Grants boost Mohawk Trail recreation, wood products, emergency response

Aug. 25, 2021

BOSTON — Grants totaling $313,500 will help projects in the state’s northwest corner that improve access to outdoor recreation, promote the use of local wood products, and enhance emergency response to remote locations.

“The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership region has amazing natural resources and opportunities for outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism, and our Administration is pleased to work with the rural communities of the region to support economic development that conserves land and enhances resilience to climate change,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a news release.

“Through this funding and the hard work of so many, these communities will be able to advance important projects to bring jobs and revenue to the region while also helping to prepare for the impacts of climate change,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

Ten municipalities and two regional economic development organizations received grants as follows:

  • The New England Forestry Foundation, of Littleton, secured $60,000, to be matched with $60,000 from the U.S. Forestry Service. Projects include completing two town forest plans, updating two forest plans into climate forestry plans, and planting riverside trees across the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership region.
  • Lever Inc., a business incubator in North Adams, received $60,000 for completion of its Mohawk Entrepreneurial Challenge II for startups in forestry and wood use.
  • Adams received $20,000 to complete the process of selecting food, education and outdoor recreation vendors for the Greylock Glen conservation area.
  • Charlemont secured $20,000 for design and installation of educational and regulatory signage related to rafting at various locations.
  • Heath received $20,000 for regional trail network design. Phase III of the project includes trails connecting the town forest with Catamount State Forest.
  • New Ashford got $20,000 for design and construction of a trail around Beaver Pond on the slopes of Mount Greylock.
  • North Adams secured $20,000 for completion of design work and property research on a section of the town’s Adventure Trail.
  • Peru received $20,000 for completion of gravel road improvements to allow access to MassWildlife property in town.
  • Rowe got $20,000 to implement its climate forest plan. This includes installation of hemlock plots to be monitored by an adjacent school for invasive insects called woolly adelgids. The project also involves mapping an old growth site and inoculation of ash trees against invasive beetles.
  • Williamstown will use $20,000 to buy climate-adapted trees for the town common. Planting will be paid for with local matching funds.
  • Hawley got $17,000 to buy an all-terrain vehicle with tracks for four-season rescue operations on state land and other open space in town.
  • Ashfield got $16,500 for construction of a recycling center using local wood. The project includes creation of educational materials about the benefits of local wood.