Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards Wildlife Habitat Management Grants to Local Projects

Over $500K in Funds to Assist Municipalities and Conservation Organizations
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Fish and Game

Media Contact

Katie Gronendyke

BostonContinuing to prioritize the protection of the Commonwealth’s natural resources, the Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $506,856 in grants to 18 municipalities, organizations, and private landowners across the state. The funds are provided through the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MassWildlife) Habitat Management Grant Program. This year, the Administration increased the funding of the program by $200,000 utilizing environmental bond funds.

“The Habitat Management Grant Program is a great example of the strong partnership between the state, municipalities, private landowners and organizations working together to conserve land and wildlife,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants are an important tool to help build upon the thousands of acres of important conservation land for wildlife and residents across the Commonwealth.”

“The Habitat Management Grant Program provides much needed resources that will aid in the funding and management of protected lands throughout the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These important funds will greatly strengthen municipal and private wildlife conservation projects across the Commonwealth to truly benefit wildlife and people now and for future generations.”

The Habitat Management Grant Program is in its third year, and has now awarded over $1,215,000 in funding to 51 projects. The Program’s mission is to provide financial assistance to municipal and private landowners of conserved properties to improve and manage habitat for wildlife that has been deemed in greatest conservation need and for game species. Projects awarded with funds are also designed to expand outdoor recreational opportunities.

“Massachusetts is home to an incredibly diverse array of protected natural resources and habitats that include saltwater marshes, mountain summits, and old growth forests,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Habitat for common and rare plant and wildlife requires active and ongoing maintenance and management in order to thrive, and these grants will assist in those important efforts.”

This year, funds provided through the grant program will benefit 20 wildlife habitat improvement projects, totaling 950 acres in 19 Massachusetts communities. The projects will complement the ongoing habitat management efforts currently underway on state owned lands.

“Habitat management is key to benefiting birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians which depend on some less common habitats,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to expand our habitat management footprint and improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women, birders, naturalists and other outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Because 80 percent of Massachusetts’ lands where wildlife is found is owned privately,” said Jack Buckley, MassWildlife Director. “Therefore as an environmental agency we should promote and apply science-based habitat management activities with committed municipal and private landowners, thereby protecting their investment in wildlife and habitat.”

This year’s awardees of the Habitat Management Grant Program include:

Awardee: The Town of Barnstable
Community: The Town of Barnstable
Amount: $10,000
Project: To conduct prescribed burning in an effort to improve pitch pine/oak woodland habitat.

Awardee: The Berkshire Natural Resources Council
Community: The Town of Great Barrington
Amount: $36,500
Project: To conduct invasive species control at Housatonic Flats and Thomas and Palmer Preserves.

Awardee: The Franklin Land Trust
Community: The Towns of Heath and Plainfield
Amount: $16,675
Project: To enhance native shrub habitat on Crowningshield Farm (Heath) and Guyette Farm (Plainfield).

Awardee: The Town of Lenox
Community: The Town of Lenox
Amount: $36,630
Project: To conduct hardy kiwi invasive species control within Kennedy Park.

Awardee: The City of Marlborough
Community: The City of Marlborough
Amount: $44,500
Project: To create and improve young forest habitat in the Desert Natural Area.

Awardee: The Town of Mashpee
Community: The Town of Mashpee
Amount: $24,000
Project: To conduct prescribed burning to improve habitat within the Holland Mill Pine Barrens.

Awardee: The Nantucket Conservation Foundation
Community: The Island of Nantucket
Amount: $18,997
Project: To manage heathlands on the Head of The Plains properties.

Awardee: The Trustees of Reservations
Community: The Town of Newbury
Amount: $30,264
Project: To expand and improve grasslands at Old Town Hill Reservation.

Awardee: Fred Heyes
Community: The Town of Orange
Amount: $38,608
Project: To create young forest and shrubland habitat along the West Branch Tully River.

Awardee: Mass Audubon
Community: The Town of Sharon
Amount: $38,201
Project: To manage shrubland habitats and create young forest habitat at the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

Awardee: Sheffield Land Trust
Community: The Town of Sheffield
Amount: $15,632
Project: To work to control invasive species at Ashley Falls Woods.

Awardee: The Nature Conservancy
Community: The Town of Sheffield
Amount: $20,503
Project: To create and improve old field and shrubland habitats at the Schenob Brook Preserve.

Awardee: The Cherry Hill Realty Trust
Community: The Town of Stockbridge
Amount: $15,500
Project: To remove the invasive hardy kiwi plant.

Awardee: The Town of Stockbridge
Community: The Town of Stockbridge
Amount: $20,905
Project: To treat invasive species at Gould Meadows and Bullard Woods.

Awardee: Mass Audubon
Community: The Town of Tolland
Amount: $24,493
Project: To create shrubland habitat at the Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.

Awardee: Mass Audubon
Community: The Town of Topsfield
Amount: $36,646
Project: To expand and improve shrubland habitat at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

Awardee: Brian and Martha Klassanos
Community: The Town of Ware
Amount: $4,859
Project: To create and improve shrubland and field habitat.

Awardee: The Westport Land Conservation Trust
Community: The Town of Westport
Amount: $12,783
Project: To improve shrubland habitat and conduct stream restoration work at the Dunham Brook Conservation Area.

Awardee: The Town of Wilbraham
Community: The Town of Wilbraham
Amount: $26,150
Project: To improve pitch pine habitat at Twelve Mile Brook Conservation Area.

Awardee: The Town of Yarmouth
Community: The Town of Yarmouth
Amount: $25,000
Project: To use prescribed burning to restore pitch pine/oak woodlands.

“Habitat maintenance is a vital, but delicate endeavor,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “The Habitat Management Grant Program has a great track record of support for our local communities as they strive to protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources.”

“I'm thrilled to learn that the Berkshire Natural Resources Council in Great Barrington and The Sheffield Land Trust along with The Nature Conservancy in Sheffield will be receiving funds from the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program this year,” said State Representative William Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. This funding will go a long way in helping these organizations promote wildlife conservation and enhance outdoor recreation for hunters and fishermen in my district. I'm grateful for the work the Baker-Polito Administration and Secretary Beaton have affected to protect native wildlife in our state by strengthening habitat protection efforts across the Commonwealth.”

“Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Tolland is home to native species, contributes to our local water supply, and serves as a wonderful example of the natural beauty found across Western Massachusetts,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “This funding from the Baker Administration will help promote a thriving habitat in the sanctuary and preserve its natural beauty that visitors will continue to be able to enjoy.”

“I want congratulate the Town for their successful application,” said Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “I know Fisheries and Wildlife has had a lot of success with these partnerships before.”

“The grant awarded to the Westport Land Conservation Trust will go a long way in revitalizing our community’s natural resources,” said State Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport). “I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued conservation efforts.”

In order to preserve our diverse habitats on the South Coast, we first need to recognize the importance of land conservation,” said State Representative Paul Schmid (D-New Bedford). “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration and MassWildlife for providing the Westport Land Conservation Trust the opportunity to continue their great work in our community and maintain our unique environment.

To learn more about the Habitat Management Grant Program, please visit the program’s webpage located on the Department of Fish and Game’s MassWildlife website.



Media Contact

Department of Fish and Game 

The Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state's natural resources and exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.


Tell us what you think