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Hidden Valley Memorial Forest (Wendell)

Hidden Valley Memorial Forest (Wendell)

Hidden Valley Memorial Forest commemorates the life and work of internationally known botanist Arthur Cronquist (1919-1992). Cronquist, an expert on Asters who became best known for developing the Cronquist system of taxonomy for flowering plants, owned the property and used it as a research site.

Bitzer Farm (Montague)

Bitzer Farm (Montague)

John Bitzer (1924-2007) protected his 35-acre farm on Hatchery Road in Montague with help from Mount Grace in 2000. A frequent ribbon winner at the Franklin County Fair, John grew his vegetables without pesticides on land that has been farmed exclusively organically since the 18th century.

Foye (Orange)

Foye (Orange)

Trout fisherman and author Bill Foye’s donation of two conservation restrictions covering wetlands on the west branch of the Tully River helped protect this important cold water fishery and added 219 acres of protected land to the Tully Mountain Wildlife Management Area in 1990 and 1995. The wildlife management area was largely protected during the Tully Valley Private Forest Lands Initiative, in which Mount Grace took a leading role, and contains most of the Tully Trail - a 22-mile loop trail running through a mosaic of protected land in four towns.

A printable guide to the Tully mountain Summit is below.

Brush Mountain (Northfield)

Brush Mountain (Northfield)

Brush Mountain is traversed by section 16 of the M&M Trail (now the New England Trail) and includes the Crag Mountain outlook. Mount Grace protected 46 acres at the trailhead in 2005 and an additional 188 acres beside the Northfield sections of the trail in 2011.

The summit of Brush Mountain is currently closed. We will have updates on access to the trail as changes occur.

Chase Hill Farm (Warwick)

Chase Hill Farm (Warwick)

Volunteers plant a hedgerow at Chase Hill Farm. Mount Grace protected 198 acres of Mark and Jeannette Fellows’ farm (www.chasehillfarm.com) in 2001. The Fellows produce organic milk and artisanal cheeses with help from a herd of grass-fed Normande cows.

Fiske Pond (Wendell)

Fiske Pond (Wendell)

Mount Grace helped the Town of Wendell purchase and protect 125 acres of land around Fiske Pond in 2005. The pond and surrounding woods now form the Fiske Pond Conservation Area, which is managed by the town.

Giniusz (Erving)

Giniusz (Erving)

Erving’s first Town Forest was created in 2007 with help from Mount Grace when the town purchased 119 acres of land on the south side of Poplar Hill. Volunteers blazed trails though the property at the behest of the Erving Conservation Commission, which keeps the property open for non-motorized recreation. The trailhead (gated with yellow blazes) is on the north side of Old State Road about a mile east of the western intersection of Old State and Rte. 2.

The Farm School (Orange)

The Farm School (Orange)

The Farm School provides residential programs where young people and their teachers experience first hand what it means to be stewards of the earth. Through Maggie’s Farm, the school also offers a year-long program to train adults in practical sustainable agriculture. In collaboration with the Farm School and Maggie and Bob Rouleau, Mount Grace protected 298 acres of farmland with APRs in 2000 and 2001.  In 2014, Mount Grace assisted the Farm School with the Rowe Project.

Seeds of Solidarity Farm (Orange)

Seeds of Solidarity Farm (Orange)

Deb Habib and Ricky Baruc purchased 30 acres of land protected by a Mount Grace CR in 1996 and established Seeds of Solidarity Farm which teaches practical methods for organic farming and renewable energy generation to people of all ages.

Mount Grace staff and board members can be found each autumn at the annual Garlic and Arts Festival.

Upinngil (Gill)

Upinngil (Gill)

Mount Grace has held a CR on 12 acres of Upinngil Farm since 1993. The farm is run by Patricia Crosby, Cliff Hatch, and Sorrel Hatch, and offers fresh organic milk, honey, and pick-your-own fruit in season.

Red Fire Farm (Montague)

Red Fire Farm (Montague)

Ryan and Sarah Voiland, owners of Granby’s Red Fire Farm, purchased the former Blue Meadow Nursery in Montague and have gradually moved much of their farm operations north. Red Fire Farm currently serves more than 1,500 Community Supported Agriculture shareholders. Mount Grace worked with the Voilands to protect the farm with an agricultural preservation restriction.

Mount Grace is currently partnering with the Voilands on the Campaign for Affordable Farms, a cutting edge model of shared ownership that will serve not only the current farm operation but will continue for future farmers as well.

RFF Trail SignIn 2013, AmeriCorps members serving with MassLIFT designed and created an interpretive trail that guides walkers through Red Fire Farm. You can download a copy of the trail brochure below. Or, head over to 184 Meadow Road in Montague and follow the beets!

