News and Events

Windbreak Workshop for Farmers January 2020

Join us on January 8th 2020 from 10-3 at Astarte Farm (123 West St. Hadley, MA) to learn how to make windbreaks a useful addition to your farm. We will cover: what windbreaks are, how they benefit you and your crops, and how to go about accessing resources to install your own. RSVP by December 23rd to or (413) 923-3238

Hampden Hampshire Conservation District Donation to the “Save North Pond” Campaign

The Hampden Hampshire County Conservation District (HHCD) was pleased to donate $5,000 to the Successful campaign to ‘Save North Pond’ undertaken by the Franklin Land Trust.  

Franklin Land Trust (FLT) in partnership with the town of Southwick purchased the remaining 62 acres from Denise LeClair-Robbins for $4,000,000 with it ultimately being owned by the Town of Southwick for conservation and recreation. Phase one of the project closed in 2017 when DFG acquired the 83 acres from the owner for $1,000,000 to add to their Southwick Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

This latest closing for the 62 acres for $4,000,000 included:  the Town of Southwick through Community Preservation Act and town bonded funds contributing $2,725,000; the Department of Fish and Game purchasing the Conservation Restriction for $1,000,000; and Franklin Land Trust contributing $300,000 to reach the full purchase price.  The $300,000 in FLT funds was from donations, grants, golf tournaments, private contributions, t-shirt sales, and gifts such as from the Hampden Hampshire Conservation District.

While the contributions to this overall effort were numerous in number and dollar amounts, HHCD’s Bob Wichrowski was vigilant in his efforts to bring the North Pond campaign to light among his fellow neighbors on the Congomond Lakes.  Bob attended many meetings at the Southwick Town Hall to rally support for the funding received through the Community Preservation Committee.

The North Pond property on Congamond Lakes includes the only remaining undeveloped frontage on North Pond and is a popular place for boaters and anglers. The parcel contains 2,900 feet of pristine shoreline. Development of this land would forever change the character of North pond. Conservation of these two parcels conserves the watershed for drinking water for residents of Southwick and surrounding communities serving thousands of homes.

The 62-acre town owned parcel will provide well-marked hiking trails as well as prize birding and fishing opportunities and the 83 acres added to the Southwick WMA will give the public more access for hunting, birding and non-trail outdoor experiences.