Tripps Mill Brook, photo courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition, Inc

The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced $980,965 in grant awards for open space acquisitions to six Massachusetts non-profit organizations. The grants, administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Division of Conservation Services’ Conservation Partnership Grant Program, will help land trusts protect land for future generations for natural resource conservation and passive outdoor recreation purposes.

The Conservation Partnership Grant Program provides funding to assist not-for-profit corporations in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purposes. The Program is part of the Administration’s efforts to provide outdoor recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources and open space, and address climate change.

“We’re continuing to experience the impacts of the climate crisis, and this program plays an important role in ensuring our communities and the habitat surrounding them are more easily adaptable to changing weather,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “Investing in these important open space projects will help preserve Massachusetts’ natural resources while helping address the needs of our residents.”

The Conservation Partnership Grant Program reimburses 50 percent of the project’s total cost up to a maximum grant award of $175,000. In selecting proposals, EEA chose projects that conserve larger land areas, promote landscape connectivity, protect habitat important for climate change resiliency, and provide specific public recreational opportunities, such as for people with disabilities.

“I’m delighted that The Rochester Land Trust is receiving this grant, which will enable the Trust to continue to preserve and enhance Rochester’s unique rural character. These protected lands will allow the vulnerable Eastern Box turtle to thrive in a natural protected environment,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport).

“I continue to be a supporter of state funding for conservation programs, especially programs such as this one that leverage local and private contributions, and I want to thank the volunteers who support our land trusts and local conservation efforts and the Healey administration and Secretary Tepper for their work in bringing these projects to fruition,” said State Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett).

The following not-for-profit organizations were awarded grants.

FY23 Round 2 Conservation Partnership Grant Program Awardees

Buzzards Bay Coalition, Inc. Tripps Mill Brook Conservation Project The project will permanently protect 57 acres of important forested wetlands, associated buffering uplands and a significant length of a watercourse $175,000.00
Essex County Greenbelt Association Elmlea Woods The project will protect 41.8 acres of land designated as important for drinking water supply, natural resilience, inland flood mitigation, habitat, and public recreation $175,000.00
Essex County Greenbelt Association Crystal Lake Watershed Conservation Project The project will permanently preserve 18.61 acres of land for passive recreation, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection purposes and is a part of a larger 88 acre protected area $162,500.00
Harwich Conservation Trust Herring River Marsh View and Coastal Resilience Land Preservation Project The project will protect 2.3 acres of a highly sensitive and ecologically important area with its significant stretch of shoreline that can allow gradual salt marsh migration over time $175,000.00
Rochester Land Trust, Inc. Long Plain Forest Conservation Project The project will protect 61 acres of land designated as Critical Natural Landscape, Core Habitat, and Priority Habitat for Eastern Box turtle $157,500.00
The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. Stony Brook Road Land Acquisition The project will protect 4.7 acres of habitat for rare and native species, is within a major area of protected open space, and will protect an entire half-acre freshwater wetland and most of its 100-foot upland buffer $135,965.00