Kestrel Land Trust is pleased to share that in April 2023 the City of Northampton’s Office of Planning and Sustainability acquired and permanently preserved 229 acres in the Saw Mill Hills Greenway, in partnership with Kestrel
The purchase was made possible by a state Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity Grant, and local Community Preservation Act funding, and a grant from Kestrel Land Trust with funds raised from John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation and an anonymous funder. The area will be owned and managed by the Northampton Conservation Commission, with a conservation restriction held by Kestrel.
The new Russell Pomeroy Trail section of the Greenway can be accessed from Sylvester Road. It connects existing protected open space to both the north and south and brings the Saw Mill Hills to nearly 1,000 acres. It provides trail connections to the robust trail network in the rest of the Saw Mill Hills.
“The Pomeroy parcel is incredibly valuable from both an ecological and recreational standpoint,” said Sarah LaValley, Northampton Assistant Director of Planning & Sustainability. “It includes headwaters streams and wetlands, a variety of natural communities, and priority habitat for rare plants and wildlife. The area is part of a large forested block that extends to the Berkshire Hills, providing the connectivity needed to maintain biodiversity and ecosystems in the long term.”
Mark Wamsley, Kestrel’s Conservation Director said that “the Pomeroy land is a keystone of the Saw Mill Hills, helping to knit the area together through its size, location, and trail connections. Protecting such a critical piece of the forest landscape exemplifies the importance of strong partnerships between state and local governments, land trusts like Kestrel, and private funders, which we were able to access in support of this effort. Kestrel’s ongoing relationship with Northampton has yielded wonderful results for the land and local residents, and we look forward to helping the city conserve and care for them long into the future.”
The Pomeroy land is a keystone of the Saw Mill Hills, helping to knit the area together through its size, location, and trail connections.