The city of Easthampton has been awarded a grant that will help them buy several acres of land next to Mount Tom.
According to City of Easthampton Spokesperson Alan Wolfe, the $400,000 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities grant will help the city purchase the 12.4 acres immediately next to Mount Tom.
Wofl said the PARC grant will be combined with $380,000 from Community Preservation Act funds to make the purchase.
In addition to the 12.4 acres, the remaining 10.4 acres of land on the property will be preserved by a financial contribution from Pascommuck Conservation Trust, a DCR Conservation Partnership Grant, and a Beverage Foundation grant.
The property was first identified as a high priority for preservation 17 years ago.
Wolfe said the property already contains the eastern trailhead of the New England Scenic Trail. The land will also be preserved to create a park that will serve as the city’s first secure public access to Mount Tom.
Other long-term plans for the new park include parking on East Street, a universally accessible trail leading to a scenic lookout, a family-friendly trail loop around Little Mountain Knob, and a trailhead for the National Scenic Trail that connects with 22 miles of trails on the State Reservation.
Wolfe said the purchase of the land will implement the city’s multi-pronged plan to preserve outlying areas while encouraging and supporting development in more appropriate neighborhoods.