Hike funding

SouthCoast Massachusetts gets less than 3% of funding for new parks

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration on Tuesday announced more than $12 million in grant funding for parks and open space projects in Massachusetts — but only 2.7% of the funds are going to the South Coast.

The awards go to 44 different communities and organizations across the state as part of a Climate Week celebration to help develop or improve parks and protect conservation areas, according to the announcement.

Among the recipients are two on the south coast: the town of Fall River, which will receive nearly $268,000 to purchase the seven-acre Adirondack farm, and $57,500 for the Mattapoisett Land Trust to protect a wetland woodlot. .

Fall River’s $267,842 award comes from the state’s LAND grant program, which helps municipal conservation commissions acquire land to protect natural resources.

The funds will be used to purchase the 7.1-acre Adirondack farm on Blossom Road to protect land next to the Fall River’s main source of drinking water, North Watuppa Pond.

City officials plan to build a nearby Bioreserve Environmental Education Center for educational programs.

The local Mattapoisett Land Trust will receive $57,500 from the state’s Conservation Partnership Grant Program for a forest and wetland protection project on a parcel of Meadowbrook Lane.

The site contains swamp oaks and maples, some white pines and other plants typical of the region’s coastal forests.

Conservation Partnership Grants help non-profit groups acquire land for conservation or recreation.

Other than Fall River and Mattapoisett, no other SouthCoast communities have received awards for helping to preserve their green spaces in this round of funding.

State officials noted in the statement that the prizes are funded from the capital budget and will go towards preserving the land for the future as well as outdoor recreation.

“Investing in these important open space projects will make Massachusetts parks more resilient to climate change, increase the availability of open space, and improve access to the outdoors for residents of communities across the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

“Increasing access to open space resources across the Commonwealth remains a critical investment,” commented Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

“The PARC, LAND and Conservation Partnership programs all play an important role in ensuring Massachusetts families have access to recreational opportunities where they can spend time together outdoors.”

A walk on the pond trail at Easton’s Borderland State Park

Borderland State Park, located in the towns of Easton and Sharon, features 1,843 acres of land and miles of walking and hiking trails surrounding a nature and history preserve. Take a trip with us on the park’s Pond Trail, stopping to visit the 1880 Smith Farm and the 1910 Ames Mansion along the way.

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These are the top stories from the past week on WBSM.com and the WBSM app. Click on the title or photo to read the full story.