Thanks to the intervention of a generous conservation buyer, the property near the Chesterfield Gorge along River Road will be conserved. The tremendous outpouring of community support for land conservation these past few weeks shows definitively that it is an issue that matters to many people in Chesterfield and the surrounding area. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported this effort! Your enthusiasm helped make this happen!
As a result of this conservation effort, the partnerships between Hilltown Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, The Trustees, MassWildlife, Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee, the Chesterfield Conservation Commission, and many local conservation leaders are stronger than ever.
And this auction raised much-needed funds for a town that struggles with a small and tight budget. For rural towns like Chesterfield and others in our service area, the need for funds is a regular issue. Creative thinking, support from the state, and other strategies need to be pursued to ensure that these towns’ fiscal futures can coexist with land conservation, something that benefits people far beyond the borders of each town.
Our partner The Nature Conservancy was not able to purchase the other two properties in Chesterfield valuable for conservation, as each property sold at auction for well above their appraised value. These properties could be conserved later if the owners wish to pursue this option.
Advocacy and support for conservation in your town is always needed, not just in times of heightened awareness. If you care about the protection of open space in your community, consider volunteering for your town’s conservation commission or open space committee, contacting your local representatives to let them know why conservation is important to you, volunteering with or donating to Hilltown Land Trust and/or your local land trust, or running for elected office!