The Baker-Polito administration recently awarded $50,000 to the town of West Tisbury for The Trustees of Reservations to conduct savanna and scrub oak-heath shrubland restoration at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, according to a press release.
In total, $307,631 has been awarded to individuals, municipalities, and organizations across the state for projects to improve habitat for native Massachusetts wildlife.
The grants are provided through the Wildlife Habitat Management Grant Program, administered by the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and will support 10 wildlife habitat improvement projects totaling 308 acres in nine Massachusetts communities.
According to the release, the projects are also designed to complement ongoing habitat management efforts on state lands, and promote opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor recreation.
Russ Hopping, ecology program director for The Trustees, told The Times the nearly 400 acres they manage at Long Point Wildlife Refuge contain the second largest number of rare flora and fauna among the roughly 27,000 acres they steward across Massachusetts.
These historically and ecologically rich grassland habitats, according to Hopping, require upkeep and periodic rehabilitation in order to maintain the same level of biodiversity.
For more than 30 years, The Trustees have mowed, conducted prescribed burns, and taken other measures to preserve the many rare species that exist in the refuge.
This grant will target 52 acres of savanna at Long Point, and will help manage the scrub-oak heath understory in order to maintain the mosaic of plants and animals that make the refuge an ecological treasure. Hopping said The Trustees are aiming to have the restoration work completed before April.