photo credit: Stephen Schmidt

Past Projects

Kestrel Land Trust has conserved thousands of acres in communities throughout the Pioneer Valley since 1970. Many of our efforts are listed below. 


Larch Hill—A twenty acre conservation area including the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, garden, and trails. (1975)

Amethyst Brook Conservation Area—Nearly forty acres with walking trails and varied wildlife habitat along Amethyst Brook at the base of the Pelham Hills. (1981)

Mount Pollux—A twenty-one acre park on a hilltop surrounded by apple orchards with wide views of South Amherst and the Holyoke Range. (1988)

Northeast Street Farms—Two hundred and fifty acres protected for farming in perpetuity by agricultural preservation restrictions. (1992-2004)

Lawrence Swamp—More than one hundred acres of conserved wetlands in South Amherst, an important source of Amherst’s water supply. (1985-1993)

North Amherst Community Farm—The Kestrel Trust acted as fiscal agent and advisor to protect 38-acres on Pine Street for a new community supported agriculture operation.

Other important Amherst projects include:

Puffers Pond
Eastman Brook
Harkness Brook
Hart Farm
Haskins Meadow
Holyoke Range
Hop Brook
Plum Springs
Westover Meadow
Simmons Farm
Slobody Farm
Upper Fort River

To see maps of Amherst Conservation Areas see Amherst Public GIS Conservation Area Viewer.


Knight’s Pond—A conservation area of nearly one hundred acres bordering the pond at the headwaters of Jabish Brook near the Pelham boundary. (2005)

M&M Trailhead—A ten acre parcel at the intersection of Warren Wright and Bay Roads protecting a section of the M&M Trail between the Holyoke Range and the Pelham Hills. (2005)

Meads Corner Conservation Area—100 acres of valuable forestland providing important natural resources for the community and for wildlife. Read more about it here.  (2013)

Scarborough Brook Conservation Area—70 acres conserved in partnership with the Town of Belchertown, with a grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the generous contributions of neighboring residents. (2006)

Holland Glen Conservation Area—290 acres conserved in partnership with the Town of Belchertown, with a grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Community Preservation Act Fund, grants from private foundations, and area residents. (2011)

Ingate Farm, Mount Holyoke Range—Partnering with The Trust for Public Land, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Mass Audubon, permanently conserved 337 acres of diverse wildlife habitat—forests, wooded swamps, and marshes—on the former Ingate Farm in Belchertown and Granby, linking nearly 4,000 acres of existing conservation land. (2011)

Jabish Brook Conservation Area—In partnership with the Town of Belchertown, 91 acres were conserved as an addition to the Jabish Brook Conservation Area, one of the town’s most popular places for outdoor recreation. This large tract of contiguous forestland provides important wildlife habitat and connectivity to the nearby Quabbin Reservoir, as well as being a valuable watershed area. It is open to the public for passive recreation, as well as hunting and fishing. Kestrel now holds a CR on this town-owned land. 


Red Fire FarmProtected for farming with an agricultural preservation restriction, this sixty-two acre property is a CSA farm that grows award-winning tomatoes.

Ingham Farm—Private farmland protected with an APR. (2007)


Mount Warner—Two hundred and twenty acres preserved on the central Valley’s prominent wooded landmark in North Hadley. (1986)

Great Meadow—An ongoing project to secure Hadley’s most historic agricultural field enclosed in a bend of the Connecticut River. So far more than a dozen farmland parcels have been protected. This rare field preserves the striped parcel pattern characteristic of 17th century New England. (2003-present)

Lake Warner Peninsula—5.7 acres of shoreland protected for wildlife habitat and wetlands restoration (2009).

Conte National Wildlife Refuge: Fort River Division—Kestrel worked in partnership with Trust for Public Land to secure three tracts of land in over 100 acres along Moody Bridge Road for the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in 2009 & 2010. 32 acres of prime grassland habitat on Moody Bridge Road was added in 2012. Read the press release to learn more.


