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Bidwell House Property Preserved With Conservation Restriction
04:01AM / Monday, January 03, 2022
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MONTEREY, Mass. — The Bidwell House Museum announced the preservation of about 180 acres of its property.  
 
Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the Monterey Preservation Land Trust (MPLT) will co-hold the Conservation Restriction. The CR was signed and made official on Dec. 15, 2021. 
 
"The Museum is deeply indebted to Lew and Joyce Scheffey, whose Turkeybush Foundation provided $300,000 for the preservation; and to BNRC and MPLT, whose resources and assistance helped to make this happen," Museum Director Heather Kowalski said. "The funds received as part of the new conservation restriction will help provide financial security to the Museum and insure its longevity, a beneficial outcome for the Museum, the town of Monterey and local land preservation." 
 
In 2007, when Joyce and Lew Scheffey dissolved the Turkeybush Foundation, they donated several properties and $300,000 to the Monterey Preservation Land Trust. At the suggestion of Jonathan Sylbert, president of MPLT since 2001, MPLT offered to use the $300,000 toward the purchase of a Conservation Restriction on the Bidwell House property, thus preserving the grounds and surrounding land. 
 
"After stewarding the Scheffey's donation for 14 years,  I'm so pleased to see this Conservation Restriction become a reality," said Sylbert. "The Bidwell House Museum and its lands now have a more secure future for all of us to enjoy." 
 
Part of the Bidwell House Museum's mission is to provide visitors with a personal encounter with history. The long-term preservation of the Museum property will allow visitors to enjoy the grounds in perpetuity. 
 
The Museum property is also a part of the ancestral homeland of the Mohicans. Preserving this landscape allows the Museum to continue telling the Mohican's long over-looked story while also allowing visitors to imagine Mohican lifeways long ago as well as appreciating their ongoing presence here in the Berkshires. 
 
The Bidwell House Museum is also an important site for outdoor recreation in Monterey. Hikers, walkers, nature lovers, and cross-country skiers and snowshoers have access to 6 miles of trails that are open for free year-round, a resource. 
 
"We are thrilled to have helped ensure this land is protected in perpetuity," BNRC's President Jenny Hansell said.  "Partnerships with organizations like Bidwell House and the MPLT is what makes it possible to keep the Berkshires green, and ensure public access to some of the most beautiful spots in the County." 
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