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News Wildlife Habitat Management Grants awarded

Funds provided through the grant program will benefit 20 wildlife habitat improvement projects, totaling 950 acres in 19 Massachusetts communities.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Eighteen municipalities, organizations, and private landowners across the state have been awarded a total of $506,856 in grants for wildlife habitat improvement projects. The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program was developed to establish partnerships between MassWildlife and private and municipal landowners to enhance habitat and increase recreational opportunities on properties across the state. 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. 

“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.”

“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 plants and wildlife requires active and ongoing maintenance and management in order to thrive, and these grants will assist in those important efforts.”

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. The funds are provided through MassWildlife's Habitat Management Grant Program. This year, the Baker-Polito Administration increased the funding of the program by $200,000 utilizing environmental bond funds.

“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.”

“About 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:

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.

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.


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