Working in partnership with the City of Northampton, Mass Audubon added 5.72 acres of state-designated “Critical Natural Landscape and Core Habitat” to the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. It is strategically located along the eastern boundary of the Manhan Meadows and adds to the extensive wetland systems, grasslands, shrublands and forest that make up the 730-acre Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is known to host approximately twenty state-listed rare species. Arcadia is a designated Important Bird Area, supporting habitat for numerous breeding and migratory birds of priority conservation interest, as well as being important habitat for a wide variety of other animals and plants.
The new acquisition is part of an old “oxbow” (a U-shaped backwater) that became separated from the primary flow of the Connecticut River long ago. Oxbow wetlands such as this provide important storage capacity for flood waters, improved water quality through filtration services, and habitat for a variety of wildlife. This particular land is part of a wildlife corridor actively used by bobcat, coyote, deer and other wildlife.
The property also has upland areas which provide vantage points where you might catch sight of an eastern bluebird or bald eagle.
Wayne Feiden, the Director of Planning & Sustainability stated, “Northampton is pleased to have been able to have a small supporting role in Mass Audubon’s preservation of the Singler property. This land, in the city’s floodplain and with highly productive floodplain forest, fills a hole in the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and preserves the same ecosystem partially protected by the City’s nearby Meadows-Historic Mill River Greenway.”
-Kate Buttolph, Land Protection Specialist