Funding awarded to land, wildlife conservation projects in western Massachusetts

The Administration increased funding for the program by $200,000 dollars this year

BOSTON (WWLP) –  State leaders are making protection of natural resources a priority this year.

The Baker-Polito administration awarded funding for environmental protection projects to more than a dozen communities and organizations, a majority of which are in western Massachusetts.

Eighteen municipalities, organizations and private landowners will receive grants from the state, totaling more than $500,000 dollars for land and wildlife conservation. Those communities include Orange, Heath, Plainfield, Ware and Wilbraham.

It’s part of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Habitat Management Grant Program. Mass Audubon will receive $24,000 dollars to create a shrub land habitat at the Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Tolland.

In a statement to 22News, Westfield State Senator Don Humason(R-Westfield) said:

“Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Tolland is home to native species, contributes to our local water supply, and serves as a wonderful example of the natural beauty found across Western Massachusetts. This funding from the Baker Administration will help promote a thriving habitat in the sanctuary and preserve its natural beauty that visitors will continue to be able to enjoy.”

The Administration increased funding for the program by $200,000 dollars this year.

Here is a look at western Massachusetts projects being funded by the program:

Awardee:       Mass Audubon
Community:   The Town of Tolland
Amount:         $24,493
Project:           To create shrub land habitat at the Richardson Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.

Awardee:        Fred Heyes
Community:   The Town of Orange
Amount:          $38,608

Project:           To create young forest and shrub land habitat along the West Branch Tully River.

Awardee:        The Berkshire Natural Resources Council
Community:   The Town of Great Barrington
Amount:          $36,500

Project:           To conduct invasive species control at Housatonic Flats and Thomas and Palmer Preserves.

Awardee:       Brian and Martha Klassanos
Community:   The Town of Ware
Amount:         $4,859

Project:           To create and improve shrub land and field habitat.

Awardee:       The Town of Lenox
Community:   The Town of Lenox
Amount:         $36,630
Project:           To conduct hardy kiwi invasive species control within Kennedy Park.

For a full list of recipients, click here.