Pioneer Valley - Conservation


Appreciation of the natural environs has, historically, been a large part of the Pioneer Valley life. It features numerous non-profit nature sanctuaries, such as Friends of Wissatinnewag, Inc. 43 acres (170,000 m2) a sacred Native American burial grounds where the Turners Falls massacre occurred in 1676, as well as historic parks like King Phillip's Stockade in Springfield, the 735 acres (2,970,000 m2) Forest Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and Western Massachusetts' only National Park, the Springfield Armory National Park. In addition to these, there are hundreds of state and municipal parks and forests. Due to the considerable natural and cultural resources in the Pioneer Valley, environmental agencies have made a substantial investments in protecting unspoiled nature in the region, particularly along the Connecticut River, and in many of the Pioneer Valley's rural "hilltowns." Government conservation efforts have targeted wildlife and rare plant habitats, recreational sites and corridors including the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, and the rich agricultural soils in farming towns such as Hadley, Massachusetts. Efforts have been augmented and assisted by local and regional conservation land trusts and state-wide and national conservation organizations. Many of these organizations protect additional land through direct ownership of conservation areas and land held under conservation easement. Many municipalities in the area also have conservation holdings, usually under the aegis of the community's 'conservation commission', the appointed body which also applies local and state environmental regulations.

One notable area consists of Mount Tom State Reservation, Mount Holyoke Range State Park, and Skinner State Park, which, joined with the 600-acre (2.4 km2) Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary held by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, form a long wildlife corridor stretching across the Connecticut River.

Recently, there has been a notable grassroots effort to reclaim Springfield's once easily accessible and pedestrian-friendly waterfront, which is now separated from the city by 8-lane, elevated highway known as Interstate 91. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute presented a plan that suggested how Springfield could reunite with its greatest natural resource, the Connecticut River.

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Famous quotes containing the word conservation:

    A country grows in history not only because of the heroism of its troops on the field of battle, it grows also when it turns to justice and to right for the conservation of its interests.
    Aristide Briand (1862–1932)

    The putting into force of laws which shall secure the conservation of our resources, as far as they may be within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, including the more important work of saving and restoring our forests and the great improvement of waterways, are all proper government functions which must involve large expenditure if properly performed.
    William Howard Taft (1857–1930)