Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Holyoke & Kestrel Land Trust Host Estate Planning Workshop

The Conservation Commission and Kestrel Land Trust are hosting a free Estate Planning workshop for landowners on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 at Pilsudski Park at 6:00 PM. Property owners in West Holyoke who are considering their long-term options for preserving farm or forest lands, as well as the general public,
are welcome to attend.

“The open space in West Holyoke helps provide the City with clean drinking water and gives residents a wide array of benefits ranging from hiking and horseback riding to fresh local food. We all benefit from this landscape,” said Andrew B. Smith, Conservation & Sustainability Director for the City of Holyoke.

The public workshop will provide landowners with an array of strategies that have been developed and implemented successfully to conserve land in Massachusetts. Mark Wamsley, Land Conservation Manager for Kestrel Land Trust, will present an overview of land conservation options. Attorney Elizabeth Wroblicka, of
Etheredge & Steuer, P.C. in Northampton will provide guidance on estate planning for landowners, including the potential tax benefits of conservation. Attorney Wroblicka specializes in land conservation strategies for family farms and community forests as well as estate planning, land use, environmental law, real estate and
nonprofit management.

“We see this as an opportunity to provide landowners with a menu of different options for land preservation,” Mr. Smith said, “and our hope is that there will be options that landowners find appealing for their property and their situation in life.”

The need for the workshop arises from the fact that private landowners play a major role in the preserving Holyoke’s farm and forest lands. There are roughly 1,400 acres of prime farm and forest land that do not have any long-term preservation agreements on them. This represents approximately 10% of the City’s total land
area and approximately one-fifth of the amount of farm and forest land in the City.

“Across the Commonwealth landowners are trying to decide what to do with land that has been in their families for generations,” Mr. Smith said, noting that the Conservation Commission’s goal in hosting this workshop is to provide tools that landowners can use to make that decision.

Anyone interested in attending this event, should contact the Conservation Commission at 413/322-5615 to confirm that they will attend or send an email to conservation@holyoke.org.

A light dinner will be provided and parking is available onsite at Pilsudski Park.

Kestrel Land Trust is a regional nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to conserving the forests, farms, and waterways of the Connecticut River Valley, while nurturing an enduring love of the land.

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