Honor To The Hills: An Appreciation of Tony Borton’s Life

Tony Borton with family

The life of Tony Borton, a trustee of Franklin Land Trust and an active community leader in Conway, was remembered at a service held at his home on July 24, 2021.  His conservation advocacy-on-the-ground was legendary, and his life and soul inspired a harvest of remembrances, including the following: Tony Borton was an easy guy…

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Local Farms, Local Food

farm stand

We are nestled within one of the country’s great agricultural hubs. Once called The Breadbasket of New England, the Connecticut River Valley is home to some of the most productive farmland in the nation. In western Massachusetts, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties account for 28 percent of farms in the entire state. Built on a…

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Nan Williams Conservation Area: an artistic botanical survey

The Nan Williams Conservation Area in Rowe, a generous gift of the landowner in 2018, is managed by Franklin Land Trust as a biological reserve for wildlife and research. It is a parcel that is rich in habitat and is particularly noteworthy for the abundant growth of more than sixty varieties of ephemeral plants that…

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Encouraging Signs for Bats at the Nan Williams Conservation Area

This year, FLT continued its work to protect wildlife habitat at a former soapstone and talc mine located in the Nan Williams Conservation Area (NWCA). This mine had been a historic hibernaculum – a site where wildlife takes refuge – for three species of bats. During a 2008 survey, 148 little brown, northern long-eared, and…

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Planting Trees in Our Regional Cities

In the fall of 2018, Franklin Land Trust was awarded a Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Grant through the US Forest Service (USFS), in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), to be the lead organization in a large-scale tree planting project in Greenfield, Montague, and North Adams. The primary goal of this…

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New Recreational Opportunities on Private Land (VPA)

Franklin Land Trust is committed not only to protecting important working landscapes – the farms, fields, and forests of northwestern Massachusetts – but also expanding recreational access to the outdoors for members of our community. Through the Voluntary Public Access (VPA) Program, FLT has partnered with individual landowners to secure both temporary and permanent public…

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Key Land Conserved in Westfield

Westfield landowners Bob and Karen Baker worked with Franklin Land Trust and the Town of Westfield to conserve 42 acres of land on Montgomery Road. In 2004 the Bakers sold a 27-acre Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) to Winding River Land Conservancy — now retired, they wanted to conserve the adjacent wetlands and hayfields not included…

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FLT Adds the Freeman Farm to a Growing Mosaic of Protected Land in Heath

Last summer, Franklin Land Trust added an important puzzle piece to a vibrant constellation of conserved land in Heath through the conservation of the Freeman Farm. Abutting the Crowningshield Conservation Area – a project originally protecting 96 acres south of the West Branch Brook, including designated cold-water fisheries vital to the long-term survival of native…

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Working with Partners to Conserve More Land

Thanks to your support, Franklin Land Trust assisted the MA Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to acquire two key parcels for public access and conservation in Plainfield and Rowe. State conservation organizations like the MA Department of Fish and Game often depend on non-profit land trusts to help bring local projects across the finish…

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Working Together for Wildlife

Conservation minded neighbors in Ashfield have a long history of working together to protect the land they love for the benefit of wildlife. Residents of Barnes, Bailey, and Phillips Roads share a love of the land and the animals that depend on it, and have been taking steps to protect it for the last 25…

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