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The original item was published from 12/18/2015 4:50:58 PM to 12/21/2015 9:10:46 AM.

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Posted on: December 18, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Baker-Polito Administration Announces Conservation Grants to Communities and Land Trusts

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BOSTON – December 17, 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 (CPP).

“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.

Amherst is one of the recipients of a LAND grant award for the Stosz & Stowes Project. 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. (FOR A FULL LIST OF GRANTS - SEE FULL PRESS RELEASE.

“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 1 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.”

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