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Holyoke, MA – September 22, 2014 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), the nation’s first statewide land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organizations, is pleased to announce the official opening of the Mount Warner Reservation, located on Mt. Warner Rd in North Hadley, MA. The Trustees will hold a public dedication of the property on Saturday, October 18, 2014 beginning at 10:30AM, followed by a 2-mile guided hike of the reservation’s newly constructed Salamander Trail loop. State Senator Stan Rosenberg and Representative John Scibak will be present to help open the new property. Afterward, attendees are invited to join the festivities at the North Hadley Sugar Shack's annual Pumpkin Fest and Tractor Parade, where many of the 40+ participating farm tractors will offer wagon-ride tours of this classic New England landscape, including stellar views of Mount Warner and its surrounding working farms.
For Mount Warner Reservation, location is everything. Situated in the historic village of North Hadley and near the outdoors-oriented college community of Amherst, Mount Warner occupies a prime and easily accessible locale in the heart of the Pioneer Valley. For those seeking active and passive outdoor recreational pursuits, the reservation’s 160 acres of gently-sloping woodlands offer a perfect setting for year-round activities including hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, cross-country-skiing, snowshoeing and more. And as a sylvan oasis among the rows of Hadley farmland, the reservation also represents a key component in a much larger, nearly contiguous 500-acre swath of protected land – comprising one of the largest forested tracks in the area – that links nearby Lake Warner to the Connecticut River and other conservation treasures.
“For hiking and outdoor enthusiasts and many others, The Trustees’ permanent protection and now official opening of Mt. Warner Reservation represents an important new milestone in the Pioneer Valley,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President & CEO. “We are excited to move our mission to engage more area residents in our work, and in the natural, scenic and cultural resources of our beautiful state. The opening of our newest reservation on this already beloved property is a perfect platform to broaden our impact in the Pioneer Valley.”
Rising 500 feet from the valley’s agricultural floor, Mount Warner has long been a familiar presence and a well-used resource for the local community. Signs of the property’s farming and logging past reveal themselves in the form of old cart paths and woods roads, which intersect with the new Salamander loop trail as it ascends through oak, beech, and other hardwood stands before culminating in evergreen groves further upslope. A number of glacial boulders and ecologically important vernal pools hint at the even more distant events that once shaped the mountain.
More recently, Mount Warner and nearby Lake Warner have served as popular recreation destinations for the residents of surrounding towns. Though the land that now makes up Mount Warner Reservation was conserved and lovingly cared for by generations of the Scott and Agassiz families, their generous act of entrusting the property to The Trustees, coupled with community contributions, ensured that it will remain a valued resource into the future. Community members responded to The Trustees “Campaign for Mount Warner,” with philanthropic and in-kind support, volunteering their time and efforts to build trails and erect signage as The Trustees prepared the new reservation for sustainable public use.
“We are so grateful for the passion of our many community partners and caring members, volunteers and supporters, which enabled us to open and activate this special property with a new trail for all to enjoy,” adds Joanna Ballantine, Trustees Regional Director for the Western Region. “We look forward to providing new and exciting programs and activities at Mt. Warner in the coming years to inspire residents and visitors to get outdoors and enjoy this iconic landscape with friends and families.”
The official opening of Mt. Warner will also allow The Trustees to be a more active partner in promoting the remarkable cultural and ecological heritage of the North Hadley area – which is the end result of many generations who have loved, worked and protected the land – in keeping with the organization’s mission to preserve and protect places of scenic, natural and cultural significance
In light of that legacy, the Mt. Warner opening will also help to inaugurate what has informally become a weekend-long celebration of land, farming and community in the Pioneer Valley. All are invited to begin the celebration by joining The Trustees at the Grand Opening dedication and hike at Mount Warner Reservation at 10:30AM, followed immediately by the North Hadley Sugar Shack's annual Pumpkin Fest and Tractor Parade on Saturday, October 18th. For those who want to continue the weekend-long festivities, on Sunday, October 19th the Kestrel Trust will hold its signature, annual 5K for Farmland & Farmer’s Market Festival at 11AM, as well a free, 4PM local screening of WGBY’s documentary on the history and future of agriculture in western Massachusetts, entitled A Long Row in Fertile Ground, hosted by the Academy of Music in Northampton.
Both the Mount Warner dedication and the guided hike are free and open to the public. Those who plan to join The Trustees for the guided hike are encouraged to wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the expected cool fall weather. The Pumpkin Fest and Tractor Parade that follows at the North Hadley Sugar Shack will include food, games, cider and wine tastings, a petting zoo.
For more information about Mount Warner Reservation or the Grand Opening ceremonies, please call Cynthia Sommer at 413.532.1631 x10, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More about The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of irreplaceable scenic, cultural, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees is the world’s oldest land trust and one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation non profits. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations including working farms, historic homesteads and landscaped gardens, community parks, barrier beaches, mountain vistas and woodland trials located on more than 26,000 acres throughout the Commonwealth. An established leader in the conservation and preservation movement and worldwide, The Trustees have also worked with community partners to protect an additional 34,000 acres. With hundreds of outreach programs, workshops, camps, concerts and events annually designed to engage all ages in its mission, The Trustees invite you to Find Your Place and get out and experience the natural beauty and culture our state has to offer. For more information, visit: www.thetrustees.org.