FITCHBURG — The Community Foundation for North Central Massachusetts, a public charity based in Fitchburg, has awarded $73,720 in grants targeting environmental preservation and animal welfare.
As part of the Community Foundation’s Environmental Preservation and Animal Welfare Grant program, the grants will be distributed to nonprofit organizations local to north-central Massachusetts. They will support viable, long-term initiatives in their respective communities that focus on “preserving and providing access to the natural beauty” of the area and “enhancing the welfare of domestic animals,” according to Community Foundation President Stephen Adams.
“This year’s recipients are doing amazing things to help protect and promote the quality of life for people and animals throughout our region,” Adams said in a press release.
The largest grants, totaling $10,000, $10,000 and $7,500, went to the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Gardner’s GAAMHA Inc. and the Groton Conservation Trust, respectively.
Funding awarded to the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust will assist in the permanent protection of 202 acres along the southwest bank of Athol’s Tully Lake and prevent the degradation of the lake’s viewshed.
GAAMHA will use its grant to purchase hay for the horses, goats and sheep at Athol’s Carl E. Dahl House at Cass Farm. A substance abuse and mental health disorder treatment facility, Cass Farm also serves as a home for livestock rescued from abandonment, neglect, abuse, malnutrition, poor health and slaughter.
The Groton Conservation Trust will use its grant to enhance community access to the Bates-Blackman property. The funds would cover the construction of an accessible parking space, restoration of meadows with native grasses and wildflowers, construction of grass paths through the meadows, safety improvements to an existing trail and benches for seating.
10 smaller grants were also awarded: Groton’s Nashua River Watershed Association, Inc. was given $6,970 to support The Wild Inside program.
Leominster’s North County Land Trust was granted $6,250 to support the launch of engaging environmental and wellness programming.
The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society was given $5,500 for their low-cost spay and neuter Catmobile program.
Mass Audobon was given $5,000 to support their nature and social-emotional learning sites, part of their Head Start program, in Athol, Gardner and Winchendon.
The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association was granted $5,000 to support collaboration with educators and community members to create and deliver a curriculum on pollinators and pollinator habits and to construct an outdoor classroom.
The Farm School in Athol was awarded $5,000 to assist in the purchase of a horse-drawn hay mower.
Lancaster’s RFK Community Alliance was given $5,000 toward their Rein in a Dream program, which provides therapeutic horsemanship
Squannacook Greenways received $4,300 toward the final phase of Squannacook Rail Trail construction.
The Newfoundland Pony Conservancy Center was granted $3,200 for the purchase of new rubber mats and halters for the eight Newfoundland ponies that reside at the Carl E. Dahl house.
For more information, visit cfncm.org.