Teawaddle Hill Farm—This beautiful 147-acre farm and new public trail system is now protected forever. Learn more about the Teawaddle Hill Farm to see why so many people donated to help preserve it. (2012)

Paul Jones Working Forest, Brushy Mountain—The state’s largest conservation restriction: 3,486 acres of working forest in Leverett and Shutesbury was completed with assistance from Franklin Land Trust and the Commonwealth. Read more here! (2011) 

For more information on the Brushy Mountain project, download the following documents:

 Full Press Release from December 23, 2011

 Frequently Asked Questions about the CR

 Detailed Description of Ecological and Natural Resource Values of the CR

 Larger Map of the Paul C. Jones Working Forest CR

Rattlesnake Gutter—Forty acres protected along a scenic rocky gorge surrounded by woodland. (1989)

Roaring Brook—Fifty acres of woodland protected along the brook near Shutesbury Road in East Leverett. (1998-2000)


Mineral Hills Conservation Area—Kestrel helped expand the Mineral Hills Conservation Area in Northampton and Westhampton by adding 121 acres of forestland and extending the network of trails. (2012)

Northampton Municipal Conservation Restriction—In a precedent-setting agreement, Kestrel now holds a CR on 639 acres in total among approximately 12 different town-owned conservation areas for the city. (2013)


Butter Hill Wildlife Sanctuary—A wooded conservation area of one hundred and fifty acres on a west-facing slope of the south Pelham hills. (1993)

Harkness Conservation Area—A preserve of one hundred and fifty acres of woodland east of Harkness Road. (1997)

Well Away Farm—68 acre private homestead conserved with a Conservation Restriction, held by Town of Pelham and Kestrel Land Trust. Funds provided by EOEEA Land Grant and contributions from town residents (2009).

Watershed Land—81 acres of watershed land purchased in Pelham by Amherst, assisted by Kestrel. (2010)


Banfield Farm — A conservation restriction protects the agricultural, scenic, and wildlife values of this three hundred acre historic farm through which passes a portion of the M&M trail. Parts of the protected farm extend into Pelham and Amherst. (1989)

South Hadley

Holyoke Range — A thirty-six acre preserve on the south slope of the Holyoke Range. (1999)


Mt. Toby — A 46-acre conservation area with views and trails on the northwest slope of the mountain. (1990)


MacLeish Field Station, Smith College—200 acres of hilltop forest at the college’s MacLeish Field Station in West Whately. While used primarily for educational purposes, the 190-acres protected by the Conservation Restriction are part of a critical contiguous forest block that provides important wildlife habitat. Read more about this project here! (2013)


Valley Land Fund Past Projects:

Land Protected January, 1986 - June 2008

Town Acres # Projects
Agawam 30.0 2
Amherst 465.8 13
Ashfield 151.0 1
Belchertown 308.3 5
Bernardston 153.0 1
Blandford 494.0 3
Charlemont 11.2 1
Chesterfield 438.7 6
Colrain 143.0 3
Cummington 223.8 2
Deerfield 93.5 5
Easthampton 258.7 5
Gill 40.2 1
Goshen 90.0 1
Greenfield 77.4 2
Hadley 735.2 29
Hampden 258.0 2
Hatfield 361.3 16
Heath/Colrain 127.0 2
Holyoke 397.0 4
Huntington 6.5 1
Leverett 216.9 4
Leyden/Bernardston 200.0 1
Longmeadow 118.0 1
Montague 261.3 8
Northampton 875.5 15
Orange 24.0 1
Pelham/Shutesbury 380.0 2
Shutesbury 118.0 2
South Hadley 250.1 11
Southampton 240.0 3
Southwick 327.0 3
Sunderland 123.9 7
Warwick 27.3 2
Wendell 269.4 5
West Springfield 13.2 3
Westfield 77.0 3
Westhampton 362.0 2
Whately 59.8 3
Willilamsburg/Chesterfield 243.0 1
Worthington 219.3 2
41 total towns 9269.3 184

Places We Protect