MassDevelopment Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign for Belchertown's Lake Wallace Sensory Trail

$28,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

May 3, 2018


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Doug Albertson,Town of Belchertown, 413-323-0407  ext. 320

Lake Wallace Sensory Trail, BelchertownMassDevelopment and Town of Belchertown today announced a new campaign through the Commonwealth Places, a collaborative initiative of MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity, for the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail, which will be the core of the new Belchertown Heritage Trails network. The Sensory Trail will connect Belchertown schools with a crucial environmental resource for teaching, tell the story of the town's unique history, and contribute to the economy as a public amenity for the Carriage Grove development and the Belchertown town center.

“MassDevelopment has partnered with the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation on Carriage Grove since 2012, and we look forward to expanding our support of that redevelopment and the Belchertown community through this project,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “By creating natural connections for residents and visitors, the Town is building foundations for economic development through this town-wide trail system.”

Residents of Belchertown are designing the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail with the community in mind, and the trail will provide a space for leading an active lifestyle, learning about wildlife, and meeting neighbors and friends. The Town views the trail as a crucial step toward a more walkable, safe Belchertown and prosperous town center.

“The Lake Wallace Sensory trail is a core feature and vital connector in the redevelopment of the former Belchertown State School,” said Doug Albertson, Belchertown Town Planner. “It honors the memory of the school’s residents and staff by being a fully-accessible trail and includes historical markers and areas for reflection. It also provides for the incoming senior population at the assisted living complex next to the site. Further, it enhances the educational and recreational opportunities for the nearby Chestnut Hill Recreation area and public schools. It is a crucial asset for our town and connects its past, present, and future.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $28,000 by June 30 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.