Posted: 08/04/2022 16:22:58
GREENFIELD – Greenfield Savings Bank has awarded a $75,000 challenge grant to the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust to help the nonprofit move closer to its $3.5 million goal in The Land Forever Capital campaign.
John Howland, who is in his eighth year as president of the bank, explained that a philanthropy committee voted to make the contribution to complete the transformation the organization is undergoing under the leadership of chief executive Emma Ellsworth. . The bank will match donations (up to $75,000) from community members made by September 1.
“When you look at what they’ve done, it’s really amazing,” Howland said of Mount Grace, adding that Ellsworth is continuing the work of his predecessor Leigh Youngblood.
Howland said he likes Mount Grace’s commitment to protecting the land, but not “locking it in” from public use.
“And it’s all kinds of land – it’s farmland, fields, forests,” he added.
To date, the Land Forever Capital campaign has raised at least $3.2 million, and Mount Grace expects the challenge grant from Greenfield Savings Bank to significantly help the trust reach its fundraising goal.
“Mount Grace is honored to be supported by Greenfield Savings Bank,” Ellsworth said in a press release. “It’s a real testament to the deep local roots that we share. Mount Grace is not about protecting people’s land, but rather protecting the unique relationship we all have with the land around us. It is the source of our food, our drinking water and even the air we breathe.
The Land Forever Campaign Fund began in the trust’s 35th anniversary year in 2021 to help prepare Mount Grace for the next 35 years of land conservation. According to the statement, the campaign’s three pillars include a strategic endowment for land stewardship, funding to renovate and improve the trust’s Skyfields Arboretum in Athol, and a revolving fund for conservation of new lands. Places protected by Mount Grace include local farms like Red Fire Farm in Montague, Bree-Z-Knoll Farm in Leyden and Just Roots Farm in Greenfield; municipal lands such as the municipal forests of Erving and Northfield; and Mount Grace properties like Hidden Valley in Wendell and the 550-acre Arthur Iversen Conservation Area in Warwick.
Mount Grace has protected over 37,000 acres of farms, fields and forests since 1986. More information about the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is available at mountgrace.org.
Contact Domenic Poli at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.