Conservation Director Jennifer Carlino presented the two checks to the Norton Board of Selectmen last week - both of which will help fund Norton conservation land.
"We received two big fat LAND grants," she said. "One a big deal two is really a big deal."
The LAND (Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity) Grants will help fund the town's recent acquisitions of 42 acres at Crane Farm and approximately 24 acres off of Bay Rd. known as the "Erickson Property." Crane Farm received $259,200 from the state and Erickson Property received $146,272 from the state. Both acquisitions were approved at recent town meetings: the Crane Farm acquisition was approved last September and the Erickson Property acquisition was approved in October of 2012.
Town Meeting voters approved Crane Farm acquisition for the total cost of $400,000 - however only $5,000 will come from the town. In addition to the $259,200 LAND grant presented to selectmen last week, another $135,800 will come from donations.
The land purchase allows for town access to the Three Mile River.
"We have a lot of land but not a lot of parking area and access – this will give us parking so we can access the property," Board of Selectmen Chair Robert Kimball said.
The Erickson Project approved in 2012 costs a total of approximately $225,000. With the exception of borrowing costs needed to front the acquisition, the town will not owe any money. In addition to the $146,272 LAND grant, the remainder of the funds is expected to come from the Bay Road Heights developer.
The acquisition is part of a larger project to create a wildlife corridor between the Hockomock Swamp and the Friends of Wheaton Life Farm conservation land in Easton.