Bluebird Meadow Is New Conservation Area In South Amherst


View of the Holyoke Range from Bluebird Meadow Conservation Area.

Last month Town of Amherst Land Manager Bradley Bordewieck and his assistant Tyler Pease made their way to the Norwottuck Rail Trail just below the South East St. crossing. They installed the last of four interpretive signs that line a nature trail in what has been named the Bluebird Meadow Conservation Area. The parcel is adjacent to 650 and 652 South East St. on the site of the former Rock Dairy Farm.

Supplementing the interpretive signs is a large informational kiosk at the southwestern corner of the trail.

Nature Trail Station #3 Map

The 0.6-mile path traverses a grass and brush field that features ten bluebird nesting boxes planted with the aim of helping bluebirds make a comeback in the area.  The houses feature a small entry hole designed to prevent larger competitors such as European Starlings from entering.  Attached predator guards protect against feral cats and raccoons.  Bluebirds winter in the southeastern U.S. or Mexico, but return to the Northeast to nest in the spring.

The signs and bluebird houses were paid for by a $4,000 Eco-Leadership grant from Fulbright Canada awarded to South East St. resident Carol Gray.  The Town purchased the land in 2013 from Greenfield Savings Bank through a collaboration of the Amherst Community Preservation Act Committee, The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the South Amherst Conservation Association, the Amherst Conservation Department and Kestrel Trust.

According to Bordewieck, trail maintenance may be sporadic due to limited budget and staffing.  The Amherst Conservation Department seeks volunteer town trail adopters to help keep trails clear and clean.  Contact 413-259-3045 for more information.

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1 thought on “Bluebird Meadow Is New Conservation Area In South Amherst

  1. I love this spur of a trail off the bike path with its amazing, everchanging views of the Holyokes. This is one of the few public views of the Holyokes in Amherst and one of the reasons Kestrel Trust worked so hard to buy the development rights.

    The trails definitely need to be mowed more often than once a year so that they will get established. It was hard to walk through mid-summer with rose canes growing through. I’m sure neighbors would help maintain after the town gets the trail under control.

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