The Town of South Hadley is pleased to announce that, as a result of the community’s extraordinary generosity, the $190,000 local match toward the cost of protecting the Lauzier Family Farm on Alvord St. has been met. This success is the result of enthusiastic community support and the Town’s partnership with Kestrel Land Trust. Following a steady flow of donations from neighbors and other supporters of farmland preservation over the past 18 months, a donor recently stepped up with a leadership gift to close the remaining funding gap.
To leverage $1.7 million in state and federal funding for the purchase of an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) for permanent protection of this important farmland, the Town needed to raise a local match of $190,000. The South Hadley Conservation Commission committed $40,000 and Kestrel’s Promise to the Valley Fund committed $19,000. Community support included gifts from more than 150 individuals as well as donations from Route 33 Pizza House, Parkview Financial, and Peoples Bank. Following our recent press release on the fundraising efforts, a former South Hadley resident reached out to Kestrel Land Trust and generously offered to bridge the gap with a leadership donation.
“Our community and generations to come will benefit greatly from the protection of Lauzier Farm,” said Town Administrator, Lisa Wong.
The sale will close in 2023 resulting in an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on the farmland that will prohibit development in perpetuity: the Lauzier Farm will then become “Forever Farmland.” An APR preserves and protects land with agricultural soils from use for non-agricultural uses and keeps that land affordable for future farmers. The voluntary program pays farmers a significant portion of the difference between the fair market value for development and the fair market agricultural land value of their land, in exchange for a permanent deed restriction.
Thanks to the landowners, the partnership between the Town and Kestrel, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and numerous donors, this beautiful fertile land will remain in agricultural production forever. “We at the Town of South Hadley deeply appreciate the generosity that the Lauzier Farm project has inspired. Thank you again for investing in the preservation of this important family farm in our community and the Valley.”