Mohawk Path cities obtain grants to enhance out of doors leisure areas

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SHELBURN, Mass. (WWLP) — More than $250,000 in grants have been awarded to western Massachusetts communities or projects focused on forest conservation and improving access to outdoor recreation areas.

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A total of $253,200 will be distributed across ten grants to seven communities in Franklin and Berkshire counties and two organizations as part of Commonwealth Climate Week. The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership is an effort designed to shape a program aimed at protecting forests and improving the economies of small towns between the New York and Vermont state lines.

“The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership grants are a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s proactive approach to protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources by working with local communities and organizations to continue to improve these outdoor spaces for the public.” said Secretary of Energy and Environment Beth Card. “As the state is still recovering from the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is even more important to support local initiatives, such as B. Conservation and effective management of forest lands for natural resource-based economic development that achieves climate goals and supports job creation, and promotes local economies.”

The following communities and organizations receive grants:

  • adams – $20,000 – The Forest Center Exhibits project will design and complete exhibits at the new Greylock Glen Outdoor Center that will focus on the many benefits of the area’s forest and the benefits of timber buildings.
  • Clarksburg – $20,000 – The Land Survey and Forest Plan for City Forest Holdings project will conduct a boundary survey for the 80-acre city tenure and complete a forest management plan to guide sustainable forest management.
  • pagan – $15,000 – The Winter Sports Maintenance Equipment project will purchase a snow groomer for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter biking with fat tires for the new trail system developed through previous grants.
  • Levers, Inc. – $60,000 – Establishment of a wood processing center in Charlemont will expand wood processing at Hall Tavern Farm by developing a business and marketing plan and website, establishing two new companies and creating a long-term management organization.
  • Massachusetts Forest Trust – $18,200 – The MA Forest Trust will provide chainsaw and harvest safety training to rescue workers and forest owners, and offer monthly tours of forestry demonstration projects.
  • New Ashford -$20,000 – New Ashford will continue to work with DCR to expand hiking access from the city to Mt. Greylock State Reserve, which previously had very limited access.
  • Peru – $20,000 – Peru will rehabilitate all drainage along this seasonal road to reduce erosion and allow access to a wildlife sanctuary for hunting and fishing. The grant pays for the gravel and the town game does the rest.
  • Rowe -$20,000 – Rowe will mark the many miles of trails and add maps and educational exhibits in the 5 kiosks recently installed, as well as build a boardwalk in a 300ft section to improve access for residents and tourists.
  • Rowe and Heath – $40,000 – Rowe and Heath envisioned a new regional trail from downtown Shelburne Falls across a mountainous region north of Route 2 for many miles to the Mohawk State Forest. The project would document land ownership and best landscaping.
  • Shelburne – $20,000 – The city will create an open space and recovery plan with a focus on climate resilience and will renovate the city ballfield for safe use and also use it as a winter ice skating rink.

In 2018, the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership was formed to improve rural economic development based on sustainable forest conservation and tourism.