Ravenswood Park in Gloucester, The Trustees of Reservations 

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded $307,631 to individuals, municipalities and organizations across the state for projects to improve habitat for native Massachusetts wildlife. The grants are provided through the Wildlife Habitat Management Grant Program, administered by the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), and will support ten wildlife habitat improvement projects totaling 308 acres in nine Massachusetts communities.

“Our administration is making smart investments in wildlife habitat management to ensure protected lands throughout the Commonwealth are ecologically healthy and well-managed,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These important local projects will result in valuable ecological and economic benefits, and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities like hunting, bird watching and fishing.”

“These resources are much-needed by communities and private landowners,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through this grant program, the recipients become partners with the Commonwealth to achieve wildlife conservation and recreation goals benefitting both wildlife and people, and we look forward to continuing to build on this important work.”

The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program provides financial assistance to private and municipal landowners of conserved lands to improve and manage habitat for wildlife deemed in greatest conservation need and for certain game species. The projects are also designed to complement ongoing habitat management efforts on state lands and promote opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor recreation.

“Conservation science has shown that periodic active habitat management for both common and rare wildlife and plants is necessary to maintain ecological resiliency and diversity, making these projects critical to the preservation of the Commonwealth’s natural resources and their resiliency to climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Through this grant program, we’re able to partner with property owners, municipalities and organizations to improve the environment and quality of life throughout Massachusetts.”

The following ten projects will receive MassWildlife Habitat Management Grants:

  • Brimfield – $22,153 – The Post 430 Sportsman’s Club will enhance and create young forest, shrubland, and fields habitats.
  • Falmouth – $11,306 – The Town of Falmouth will improve sandplain grasslands at Coonamessett Reservation.
  • Gloucester – $43,900 – The Trustees of Reservations will enact long term protections to save one of the best populations of a state endangered plant at Ravenswood Park.
  • Nantucket – $24,074 – The Nantucket Conservation Foundation will manage sandplain barrens and heathlands on the Middle Moors property.
  • Nantucket – $44,007 – Mass Audubon will conduct sandplain and heathland restoration work at Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Orange – $31,768 – Fred Heyes will create and improve young forest and shrubland habitat.
  • Shelburne – $41,335 – Foxbard Farm will create and improve young forest and shrubland habitat.
  • South Lee – $14,887 – South Lee Associates, in conjunction with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, will work to control invasive species and improve floodplain forest habitats on multiple Housatonic River properties.
  • West Tisbury – $50,000 – The Trustees of Reservations will restore savanna and scrub oak-heath shrublands at Long Point Wildlife Refuge.
  • Wilbraham – $24,200 – The Town of Wilbraham will work to promote regeneration of an inland Atlantic White Cedar Swamp.

“Since the program’s inception, 3,165 acres of habitat management has taken place across the Commonwealth, thanks to the Baker-Polito Administration investment of capital funds for the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “Habitat management is key to conserving uncommon birds and other wildlife, and it creates better opportunities for hunting and other outdoor recreation.”

“Fish and wildlife habitat management for both rare and common species and enhancing wildlife-related recreation opportunities is a top priority for MassWildlife,” said Dr. Mark Tisa, Director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Because 80% of Massachusetts is in private ownership, working with committed municipal and private landowners is a no-brainer. This program provides us the opportunity to expand our habitat management footprint and improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women, birders, naturalists and other outdoor enthusiasts.”

“I appreciate the continued investment by MassWildlife to maintain and create even more sustainable habitat,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “A special thanks and congratulations to the Post 430 Sportsman’s Club of Brimfield for their work and dedication.”

“We are fortunate to have the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program as a tool to help sustain conserved lands and promote recreational opportunities,” said State Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “As the Commonwealth works to expand conservation lands and protect habitats, the Post 430 Sportsman’s Club serves as a positive example to others as a part of that effort. We applaud their commitment to improve this area and thank them for their work.”

“With this grant, ecologically significant, historically rare and locally uncommon plant species will receive protections that are sorely needed,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). “These types of plants, in fragile coastal communities, have been known to be at risk for more than a century. We can’t let them vanish and this grant will help preserve not only endangered plants on Cape Ann but the numerous other living species that rely on them including migrating monarchs, birds, wood frogs and several species of amphibians – each contributes to the significance of Ravenswood Park.”