Founded in 1970, Kestrel has helped conserved more than 5,000 acres. For the first decade, Kestrel operated exclusively in Amherst, and was a key partner in preserving the majority of the conservation land in this town. In the 1980’s, Kestrel expanded our conservation efforts on the "nine town" region surrounding Amherst, a portion of the Pioneer Valley loosely bounded by the Connecticut River, Quabbin Reservoir, Mount Toby and the Mount Holyoke Range.
In 2011, Kestrel merged with the Valley Land Fund, which protected more than 14,000 acres. Scroll down to see the list of Valley Land Fund’s projects between 1986-2010.
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:
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)
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)
Red Fire Farm—Protected 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 ten farmland parcels have been protected. This rare field preserves the striped parcel pattern characteristic of 17th century New England. (2003-present)
Lake Warner—5.7 acres of shoreland protected for wildlife habitat and wetlands restoration (2009).
Fort River—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. (2009 & 2010)
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)
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)
Holyoke Range — A thirty-six acre preserve on the south slope of the Holyoke Range. (1999)
Mt. Toby — A forty-six acre conservation area with views and trails on the northwest slope of the mountain. (1990)
Land Protected January, 1986 - June 2008
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Places We Protect