At Mount Grace, we treat land protection as the primary defense against the issues exacerbated by climate change.
While land conservation has been identified as a leading method of mitigating climate change, we continue to lose on average 13.5 acres of land to development daily in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts according to the 2020 Mass Audubon report, Losing Ground: Nature's Value in a Changing Climate.
In the North Quabbin region, an area previously considered relatively cushioned from significant development pressure, this trend is shifting. Several factors, including the growth of industry on the route 495 corridor, has resulted in a greater threat to our region’s open spaces.
Forest Carbon Management Strategy
We are working closely with our private consulting forester to integrate carbon considerations into our long-term management strategies for the Conservation Areas we own.
Biodiversity Map & Climate Resilience
Using the Biodiversity Map developed by the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership (NQRLP) and funded by the Open Space Institute and the Highstead Foundation, Mount Grace can determine if a proposed project falls within a "high resilience" zone. These are areas most likely to retain their biodiversity in the face of climate change. This is one of the many attributes we track to determine the urgency of a land protection project.
Climate resilience was considered with our Leyden, Mormon Hollow, and Quabbin Heritage projects. Utilizing both the Biodiversity Map and data made available from The Nature Conservancy, we were able to secure a state landscape partnership to protect these lands.
Local Agriculture & Local Timber
Through our farm conservation program, our efforts to support Quabbin Harvest, and the Greater Quabbin Food Alliance, Mount Grace is working to ensure that we have a viable local food system. In addition to our goals of a thriving agricultural economy, and accessible healthy food for our region, we also want to have produce, meat, and dairy that is not transported thousands of miles.
Mount Grace works to support the local timber industry, so that our homes are built and heated with local products. Wood construction materials have a significantly lower carbon footprint than their steel and concrete equivalents, which is decreased even further if they can be harvested and processed in our region.