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Forest and Farm Tour: Kestrel’s First Conservation Area & The Food Bank Farm
July 7, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
In New England, it’s not unusual for farms to be surrounded by forests, providing a rich tapestry of habitat for wildlife as well as food for people. The Katherine Cole and Podick Conservation Areas, tucked up in the northwest corner of Amherst, were Kestrel’s first partnership projects with the Town in the early 1970s. This little-known 80-acre area is a complex of forest and farm, meadow and wetlands that was expanded with the 23-acre addition of the Szala Family Conservation Area In 2020. As part of the same project, Kestrel partnered with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to create a new 59-acre Food Bank Farm on the adjacent land in Hadley to help improve food security for people around the region.
Join us for a guided walking tour of both the Podick-Cole-Szala Conservation Area and the Food Bank Farm on Friday, July 7, 10:00 am – Noon. Pete Westover of Conservation Works and Amanda Reynolds of The Food Bank Farm will be our guides as we explore these wooded and agricultural areas connected by a simple public trail system. You’ll learn about the conservation history of these lands, and then cross over the farm bridge for a tour the new farm, including the restored barn, greenhouses, and vegetable beds.
Pete Westover is a co-founder of Conservation Works, established in 2005. Prior to that he served as Amherst’s Conservation Director and Watershed Forester for 30 years. In addition to helping create an extensive system of conservation lands, he has also built and maintained dozens of miles of trails in the Valley.
Amanda Reynolds is the Senior Community Engagement Coordinator at The Food Bank, where she began in 2018. In addition to managing the volunteer program, she oversees all community engagement and education at The Food Bank Farm.