Greenfield Town Farm (Greenfield)

Greenfield Town Farm (Greenfield)

The Town of Greenfield placed an agricultural preservation restriction on 31 acres at the Town Farm in June of 2011. The idea of a protected community garden was first explored in 2008 when members of the Pleasant Street Gardens joined together with the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee and Mount Grace hoping to identify and protect land in Greenfield to secure local food production by and for the community.

Within weeks the ad hoc discussion group had formed “Just Roots,” a community group named in honor of the original owner of the farm, Justin Root, who bequeathed the property to the town for agricultural use in 1849. Just Roots worked with Mount Grace and the Town to create a community garden on the Town Farm land.

The first planning meetings in 2009 were facilitated by Kate Kerivan, Mount Grace Outreach Coordinator with the Commonwealth Corps Common Ground program, the precursor to the statewide AmeriCorps-MassLIFT program that provides volunteers to monitor protected lands, expand local interest in conservation, initiate land conservation projects, and engage young people in service learning.

Tully Trail (Orange)

Tully Trail (Orange)

Tully Loop Trail is a 22-mile hiking trail that begins and ends on the summit of Tully Mountain, passing along the shore of Tully Lake, along Jacobs Ridge (with its panoramic views), past three waterfalls (Doanes, Spirit and Royalston Falls), through Royalston and Warwick State Forests, along a section of the interstate Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, past Clubhouse Pond, and past picturesque North Orange. It passes through Warwick, Royalston and Orange.

Jaworski Farm (Northfield)

Jaworski Farm (Northfield)

The 232-acre Jaworski Farm contains 30 acres of pasture where Walter Jaworski, who was raised on the farm and returned in the 1990s to take ownership from his mother Mary, raises Devon and Scottish Highland cattle. The rest of the land is working forest, with one third of a mile of the New England National Scenic Trail on the property. Mount Grace pre-acquired a CR on the land and transferred it to the Town of Northfield as part of the Metacomet-Monadnock Forest Legacy Project.

Gifford Conservation Area (Orange)

Gifford Conservation Area (Orange)

In 2002, the Gifford family worked with Mount Grace to put a conservation restriction on their 33- acre property alongside the West Branch of the Tully River on Tully Road in Orange. Laura and George Gifford had brought their children, George, Laura, and Lissa, to a cabin by the river for summers since the 1960s. After her husband, George, passed away, Laura wanted to make sure the land remained unspoiled. The land was protected with a CR as part of the 9,000- acre Tully Initiative, a partnership between landowners, land trusts, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In 2012, as a tribute to George and Laura, the Gifford family chose to donate the land in full to Mount Grace. “Tully Brook gave our family peace and delight,” says Lissa Gifford. “May it continue to do so for the community.”

Mount Grace will use the land in part as an outdoor classroom for service learning projects.

Bree-Z-Knoll Farm (Leyden)

Bree-Z-Knoll Farm (Leyden)

Bree-Z-Knoll Farm is the last working dairy in Leyden, Massachusetts and produces approximately 400,000 gallons of milk from 170 milking cows.   Farmer Warren Facey asked his neighbors to join the farm in a shared land conservation project in order to make it possible for the Faceys to protect their land in 2014.  Bree-Z-Knoll Farm is a member of the Our Family Farms dairy cooperative

“There were sixteen dairy farms here when we started, and we’re the last one.  This is an opportunity to invest in the farm and help make sure that Bree-Z-Knoll will be a farm forever.  It won’t just be growing houses, like a lot of the land out here.”  —Warren Facey

Quabbin Harvest (Orange)

Quabbin Harvest (Orange)

Mount Grace’s purchase of the former Workers’ Credit Union Building in Orange marked the beginning of a new partnership between the trust and the North Quabbin Community Co-op.   The building now serves as the home for Quabbin Harvest, the Co-op’s retail store and headquarters.

Mount Grace and the Co-op are joining together to support local farms with a robust local market for their produce.  The partnership with the Co-op is part of a farmland conservation strategy that addresses existing gaps in our local food system in order to help keep our region’s farmers on the land.

Land conservation alone is only part of the solution to keep our farms in production. Increasing access to affordable farmland, processing and storage infrastructure, local markets, and distribution networks is just as important.

Featured conservation projects are marked with red arrows.
All other conserved land is represented by the key below.
 


KEY:

Conservation Areas (23 Parcels / 1,732 Acres)
Conservation Restrictions (69 Parcels / 5,136 Acres)
Stewardship Assists (8 Parcels / 1,935 Acres)

All Property Managed and Monitored by Mount Grace: 8,803 Acres

Facilitated Projects (223 Parcels / 22,936 Acres)
Project Assists (22 Parcels / 1,755 Acres)

All Land Protected by Mount Grace: 31,559 Acres

Other Protected Land (172,594 Acres)

Total Protected Land: 204,153 Acres
Total Land in Mount Grace Region: 510,640 Acres