Minnechaug Mountain

Minnechaug Mountain, in Hampden, Massachusetts, is one of the finest hiking areas in and around the Pioneer Valley.

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Goat Rock Trail

The 35-acre parcel, known as Goat Rock Conservation Land, connects two Town parks via a popular hiking trail, the Goat Rock Ridge Trail, which runs along the Wilbraham Mountain ridge for a little over a mile.

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Rice Nature Preserve

The Rice Nature Preserve, was acquired through the cooperative efforts of former landowner Jesse Rice, the Town of Wilbraham, the Minnechaug Land Trust, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Self-Help Program.

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McDonald Farm Nature Preserve

This land was farmed for many years by Alton and Helen McDonald. Alton used to hay the fields on his property, as well as some of the fields the town owned that you will pass on your hike.

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These lands are open for the pleasure of the public.

These properties were protected by preservation efforts in both towns, using a combination of State and private grants,
Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, and donations from private individuals.

President’s Letter February 2018

It’s already 2018, and we have survived a tumultuous year. The hurricanes, wildfires and mudslides have devastated large regions of our country, causing loss of lives, wiping out entire communities, destroying sensitive environmental areas, and costing hundreds of billions of dollars. In the meantime, we work in our own communities to preserve and protect the most critical land for the health of our environment and for the beauty of our landscapes.

In Hampden, we hope to finalize the Mt Vision project, a 39 acre parcel with frontage on North Rd and a right of way on Burleigh Rd in Wilbraham.  This purchase, by the Town of Hampden using CPA funds, was put on hold due to the untimely death of the owner. After a lengthy probate process, we expect to complete the sale soon. Minnechaug Land Trust will hold the Conservation Restrictions and act as stewards.

We are partnering with Mass Audubon to preserve 77 acres that abuts Laughing Brook Conservation land, crosses the Scantic River, and extends to Chaplin Rd. We are in the process of putting together financial strategies using a combination of grants, CPA monies, sale of a few frontage lots, and fundraising. We hope we can reach an agreement with the owners to save this beautiful parcel. We’ll keep you posted.

We are also working with private landowners to assist in applying to the Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit program. This is a grant of up to $75,000 for a landowner to permanently protect land with Conservation Restrictions, while continuing to own and use the land.

In Wilbraham, the purchase of Mt. Marcy was once again our main focus. We applied for a LAND grant to supplement the funds that were approved from the CPA for the purchase. The project was praised by the state representatives from the grant program, so we were surprised and disappointed when we found that the program had been scaled back last year to the point where they couldn’t fund all worthy projects, including ours.

This year we will persevere in our quest to purchase Mt. Marcy and feel we have a plan that is more within our control. This will involve asking for a little more CPA funding, and a pledge from MLT to contribute to the purchase. We thank you for your past and future support that allows us to continue our work and step in financially when needed on projects like Mt. Marcy. Together we are all working to protect the natural beauty of our towns.




Sherry Himmelstein

9th Annual Run for Rice’s 5k Road Race

Hosted by the Rice Nature Preserve Stewardship Committee of the Minnechaug Land Trust, Inc.

Proceeds to benefit the Rice Nature Preserve Stewardship Fund

When:   Saturday, June 8, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. (Day-of Registration open 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.)

Where:  Christ the King Lutheran Church, 758 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA 01095

Registration fee:  $15 pre-registration by June 7, 2019 / $20 day-of-race registration / $15 for all runners 18 and under.  Short-sleeve 50/50 blend race T-shirts guaranteed to first 200 registered runners.  Free Rice Fruit Farm ice cream sundae to all registered runners (valid day of race only).  On-line registration available at RunSignUp.com.

About the Race:  A flat, fast 5k course beginning and ending at Christ the King Lutheran Church.  There will be one water aid station at the halfway point.  Walkers welcome.  For runner safety, no bicycles or dogs are allowed on the course.

Awards:  Awards to 1st place male and female overall, 50+ and youth (14 and under) categories (must be present after race).

Mail this registration form to Alison Webster, 4 Birchknoll Drive, Wilbraham, MA 01095.  Please include a check payable to Minnechaug Land Trust, Inc.  Questions?  E-mail Race Director Robert Olsen at: thebigrock9@gmail.com

Thank you to all the participants, sponsors and volunteers who made the Sixth Annual Run for Rice the biggest and most successful run ever!

Thank You 2016 Run for Rice Race Sponsors