land conservation

Bill Owens: The Health And Safety Land Account

Sep 7, 2017

A common sense Constitutional amendment has been put forward for a vote this November.  The State Assembly with strong leadership from Assemblyman D. Billy Jones and the State Senate with strong support from Senator Betty Little have voted in two consecutive years to move this amendment forward as well as having passed enabling legislation. The amendment creates a 250 acre land bank in the Adirondacks and the Catskills.  These two constitutionally protected areas of the state provide enormous green space which aid in the protection of our environment and are major attractions for tourism and recreation bringing tens of thousands of visitors from outside of New York.  This is the second proposal that I recall which provided for a common sense response to the needs of Adirondack communities.  Several years ago, a land swap occurred in Essex County for the NYCO mining facility, which was a hotly contested amendment to the state Constitution, but nonetheless, it passed and NYCO was allowed to expand in exchange for returning land of equal size to the Adirondack Park. 

A Saratoga Springs-based non-profit has announced the conservation of 246 acres in Saratoga County.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about Farm Values: Civic Agriculture at the Crossroads, a community project of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol, Massachusetts.

The project focuses on the history of six farms in North-Central Massachusetts and culminates at the Public Library in Athol next Thursday, December 10.

We are joined by Cathy Stanton, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Tufts University, and Project Director of Farm Values, a project that was funded by Mass Humanities. She joins us to explore the value of examining what we think we know about the history of agriculture in the Northeast and why it is important to understand the history of individual farms.

  This Friday and Saturday, the The Thorn Preserve in Woodstock, NY will have a bioblitz.

A bioblitz is a community event designed to quickly compile information on biodiversity in a relatively small area. Community members participate in the events alongside trained naturalists and scientists to find and identify as many species of plants and animals as possible in, generally, a period of 24 – 36 hours.

The Thorn Preserve is owned by The Catskill Center and is comprised of 60 beautiful acres in the heart of Woodstock. Thorn Preserve is operated in partnership with Woodstock Land Conservancy.

A dozen federal, state, and local agencies and organizations are undertaking a conservation and economic development project in the most densely forested area of Massachusetts. It is also an area of above average poverty and unemployment rates.

WAMC

The Trustees of Reservations, one of the largest conservation organizations in Massachusetts, will dedicate a new property in western Massachusetts this Saturday.

Mount Warner, rising 500 feet above the surrounding farmland in North Hadley, is a familiar landmark that is easily accessible to people seeking active and passive recreation on 160 acres of gently-sloping woodlands.

  Joshua Berk Knox, Superintendent for the Trustees of Reservations, leads visitors over a two-mile long newly constructed trail that loops through the woods on a crisp fall day.

wikipedia.org

Environmentalists in Massachusetts are campaigning to make sure federal funding remains intact to preserve the commonwealth’s parks and natural resources.

WAMC

A city park seriously damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado that hit Springfield reopened today after a nearly $1 million improvement project.

City and state officials joined with residents of the Sixteen Acres neighborhood to praise the Camp Wilder Park renovations. Mayor Domenic Sarno said the park is an “urban oasis” in an area that had been ripped to shreds three years ago by the tornado.

" I almost had a tear in my eye coming in here today. To think of all the debris that was here and now look at this magnificent park. But, we always had a can-do attitude."

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Environmental officials from across Massachusetts were in the Berkshires this week to celebrate a conservation milestone.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Governor Deval Patrick’s administration recently awarded nearly $2 million in grants to preserve large tracts of undeveloped land in Western Massachusetts.

Last week Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan announced the Landscape Partnership Program is supporting two projects to protect thousands of acres of agricultural and wooded land from development in Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

July 29th is the date when bikers hit the road and help save farmland. Tour de Farm, now in its third year, is a recreational bicycle ride organized by ASA and Saratoga P.L.A.N. in partnership with Saratoga National Historical Park. Teri Ptacek - Executive Director of the Agricultural Stewardship Association and Maria Trabka, director of Saratoga P.L.A.N. join us to tell us more.