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Celebrating 50 Years of Conserving the Valley

Since December 1970, thousands of people like you have given Kestrel Land Trust the inspiration and ability to save the landscapes that shaped our past and create our future. In the last 5 decades, we’ve worked together to conserve more than 25,000 acres of forests and woodlands for wildlife, natural parks and trails close to home, and fertile farmland to grow our food in the Valley. This is why we live here.

Below, we hope you’ll be inspired by the stories of people like you—our volunteers, partners, landowners, and members—who love the land as much as you do.

As we look ahead to the next 50 years, saving the Valley’s forests, farms, and trails for every community is more important than ever. Thank you for being part of the Kestrel family, helping to create a sustainable and healthy future for all.

Where & When: A History of Conserving the Places You Love
Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Stories of People & Places
Hot Air Balloon At Sunset

A Message From the Executive Director on the Next 50 Years

By Kristin DeBoer, Executive Director Fifty years ago, in December 1970, a group of Amherst residents who were members of…

Community Videos

Amherst Area Chamber: Leader in Sustainability Award

Banish Misfortune & John Body

The Boxcar Lilies

Friends of the Mount Holyoke Range

Lucie Bodnar

Jonah Keane

Dave King

Christine Labich, artist

Jeff Kern, artist

Kathleen Hession, artist

Robert Brooks, artist

Community Stories

Stephen Hamilton Painting

Michael Kamins, New Mexico (formerly Amherst)

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a kid living on North East Street in the early 1960’s. Then, sleepy Amherst was a wonderland of…

Andy Morris-Friedman, Hadley

Congratulations to Kestrel for 50 great years of land preservation throughout the Valley. One of the reasons our precious Valley has been able to maintain…

Barbara Pelissier, Westhampton

Kestrel's Story Walk at the Greenberg Family Conservation Area in Westhampton was a lot of fun to do with old friends. Three hours and LOTS…

Banish Misfortune Band Members

We're delighted to congratulate Kestrel Land Trust on 50 years of helping preserve our beautiful region for past, present and future generations of animals, plants,…

Patricia Eagan, Friends of Mt. Holyoke Range Chairperson

Hockanum is one of so many historic and special places in the valley. It is a sublime experience to see Hockanum and the surrounding “viewshed"…

Jess Cooley, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Congratulations on 50 years, Kestrel Land Trust! It has been an honor collaborating with you on activities for the mentors and mentees of Big Brothers…

Forbes Library

“A message of appreciation from us at Forbes Library” Sent by Heather Diaz

Jane Bryden & Chris Krueger, Belchertown

Jane Bryden is a Kestrel Board member and her husband, Chris Krueger, is a Kestrel Membership Development Committee member. They live in Belchertown. From Jane:…

Robb Johnson, MLTC Executive Director

Robb is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. The Pioneer Valley has been close to my heart since I moved from the Midwest…

Jennifer Soper, MA DCR

Jen Soper is a Land Conservation Specialist with MA Department of Conservation and Recreation. Do you ever want to just go outside and get some…

Dave King, USDA Forest Service

This is Dave King of the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station wishing the Kestrel Land Trust a happy 50th anniversary. Conserved land has always…

Christina Petersen, Florence

If there is an opportunity to conserve land in the Valley, Kestrel will find a way to do it. When I worked as a Land…

Monica and Bob Leverett, Florence

Our best memories are the times we spend in exceptional woodlands with mature trees, and in old growth forests. These ecosystems sustain themselves without human…

Chevy Chevrette & Ruby Bosinske, South Hadley

From Chevy: When I first came to the Pioneer Valley over 20 years ago, I saw Kestrel signs all over the place, which inspired me…

Anne G. Cann, Amherst

For a number of years, the Orchard Arboretum, opposite Applewood, has been collaborating with the Kestrel Land Trust to bring educational programs to the community.…

Elise Lennon, Easthampton

Recently I met an old friend at the Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Hadley. I came from Easthampton and she came from Amherst. Covid has…

Diana Federman, Southampton

In July 2018, voters at Town Meeting in Southampton agreed to conserve 85 acres that had been slated for development. Today, the preserve is called…

Winter Solstice At Conte

Jessica Daly, Belchertown

Jess works for Big Brothers Big Sisters and serves on Kestrel's Community Engagement Committee. On a chilly evening in December, we gathered a crew of…

Daniel Kasal, Belchertown

When I was growing up in Westhampton, I was a free-range kid. I'd head out into the woods with my loyal dog, spending hours in…

Meaghan Schwelm, Westhampton

Scott Jackson of Kestrel Land Trust gave a talk called "Climate Change & Your Town" at Westhampton Public Library in November of 2019. It was…

Lena Fletcher, UMass Amherst

I've been working with Kestrel since 2015, when I first started collaborating with community partners for the environment. I teach environmental classes at UMass, and…

Conte Trail Boardwalk

Andy French, USFWS

As the Wildlife Refuge Manager of Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge for the past 18 years, I have enjoyed a very positive…

Denise Barstow, Hadley

Growing up on a dairy farm in Hadley, land has always been an important part of my story. As a child, I watched my father…

Eileen and Robin Wood, Amherst

Thirteen years ago we moved to this Valley from Maine because it seemed to answer the question “where do we want to spend the rest…

Sara Ross, Amherst

Kestrel Land Trust is older than me, but not by much. We’ve been aging gracefully together. I grew up in the Pioneer Valley and many…

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