North Hadley, MA - July 1, 2008 - A partnership of eight private and public conservation agencies came together to purchase and protect 100 acres in six parcels of land in North Hadley for $1,205,000. As a result, these lands will continue to preserve the character, health, economies and recreation of Hadley and surrounding communities now and for future generations. The conserved land includes:
- Connecticut Riverlands: 24 acres of woodlands fronting on the Connecticut River. This land on River Drive will be purchased by the Department of Conservation and Recreation to become part of the Connecticut River Greenway State Park.
- Lake Warner: 5.7 acres of shoreline, which will be owned by The Kestrel Trust and protected through a conservation restriction held by The Town of Hadley’s Conservation Commission.
- Farmland: 34 acres of active agricultural land on the corner of River Drive and Huntington Road. The Trustees of Reservations will secure the land with the help of a bridge loan from the Open Space Institute until the farmland can be protected through a state Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) and resold to a farmer.
- Woodland: 24 acres of woodlands along Stockwell Road. This parcel will be owned privately and permanently protected by a conservation restriction through Kestrel.
- Fields: 13.5 acres of backland off Huntington Road. This will add to an existing assemblage of contiguous protected woodlands and fields owned by The Kestrel Trust and other private landowners.
The Kestrel Trust, a regional non-profit land trust, took the lead in arranging the complex transaction, with additional help from a dedicated group of conservation partners, including The Trustees of Reservations, the Commonwealth’s Departments of Conservation and Recreation and Agricultural Resources, the Town of Hadley and the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum.
“All of the partners spent countless hours over the last two years figuring out the details of this extremely complicated agreement,” said Kristin DeBoer, Executive Director, Kestrel Trust. “Fortunately, every acre of this land was worth the effort. We are grateful to the public agencies and private citizens who donated the funds to make this conservation project possible.”
All of the land was originally owned by Frank Scott, who died in 1935. In the following decades, the property passed on to his children and their children, until today when 14 living heirs agreed to the sale and protection of the land.
Alexandra Dawson, Chair of Hadley’s Conservation Commission said:
“I’m just amazed that the pieces of this puzzle finally came together and that this estate is finally settled. The Town should breathe a sigh of collective relief that these 100 acres of our town will not be developed.”
Jennifer Howard of DCR said:
"DCR has been working for years to conserve land along the river, and specifically the Mt. Warner landscape. Today we will celebrate another terrific collaboration with The Kestrel Trust, The Trustees of Reservations, Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Town of Hadley."
Lee Alexander, Community Conservation Specialist with The Trustees of Reservations, shared:
“We were just thrilled to lend a hand with a project that protects such an amazing cross section of North Hadley: farmland, riverfront, woodlands and lakeshore. It would not have been possible without the combined effort of many partners working hard and working together. We hope this project will inspire more communities to create similar partnerships to preserve the natural and cultural character of their towns.”
Susan Lisk, Executive Director of Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum said:
“These parcels, are, for the most part, contiguous with the 100 acres of open space around Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. The museum is so pleased to see the rural fabric of our community remain as it has been for generations.”
"OSI is pleased to have helped Trustees and Kestrel protect this important parcel," said Peter Howell, OSI's executive vice president. "Its protection builds on significant other work in the Connecticut River Valley and along with other lands slated to be conserved nearby, will help protect an unique and threatened landscape."
A celebratory tour of the protected lands will be held later this summer. Date to be announced.