You did it!!! ❤️ Thank you to every person who volunteered, made a donation, voted yes, played in a golf tournament, bought a calendar, bought a raffle ticket, made a phone call and just cared enough about this beautiful property to make a difference!!
Why Did We Save this Land?
Aside from letting the woodlands and beachfront remain open and free from development, there are many environmental reasons to conserve this land as well.
The land is located over an aquifer that filters clean drinking water to the thousands of residents in Southwick, Westfield and West Springfield. Ground wells for all three communities are located within this aquifer.
Without your help, this parcel of land will be developed into dozens of homes, forever altering the character of North Pond, disrupting sensitive habitats, and threatening water quality.
Your help protects the drinking water for thousands of people and preserves a future well site that will ensure clean water for future generations.
The land is also directly adjacent to the newly conserved 83 acres that were originally part of this project, the 267 acre Southwick Wildlife Management Area, and an additional 251 acres of conserved grasslands in Connecticut, which makes this 600 acres area one of the largest areas of permanently protected grasslands in New England. Several threatened species of birds rely on these grasslands, such as the kestrel, woodcock, bobolink, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, and the upland sand piper.
Your help expands the grasslands, providing important habitat for threatened bird species.
In addition, there is a pitch pine forest on the North Pond land, which is a rare ecosystem in Massachusetts. Having the forested land, the grassland, the wetland and the water habitat all together and unbroken by development, allows for biodiversity and for a more resilient habitat for a changing climate.
Your help ensures that the wildlife on North Pond have the best chance of survival in the face of climate change.
When conserved, all of the land will be open to the public. The western portion of the land will be owned by the Town of Southwick and the eastern portion of the land will be owned by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.
Your help means that the land will once again be open for hiking, fishing, picnicking and swimming.
Why Conserve It?
- The character of North Pond will forever be changed if this land is turned into house lots. Instead of beautiful woods, there would be more houses, docks, and boats crowding this small pond.
- The property is over an aquifer that provides clean drinking water to thousands of people. Developing it will threaten nearby wells and North Pond with polluted runoff.
- The property provides important habitat to birds, animals, and plants. It is adjacent to 600 acres of conserved land, providing a home to threatened species like the Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, and the Upland Sand Piper.
- The western portion of the land will be owned by the town of Southwick and provide many opportunities for hiking, swimming, and fishing. The eastern half will be owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and be managed for grassland bird habitat.
A Unique Opportunity
The North Pond property includes the only remaining undeveloped frontage on North Pond, and is a popular place for boaters and fisherman. The parcel contains 2,900 feet of pristine shoreline. Development of this land would forever change the character of North Pond.
This parcel will provide many miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as prime hunting and fishing opportunities.
The land is also a key link in a corridor of conserved lands, providing important habitat for wildlife.
Conserving this land will provide permanent public access to the shoreline for swimming and fishing, with many miles of trails for people to enjoy.
Preliminary buildout plan if we DON'T Save North Pond