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Trustees of Reservations add new property

Date: 9/29/2009

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE -- Motorists passing on nearby Main Street probably have no idea that below them are 25 acres of undeveloped property nestled next to the Connecticut River. Thanks to a gift from the Sisters of Providence that property will continue its use as farm and woodlands.

At a dedication ceremony conducted on Sept. 14, The Trustees of the Reservations, a statewide non-profit land protection organization, announced the Sisters of Providence had given 25 acres of farm and woods to the Trustees for preservation.

Jocelyn Forbush, the regional director for the trustees, called the donation "a remarkable gift."

She added her organization is "committed to carrying forward the legacy of the Sisters."

The dedication ceremonies were conducted under a tent pitched near the shore of the Connecticut River. Behind it were fields cultivated by farmers who participate in Nuestras Raices urban farming center.

Like other Trustees properties, which in Western Massachusetts include the dinosaur footprints along U.S. Route 5 in Holyoke and the Chesterfield Gorge, the property will be open to the public.

Forbush explained the organization would be constructing a small parking lot on U.S. Route 5 for access to the property. There will an access trail from the lot and she anticipated the improvements would be ready for next spring.

She hopes the relationship with Nuestras Raices continues. The farmland used by that group is currently under a leasing arrangement.