BOSTON – December, 2015 – 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
«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:
TOTAL GRANT AWARD
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The following land trusts are recipients of Conservation Partnership grant awards:
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.
The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc.
The project abuts Town of Truro open space and the preserved lands of the National
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.
Greater Worcester Land Trust
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.
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.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
Downs Family Conservation Area
The project includes extensive forested wetlands and lies within the Quabbin
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust
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.
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
Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
«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.