It’s your final chance: Don’t miss the 10th Annual 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival!
Our biggest community event of the year will take place on Sunday, October 21 on the historic Hadley Common, with running and walking routes through the scenic farmlands of the Great Meadow and along the Connecticut River.
The event brings together people like you to run, walk, support local farmers, and raise awareness about the need to conserve our Valley’s precious farmland. The 5K road race is USATF-sanctioned loop that starts and ends on the West Street Common. A 2-mile walking route offers a bird’s eye view of the Connecticut River. After the run or walk, enjoy the post-race Farmers’ Market Festival on the Town Common with great food and locally brewed beer. All registered participants get a FREE beer (age 21+) and anyone can buy a pint, with proceeds going to support Kestrel’s work to conserve our local farms. The Farmers’ Market highlights local farm products and unique local crafts, as well as nature exhibits and the upbeat sounds of The Empty Bottle Ramblers Cajun band!
Join us on Sunday between 9 am and 10:45 am at the West Street Common to register for the day of the race/walk. Race begins at 11 am!
Registration Fees: (All Proceeds Benefit Kestrel Land Trust!)
- $25 pre-registration (online or received by Thursday, October 18)
- $50 family (2 adults & 2 children under 18)
- $15 grade school/college student with valid ID
- Adult Registration: $30
- Family Registration: $60 (2 adults + 2 kids age 18 or under)
- Grade School/College Student Registration: $15
After 10 years, this will be the final 5K for Farmland at this site, with running and walking routes through the scenic, conserved farmlands along the Connecticut River.
Ten years ago, Kestrel Land Trust had already been conserving farms and forests in the Pioneer Valley for almost 40 years, but it only had part-time staff and was looking to raise its profile in the region. It was the inspiration of Executive Director Kristin DeBoer and Dave Matula of the Town of Hadley to highlight the importance of saving local farmland with a large public event during Hadley’s 350th anniversary. With help from the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club and Hadley’s 350th Anniversary Committee, the 5K for Farmland was born in the heart of Hadley’s farm country, with a running route through historic farmland known as the Great Meadow and the Honey Pot.
Three hundred people showed up for that first cold, wet event in October of 2009, a great turnout for a first-time race. Over the next eight years, the 5K for Farmland grew to include the Farmers’ Market Festival, and in 2012, Hadley malthouse Valley Malt made craft beer the signature post-race treat for adult participants by donating beer made with their locally malted grains.
Throughout the 10 years of this event, nearly 4,000 participants and 70 businesses have helped raise more than $150,000 to support Kestrel’s work to save local farmland, forests, and recreation lands across the Pioneer Valley. During this time, Kestrel conserved nearly 10,000 acres of farmland and forests throughout the region with its municipal, state, and federal agency partners.
“For a decade, this has been our biggest annual event and each time it brings together hundreds of people of all ages to run, walk, support local farmers, and raise awareness about the need to conserve our Valley’s precious farmland,” said Kari Blood, who manages the event at Kestrel Land Trust. “It is a great community event, but there are exciting things coming for Kestrel over the next year or two, and we feel it’s time to look for new ways to engage the community.”
Kestrel Land Trust has grown rapidly in the past decade and its service area now includes Northampton and surrounding communities west of the Connecticut River, as well as its historic base in Amherst, Hadley, Belchertown and other towns east of the river. In 2020 the land trust will celebrate 50 years of conserving and caring for Valley lands.
Because the West Street/Cemetery Road race route is limited in the number of runners it can accommodate, the land trust plans to explore new sites for next year’s major community event, as well as other opportunities to reach new audiences.
At this year’s event, the Farmers’ Market Festival after the race will highlight local farm products and unique local crafts, as well as a nature table with Mass Audubon, and a fitness table with F45 Fitness. Music will be provided by Cajun fiddle band “The Empty Bottle Ramblers” and entertainment by Henry the Juggler, with a grant from the Hadley Cultural Council.
This event is supported by local businesses including these major sponsors: Greenfield Northampton Coop Bank, Perfect Supplements, Northeast Solar, Daily Hampshire Gazette, River Valley Coop, Amherst Copy & Design Works, Cozy Home Performance, Foam USA, and Bueno Y Sano.