available for recreation,” said State Representative Carole Fiola (D-Fall River). “I'd like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton for their attention to this natural space that deserves conservation. I would also like to thank all of the passionate local advocates for initiating this request. A new generation of Fall Riverites will enjoy this natural resource.”

“Green Space is one of our most valuable resources, and unfortunately taken advantage of too often,” said State Representative Alan Silvia (D-Fall River). “I'm both proud and thrilled to see Fall River receive the funding to transform our damaged land into the beautiful environment it once was.”

###

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Conservation Grants to Communities and Land Trusts

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.
Feedback