|Berkshire Natural Resources Council Receives State Conservation Grant|
|12:00PM / Monday, June 13, 2022|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state awarded the Berkshire Natural Resources Council a Landscape Partnership Grant of $1,250,000 grant to conserve 836 acres in Monterey and Tyringham.
The grant will go toward the Mount Hunger Conservation project and the continued forest management of the area, expanding public access for passive recreation, and building climate resilience by adding to a connected conservation corridor of over 14,000 acres.
"Investing in these important projects will make our communities more resilient to climate change, protect critical drinking water supplies, and ensure communities benefit from access to open space," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Our Administration is proud to assist communities and land trusts in acquiring land that will provide residents with clean drinking water, as well as beautiful places to recreate with friends and family."
This joint effort involving the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Fish and Game will also expand public access for passive recreation including hunting and add to a connected conservation corridor of over 14,000 acres.
"The grant awarded to Berkshire Natural Resources Council will have both an immediate and long-term impact on our beautiful natural assets here in the Berkshires," said state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli. "I’m grateful to Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for making this investment to keep our open spaces accessible for anyone who wishes to enjoy them, putting measures in place for resiliency, and continuing to protect and preserve our environmental resources."
The Landscape Partnership Grant Program seeks to protect large blocks of conservation land. Local, state, and federal government agencies and non-profit groups can use this grant to work together to protect at least 500 acres of land. Towns with less than 6,000 residents can also receive a grant to build a park or playground.
The amount comes from the $2,765,295 grant that the Baker-Polito administration was awarded through the Drinking Water Supply Protection, Landscape Partnership, and Conservation Partnership Grant Programs. These three grant programs are administered through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The Baker-Polito administration has proposed in its Forward Bill that federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding be utilized to augment capital funds. Proposed spending currently before the legislature specifically related to the grants announced today includes $232 million for park and trail assets, $64 million for clean water projects, and $4 million for open space acquisition.