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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” from the Mount Holyoke Summit House in any season. Hockanum is just as picturesque viewed from Route 47 that travels through it. Kestrel has supported the Hockanum Village area, other parts of Hadley, and many communities in preserving critical lands in a variety of ways.

The Friends of the Mount Holyoke Range appreciates the leadership of Kestrel in preserving land on and near the Mount Holyoke Range.

The “Friends” group values Kestrel’s sensitive and personal collaboration with private citizens and with DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) and others. From its founding 50 years ago when inspiring individuals formed Kestrel, to the present day dedicated Kestrel members, Kestrel’s approach works.

The Friends of the Mount Holyoke Range has also had many dedicated members since its 1982 beginning. Two men who lived in Hockanum were part of the Friends of the Mount Holyoke Range and shared their skills and passion to the Mount Holyoke Range.

John Peterson, 1965-2017, was the Friends board of directors Chairperson for many years. John was an avid hiker and worked at the CDC (Center for Disease Control). John’s skill in connecting with people and listening made problem-solving possible.

Ted Buckhout, 1927-2020, was a WWII Veteran (Marines) and marathon runner. Ted started the Summit Run up Mount Holyoke and was a dedicated Seven Sisters Trail Race coordinator and volunteer for many years. These races still draw hundreds to experience the Range.

I have often heard people new to the Connecticut River Valley mention that people here “have a sense of place”. For 50 years Kestrel has strategized tirelessly to keep our sense of place tangible.

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