PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP SAVES 22-ACRE SWANSEA PROPERTY AT THE 11TH HOUR
The story of how Todd Blount and Blount Fine Foods answered the call to help protect conservation land
by Scott MacFaden, Director of Land Protection
Over the past several months, the Trust partnered with the Town of Swansea and a generous private donor to preserve the 22-acre Tierney property in southwest Swansea, near the Palmer River and the Rhode Island border. The Trust helped facilitate the project to its conclusion, and the Town came away with the ownership interest in the premises.
In November, Swansea Conservation Agent Colleen Brown requested our assistance in exploring options to preserve the Tierney property, which was only days away from being sold to a private, non-conservation buyer. Colleen advised that the owner might be willing to consider selling for conservation. However, as a public entity that must typically obtain Town Meeting approval for large expenditures, and with the next Town Meeting many months distant, the Town was not in a position to purchase the property on short notice.
Fortunately, the Trust was favorably positioned to mobilize quickly and advance the project to a successful outcome. One of the advantages nonprofit land conservation organizations possess is the ability to respond to opportunities with dispatch. For this project, the Trust was able to obtain agreement with the landowner to sell the land for conservation within a few days, and raise the $10,000 needed to purchase the property thanks to the generosity of a nearby business concern. A fundraising request to Todd Blount, the principal owner of Blount Fine Foods in Fall River, was almost immediately answered favorably. The Trust raised the balance needed to cover closing costs.
Read the full story at the Wildlands Trust website.