Broad Brook Coalition (BBC) was incorporated in 1988. It was originally organized to prevent a planned development in Cooke’s Pasture, next to the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. The development was never built. In 1994, with the help of $16,000 raised by BBC, the City of Northampton purchased Cooke’s Pasture and added it to the conservation area.
Management of the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area
BBC and the Northampton Conservation Commission have a memorandum of understanding for the stewardship, protection, preservation, management, and maintenance of the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. BBC organizes work days for trail improvement and maintenance and invasive species removal, as well as educational Walks and Talks, in the conservation area.
The 850-acre Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area (FLCA) is owned by the City of Northampton and co-managed by the Northampton Conservation Commission and Broad Brook Coalition for the purpose of conservation, passive recreation, and watershed protection. It contains a 40-acre artificial lake, as well as forest, open meadow, and wetland habitats. Every 5 years, BBC presents a draft of a Management Plan for FLCA to the Conservation Commission, which, when approved, becomes part of the City’s Open Space and Recreation Plan. The most recent management plan was adopted in 2005.
Land Acquisition Fund
BBC has helped the City add to FLCA by soliciting adjacent landowners for the purpose of acquiring land or conservation restrictions for incorporation into the conservation area. BBC also engages in fundraising for the purpose of land acquisition. Since 1993, BBC’s Land Acquisition Fund has contributed over $155,000 toward land purchases for the conservation area. For example, it contributed $8,500 toward the purchase of the 17-acre Private William Adams Memorial Parcel from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Michael F. Curtin Post 8006, of Florence.
BBC’s founders believed that open space preservation and affordable housing are not incompatible goals. In recognition of that philosophy, BBC contributes 5% of the income from its membership fees to Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.
BBC is a nonprofit corporation with tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. It has 145 current members. Individual membership costs $25.00 annually and family member ship costs $35.00, and membership forms are available at the FLCA trailheads. Membership fees and all donations to BBC are tax deductible.