Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Skunk cabbage at the edge of a pond

Protecting 64 Ecologically Important Acres in Hampden

September 11, 2023

On June 20, 2023, Mass Audubon purchased 64 acres of land from Bedrock Financial LLC, protecting an important area of priority habitat. The Laughing Brook South project area is a portion of a large, relatively intact forest block, which supports populations of wide-ranging species including bobcat, coyote, and white-tailed deer, as well as the Eastern box turtle, a species of special concern in Massachusetts.

Skunk cabbage at the edge of a pond

Why This Land Matters

Protecting this land, which abuts Mass Audubon Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, is key to ensuring the ecological integrity of the Scantic River and its floodplain, providing habitat for rare turtles, and extending the area’s block of protected, mature forest.

The protection of this floodplain will ensure the continued availability of this flood storage during major storm events. From its edge and aerial imagery, the wetlands appear to be a remarkably intact, diverse, and high-quality natural community.

A stone wall and lush green forest at Laughing Brook

A Team Effort

Mass Audubon was able to purchase this land thanks to funding from MathWorks, The Nature Conservancy, and the In Lieu Fee program administered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

While we acquired the land, the Hampden Conservation Commission agreed to hold the Conservation Restriction. We look forward to working with them as we restore the 64 acres of priority habitat by removing invasive plants and planting native trees to boost the forest’s resilience. Visitors can explore the property via the current paths that exist, but please note that there is no formal trail network or signage.

Mass Audubon Protects Over 40,000 Acres of Land

This newly acquired parcel joins a network of over 40,000 acres that Mass Audubon actively protects. By protecting and conserving lands that provide ecological value or contain endangered or threatened species, we can ensure the nature of Massachusetts is enjoyed by current and future generations. We’re focused on fostering resilient lands, of which the Laughing Brook South project is our newest edition.

Learn More About Land Protection