Habitat Restoration or Enhancement
Stafford Hill Wildlife Management Area, Cheshire
In 2009, the DFW, in partnership with the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, restored two separate high-priority tracts totaling approximately 100 acres of upland wildlife habitat to their pre-1960 early-successional (i.e., young forest and open grassland) condition on this 1,592-acre Wildlife Management Area in Berkshire County. After the cutting was complete and the young forest began to regenerate, the resulting wildlife habitats, full of dense sprouts of aspen, along with some retained black cherry and white ash trees, were still separated by thick, barbed-wire-choked hedgerows and tree lines that proved too expensive to remove. Monies provided by the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation enabled the DFW to extend the original project scope and remove the hedgerows between the now-open grassland and shrub habitats.
Gulf Brook Conservation Area, Pepperell
This project restored and reconnected native Brook Trout habitat by replacing two old pipe culverts with pre-cast, open-bottomed culverts and restoring the natural streambed. Brook Trout can now move unimpeded between Gulf Brook and the Nissitissit and Nashua rivers as seasonal and annual changes in water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and other conditions that they need to survive and spawn dictate. Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage undertook this restoration in partnership with the DFW, the Frank Nims Family Trust, the Stephen Quill Family Foundation, the Nashua River Watershed Council, the Greater Boston and Squannatissit chapters of Trout Unlimited, and the Town of Pepperell.
Wood Duck Nest Box Fund, statewide
The Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation accepts donations of materials and funds for the building and maintenance of Wood Duck boxes by DFW staff across the Commonwealth. Private citizens, conservation organizations, sportsmen's clubs, scouting troops, individual Eagle Scout candidates, and businesses have donated hundreds of boxes and hundreds of dollars to help maintain these important components of Wood Duck habitat in our local lakes and ponds. Most recently, an Eagle Scout has initiated and organized a Wood Duck box project by surveying existing box sites to determine where new boxes are needed, collecting donated materials, coordinating construction of the boxes, and helping to install them in ponds in Holden. In a similar spirit, the Worcester County League of Sportsmen has made a significant donation to enable the staff of the Central Wildlife District to replace and/or refurbish Wood Duck boxes wherever they are needed.
DFW Wildlife Lands Acquisition or Protection
Ashfield-Hawley Wildlife Management Area
The Outdoor Heritage Board of Directors also helped with the acquisition of the 278-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the Ashfield-Hawley line by providing professional assistance and support to the DFW. This acquisition was made using a $275,000 bequest from the estate of Calvin and Annette Farrell, which specified that it be used to acquire a WMA anywhere in Western Massachusetts.
190 Scotland Road, Newbury
Scotland Road is a very important addition to the DFW's protected lands. This 24.5-acre parcel is embedded (bound on three sides) in the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area, and had been proposed for development as a subdivision of 21 private homes, some of which would have been built 10-15 feet from the management area's boundary. With the Scotland Road parcel as an access point and a new woods road generously constructed by the former owner to accommodate large forestry equipment, the DFW's Forestry and Upland programs now have management access to 800 acres in the northern half of Martin Burns WMA, the southern end of which is already actively being restored to shrubland habitat by the Upland Program. This same access road also provides expanded (albeit limited) parking for the hunters and hikers who enjoy this management area. This exciting project was accomplished with the assistance of a major gift from a private citizen and avid sportsman, and in partnership with the DFW and the Essex County Greenbelt Association.
Outdoor Skills for Youth
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP)
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) has come to Massachusetts, in partnership with the Archery Trade Association, the Division, and the Foundation, to promote student education and lifelong interest and participation in the sport of archery and an active engagement in outdoor pursuits. NASP offers international-style target archery training as part of an in-school archery curriculum for grades 4-12 that can be used as a tool in teaching social studies, mathematics, and physical education. Ten pilot schools adopted NASP and incorporated it into their curricula in 2010. The program continues to be adopted by other towns across the state. Outdoor Heritage coordinated donors to establish NASP in two schools in 2011: East Bridgewater High School (John Fabroski of East Bridgewater, lead donor and fundraiser) and Pittsfield High School(with fundraising coordinated by the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen).
Wildlife Understanding and Appreciation
Living Waters publication
Outdoor Heritage provided outreach and distribution support for the DFW's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program's conservation map project to identify priority aquatic habitats for freshwater biodiversity conservation in Massachusetts.
Boy Scouts of America Centennial Celebration, Mohegan Council, WorcesterCounty
In partnership with the DFW and the Mohegan Council's Boy Scout Troop 110, the Foundation donated materials for a bluebird nest-box-building station, where visitors to the Centennial Celebration received guidance and help from the Boy Scouts to build almost 1,000 blue bird boxes and learn about improving wildlife habitat through next boxes. Plans were also provided to visitors for Wood Duck, Kestrel, and bat houses.
DFW's Turtles of Massachusetts and Hatchling Turtles of Massachusetts posters (10,000 of each)
A reprint of these very popular posters is now available at all DFW offices in honor of the Year of the Turtle, as designated by the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), to highlight the importance of habitat and species conservation of native turtles in Massachusetts.
Turtles of Massachusetts Quick-ID Cards (300 sets, distributed to and through Project WILD facilitators)
Originally developed by DFW staff to provide turtle-identification training to utility workers on rights-of-way within Priority Habitat for turtles, additional sets of these convenient flip-cards were printed with help from a generous donor to facilitate the study of native turtles in their natural habitats by participants in Project WILD, a grade-school-level wildlife education program of the DFW.