Belchertown (previously known as Cold Spring and Belcher’s Town) is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,649 at the 2010 census. The town includes the census-designated place of Belchertown. Belchertown was formerly the home of the Belchertown State School. The land on which the school sat is, as of 2016, being redeveloped for mixed uses including residential, commercial and recreational. This includes the 385-acre (156 ha) Lampson Brook Farm, used for community and sustainable agriculture, outdoor recreation, and wildlife preservation.
Belchertown has one of the largest land areas in Massachusetts and lies adjacent to the Quabbin Reservoir, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country. Although Belchertown is considered a “semi-rural” community with scenic landscape, it has experienced unprecedented residential development. As a result of this influx, the Town’s population increased 27 percent to 10,579 in 1990 and is estimated at approximately 14,700 at this time.
Belchertown has an Open Town Meeting, regarded as one of the purest expressions of democracy as a collective voice of the townspeople determining their own affairs. This form of town government encourages and requires the active involvement of informed residents in deciding the course of the Town.
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