​2017 in Review

600 Acres of Land Conserved in Franklin County

The Franklin Land Trust (FLT) helped eleven landowners conserve over 600 acres in seven towns in 2017. The 600 acres consist of a mix of prime agricultural lands in Greenfield and Colrain, watershed lands in Whately and Conway, scenic hilltop land in Shelburne, and vital wildlife habitat in Leverett, Conway, Whately and Heath. “With the support of our members and donors, the Franklin Land Trust has helped ensure that these lands will provide critical services to people and wildlife forever,” said Rich Hubbard, Executive Director of the land trust.

FLT facilitated the protection of two family farms with the Commonwealth’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program totaling 116 acres in Greenfield and Colrain. FLT also helped both the City of Northampton and South Deerfield Water Supply District expand their drinking water supply lands with acquisitions of 115 acres in Whately and 17 acres in Conway.

FLT expanded blocks of connected conserved lands, which provide wildlife with room to move and find suitable habitat in a changing climate. In Conway, FLT now holds conservation restrictions on 49 acres of land that expands the Poland Brook area and 54 acres in Pumpkin Hollow. Ten acres of scenic wooded land across from the Heath Fairgrounds, and 7 acres in Whately surrounded by the MacLeish Field Station are also now under conservation with the land trust.

Partnerships with other land trusts are also an important strategy to conserving land in perpetuity. FLT now holds restrictions on lands owned by Rattlesnake Gutter Trust in Leverett and part of Mass Audubon’s High Ledges in Shelburne. Both of these parcels are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature.