- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Land Protection Grants
Hamilton — During an Earth Week event at Sagamore Hill in Hamilton, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton announced more than $3 million in awards to four large-scale conservation projects through the Landscape Partnership Grant Program.
“Through this funding, we can help sustain the integrity and resilience of land that totals over 2,700 acres and contains critical habitat for native species,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These investments are part of our administration’s efforts to address climate change and conserve the land and natural resources of the Commonwealth.”
“Supporting partnerships to conserve natural resources and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities will help us protect the Commonwealth’s rich natural heritage for generations to come,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to be able to work with local communities and organizations to meet their local goals to conserve land and protect water quality and habitat.”
EEA’s Landscape Partnership Grant Program was created in 2011 to facilitate large acreage land conservation projects that sustain the integrity and resilience of ecosystems, enhance the viability of farm and forest economies, and expand public outdoor recreational opportunities, while expanding partnerships among state, municipal and non-profit entities. The grant program encourages a partnership between local communities and non-governmental organizations with interest in large landscape-scale land protection investments. Eligible projects include those that demonstrate a partnership between at least two eligible entities, including municipalities, non-profits and state agencies, for the acquisition of a minimum of 500 acres of contiguous land.
“With this round of grants and the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s acquisition of a conservation restriction on Sagamore Hill, we are able to help protect Massachusetts’ wildlife, forests and heritage, and strengthen our agricultural sector,” said EEA Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to supporting local efforts to protect the environment and ensure the highest quality of the Commonwealth’s air, water and other natural resources.”
At the same event, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Leo Roy announced the Department will acquire a conservation restriction for over 340 acres of the Sagamore Hill property in Hamilton at a cost of $300,000.
“The acquisition of over 340 acres of the Sagamore Hill property will not only benefit the people of Hamilton, but the entire region, by ensuring additional land is conserved for natural habitats and for the public to use,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to invest in Massachusetts’ rich natural resources that will benefit the public now and for years to come.”
The Fiscal Year 2016 Landscape Partnership grant awardees are:
- Gardner and Winchendon Landscape Connection Project – $578,075
Recipients: North County Land Trust, Department of Fish and Game, Town of Winchendon, City of Gardner, and Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust.
Description: Landscape Partnership Grant Funding will be used to ensure the protection of 914 acres of critical natural landscape that connects two existing conservation landscapes to create 3,714 contiguous acres of protected land.
- Mormon Hollow Working Lands Corridor Project – $790,300
Recipients: Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Town of Wendell, Town of Montague, and Department of Fish and Game.
Description: Landscape Partnership Grant funding will help create a 30,000 acre corridor of protected land that extends from the Connecticut River to the Quabbin Reservoir.
- Tidmarsh Farm Conservation Project – $1,000,000
Recipients: Mass Audubon, and Town of Plymouth
Description: Landscape Partnership Grant funding will be used to help protect 608 acres of land, currently part of an ongoing freshwater wetlands restoration project, from encroaching development
- Sagamore Hill Conservation Project – $1,020,925
Recipients: Essex County Greenbelt Association, Trust for Public Land, Town of Hamilton, and Hamilton Wenham Open Land Trust
Description: Landscape Partnership Grant funding will help conserve 525 acres of recreation resources which include hilltop landscape, farmland, and core habitat land.
“The Sagamore Hill property in Hamilton and Essex is an extraordinary place, offering invaluable benefits to the community,” said State Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich). “The opportunity to conserve this piece of land could not be missed, as it will protect wildlife and ensure the conservation of irreplaceable environmental resources.”
“I am excited to see a portion of these funds go to the Essex County Greenbelt Association,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “They have done excellent work in protecting and preserving the green space that typifies coastal Massachusetts- land that has been so important in our shared history. The Sagamore Hill Conservation Project will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
“Sagamore Hill presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to acquire, protect and preserve hundreds of acres of open space that will dramatically benefit people in our region and throughout the state,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Capturing this opportunity couldn't be done without strong partnerships, and the support provided today by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Baker-Polito Administration will make those partnerships successful in reaching a goal that will last forever, for all of us.”
“Conserving open space and protecting the natural resources of Western Massachusetts is our collective responsibility. These grants will enable Wendell and Montague to preserve thousands of acres of land for future generations to enjoy while also preserving our ecosystem and environment,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “I thank Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito Administration for their leadership and commitment to conservation and environmental protection across the Commonwealth.”
“I am very pleased that the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, the Towns of Wendell and Montague, and Department of Fish and Game will receive $790,300 through the Landscape Partnership Grant Program,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). “I congratulate them for receiving this competitive award, and want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as Secretary Beaton, for recognizing how important it is that we conserve these 30,000 acres of land, stretching from the Connecticut River to the Quabbin Reservoir, for our children and grandchildren.”
“We’re happy to receive this Landscape Partnership Grant,” said State Representative Susannah Whipps Lee (R-Athol). “This 700-acre working landscape will protect five iconic and historical working farms, including the scenic Diemand Farm. All nine properties have great ecological, historical, cultural, and economic significance, and hold great importance for our region. It has been a pleasure to partner with Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust to create this conservation corridor that extends from the Connecticut River to the Quabbin Reservoir.”