BOSTON – June 30, 2011 – As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continuing commitment to land conservation, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced $602,525 in Conservation Partnership Grants that will enable nine nonprofit organizations to preserve 136 acres of open space throughout the state -- including 57 acres of working forest.
“I’m pleased to announce these grants, and I want to applaud the efforts by the awarded nonprofit organizations who have partnered with our administration to support our mission of protecting the Commonwealth’s most precious natural resources,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray.
Conservation Partnership grants are designed to help nonprofit organizations purchase land or interests in land for conservation or recreation. Proposed projects are evaluated and selected based on their ability to conserve biodiversity, protect water quality, promote recreation, and preserve working farms and forests. Projects this year include properties that enlarge or connect to other conservation land, increase opportunity for hiking and other outdoor recreation, or contain prime agricultural soils or important fish and wildlife habitats.
“Preserving more than 75,000 acres of land over the last four years, the Patrick-Murray Administration continues its dedication to protecting vital forests, waterways and agricultural lands throughout the Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Sullivan. “These grants, along with the partnerships with community groups and land trusts, are important in securing the future of Massachusetts open spaces for generations to come.”
The awards will fund projects in Brewster, Concord, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Mendon, Wellfleet, Westhampton, Westport and Worcester.
Locally, the Kestrel Trust (Westhampton and Northampton) will receive $49,000 for 57 acres of forested land in Westhampton that links to several hundred acres at Northampton's Mineral Hills Conservation Land. This conservation effort will create one of the largest blocks of intact forest in the area and protect a habitat for fish, plants and wildlife.
“The preservation of open space for residents of Massachusetts to enjoy – today, and in the future – is a key component of our environmental policy. This award will link 57 acres of forested land in Westhampton with the established Mineral Hills conservation area, thereby creating one of the largest blocks of intact forest land in our region. This conservation project will go far in protecting our wildlife habitat and woodlands, and I am thankful for the Patrick Administration’s support in this endeavor,” said Senator Benjamin B. Downing.