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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 of our lives.” Its rich New England history, the five institutions of higher education that encourage life long learning but most of all, it’s exquisite natural beauty was the logical conclusion. These factors all played a role but it was that one golden afternoon on an August visit that captured our souls. Driving from Springfield to Greenfield on back roads, the harvest was on. Butternut squash was being gathered, corn and tomatoes sold at roadside stands and the slats in the tobacco sheds were open. You could actually smell the leaves drying.

Spacious farmland was framed by the Holyoke Range, the Pelham Hills, the hill towns to the west and Toby and the Sugarloafs to the north. The mighty river, the blue Connecticut, sliced through, nourishing this land. It had all the things we love and we decided on the spot to call it home.

We noticed one other thing. Dotting the landscape were signs put up by Kestrel Land Trust indicating that this beauty and richness was going to be conserved and preserved. You could count on these lovely vistas not changing. This was the promise of security and sanctity of Place.

Now we hike the many mountain trails, bike the scenic roads, feast on the local produce, and paddle the ponds and rivers. We are thankful for Kestrel’s tireless efforts to keep this a happy, healthy place for all. We support them and urge anyone who feels the same to do so too. Congratulations on your milestone anniversary.

Photo: Mt Norwottuck from Bramble Hill Farm

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