Mabel Cronquist donated the 67-acre Hidden Valley Memorial Forest to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in 1996. Now, the trust has added a second level of protection to the property, offering a conservation restriction on the land to the Town of Wendell.
Massachusetts’ new Landscape Partnership Program has awarded a grant of $1,079,300 to help conserve 802 acres in Leyden, including Bree-Z-Knoll farm, the Town’s last working dairy farm.
Mount Grace has applied to renew its accreditation with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission—a national body that certifies whether land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting lands in perpetuity.
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Royalston musician Diane Lincoln, who performs around New England and at selected events outside the region as Linq, has donated a conservation restriction to Mount Grace on her 45-acre property. Previously a small dairy farm, the land had grown up into early successional forest. After buying the land in 1981, Diane brought back 2 ½ acres of pasture and fenced it for horses and kept the remaining woods, which slope down to a large wetland, as they were.
Tom Wansleben is Mount Grace's Stewardship Biologist. He recently joined landowner Bill Rose to lead a workshop describing sustainable forestry at Red Apple Farm.
Demonstrating and encouraging sound forest management is a significant part of our stewardship program at Mount Grace. Mount Grace is recognized locally as a model working lands trust, partnering with landowners in support of sustainable forestry, and this Fall offered an opportunity to get that message out globally.
Entering its third year as a statewide program, MassLIFT-AmeriCorps continues to recruit volunteers in support of land conservation, land stewardship, and service learning. Mount Grace, which founded and directs the program, has four AmeriCorps members this year.
Reggie and Mel Haughton have owned their land on Phillipston's Baldwin Hill Road since 1977, raising a family in the woods near Thousand Acre Brook. “We wanted to protect the land and wildlife so that future generations can enjoy nature," says Mel. "We were pleased to join with other landowners to conserve the woods, fields and wetlands of the Thousand Acre Swamp. “
Local farmers Frank, Ken, and Ray Girouard have conserved 42 acres of wooded land north of their families’ Murdock Farm. Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and the Town of Winchendon will co-hold a permanent conservation restriction on the land.