the trustees of reservations
On The Land
The Trustees of Reservations

Friday, August 12, 2011

Helping hands from volunteers

We're fortunate to have several dedicated volunteers who help with our conservation restriction stewardship work. One volunteer, Dean-Lorenz Szumylo (pictured here with CR Monitoring Specialist Sally Naser), inspects several properties on the North Shore, while others help keep an eye on CRs on the south shore, in the metrowest region, and the Berkshires. Also, this summer we hosted a Vermont Law School intern who helped with numerous legal issues on CRs located throughout the state.

From all of us at the CR Program to our volunteers -- "Thanks!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fisher cats rebounding in Massachusetts

On a recent trip to Fitchburg to inspect our newest conservation restriction we were fortunate to see a Fisher. Sometimes called a fisher cat, the Martes pennanti  is actually a member of the weasel family that includes the mink, otter, and skunk. An adult can grow up to 16 pounds and measure 3 feet from head to tail. These agile and elusive animals were nearly driven to extinction in Massachusetts from loss of forest habitat and trapping, but have made a remarkable comeback in recent decades. It was exciting to see such a beautiful, wild creature sprint across the forest floor and then run straight up a tree....quite a sight in the middle of a city!

Source USFWS

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simple and Timeless Field Monitoring Tools

Complicated CR documents often contain very specific language regarding areas where a landowner may and may not exercise certain reserved rights.  For example, a building envelope typically allows an owner to maintain existing structures and build new ones as negotiated in the CR document.  Areas such as these have, ideally, been physically monumented by a professional surveyor and labeled, with metes and bounds (distances and bearings) on the property's survey or plan of land.  For example, a CR might state that, on a certain part of the property, no reserved-right construction activity may occur within a certain distance of a sensitive resource area, such as a wetland. 

Sometimes Trustees' monitoring staff need to check these distances in the field, or determine exactly where a property or building envelope boundary lies.  Below we highlight two simple but indispensable tools for such determinations. 
In the first picture below, staff employ a good old-fashioned tool - a simple tape measure - to determine the distance from a restricted property boundary to new construction on the same landowner's unrestricted parcel.  Here, the measurement point was a professional surveyor's monument on the boundary line of the restricted property, allowing us to be sure that we were measuring from a very exact reference point out to the construction area.   
Trustees' Staff Measuring from a survey monument to new construction: Kelley Whitmore (Community Conservation Specialist), Left.  Andrew Bentley (CR Stewardship Assistant), Right.  Anthony Orlando (CR Enforcement Ranger), far end of tape. 

Other times, it is necessary to determine exactly where a property line lies.  In New England, we often, but certainly not always, have the benefit of historic stone wall boundaries to help us.  Modern technology supplies us with GPS units, which are nice approximators, but ours have a margin of error ranging from 5 to 15 feet, depending on satellite reception.  However, with the help of a survey and the timeless and indispensable tool pictured below, we are able to determine that boundary within a much more precise margin of error - a margin which only a professional surveyor could best.  You may have already guessed what tool that is, and here it is -

Sally Naser, standing on a survey corner monument, sights Andrew Bentley down the property line with a compass. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Primer on the MA Endangered Species Act (MESA) and Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP)

Pictured below is a GIS map made by TTOR, showing a CR property in Central Massachusetts, and its context within the National Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) areas defined by the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. (DFW).  NHESP's BioMap is meant to serve as a framework for both government and non-profit agencies like land trusts, to help identify priority habitat sites for land conservation efforts.  NHESP also reviews property site work in areas subject to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA), for compliance with that legislation.   

Let's start with a primer on areas regulated under MESA, and what that means for landowners.  DFW designates sensitive habitat areas through NHESP, and any work performed in "Priority Habitat of Rare Species" (in red on the map below) is subject to MESA, which protects the habitats of 435 total native plant and animal species.  A subset of these Priority Habitats are "Estimated Habitats," which specifically protect rare wetland wildlife species, but not plants, and fall under the MA Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), which will be the subject of a separate post.  As you can see on the map, the red Priority Habitat has off-white hatching, which indicates that it is also an Estimated Habitat of rare wetland animal species.  Therefore, both MESA and the WPA would apply to work in that area. 

In Priority Habitat areas, the state requires that landowners submit MESA applications for any projects that could lead to habitat alterations, and are not on the list of MESA-exemptions.  For non-exempt work, NHESP reviews plans, makes a determination of effect on listed species, and issues (or denies) permits certifying that the activity does not result in a prohibited "take" of a state-listed endangered, threatened, or special concern species.

So what does this mean for you as a CR landowner?  Since you are stewards of land that may very well contain rare species habitat and fall into MESA or WPA-applicable areas, it is wise to check whether your property, or parts of your property, are subject to it prior to creating site plans or carrying out work that alters the landscape!  Failure to check and submit the proper applications to NHESP under MESA can lead to fines.  Checking whether MESA is applicable is ultimately the landowner's responsibility, and we hope that the links above will get you started on finding that information if you need it.  Project proponents must apply directly to NHESP for MESA determinations. For projects subject to the WPA, the applicant must go through the town or city Conservation Commission. 

The helpful links to MESA above outline the application process that landowners must go through via NHESP in order to receive permits for work in Priority and Estimated Habitat Areas, and can help you to determine whether any part of your property is designated as such.  It even has a handy online viewer accessible from your home computer.  On a further note, beyond MESA, site alterations of greater than two acres of Priority Habitat requires a more rigorous review under what is known as the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), legislation which we will not get into right now! 

NHESP also identifies important habitat areas that are NOT regulated by MESA in its new BioMap2, published in November 2010.  These are the areas seen in blue and orange hatching on the legend above, "BioMap Core Habitat," and "BioMap Critical Natural Landscape" (none present on this sample map). The program also tracks certified and potential vernal pools, which are subject to the MA Wetland Protection Act (WPA), to be covered in a separate post.  BioMap2 is intended to serve as a framework for habitat-oriented land protection across Massachusetts. 

Core Habitat identifies key areas statewide that are important to protect, as they are prime habitat for a list of species that includes 256 plants, 111 invertebrates, 50 birds, 15 reptiles, seven amphibians, and nine mammals.  Core Habitat also includes 94 identified Priority Natural Communities, quality vernal pool habitat, Forest Core, Wetland Core, and Aquatic Core. 

Critical Natural Landscapes complement and sometimes overlap Core Habitat.  These landscapes include the largest identified landscape blocks in each of eight ecoregion designations by which NHESP defines the Commonwealth, as well as habitats adjacent to identified Wetland and Aquatic Core ecosystems.  Overall, Critical Natural Landscapes are designated as support landscapes for supporting intact ecological processes, maintaining habitat connectivity, enhancing ecological resilience, and buffering wetland Core Habitats for long-term integrity. 

This short summary of NHESP only scratches the surface, and draws from the full sixty-page summary report of the state's BioMap2, just released in November 2010, which you can download here by clicking on the "Summary Report" link by the middle of the page. 

If you would like to request a map similar to the one pictured above, showing your CR in relation to MESA-regulated Priority and Estimated Habitats, NHESP-identified Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscape, and known vernal pools, just send an email to

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wetland creatures, both large and small

Alder Meadow Swamp
Our travels last week to southern Worcester County revealed yet another amazing example of wetland habitat protection by conservation restriction. This 97 acre CR protects a mixture of upland mixed forest, agricultural fields, and wetlands including vernal pools and 35 acres of alder-red maple swamp which is part of more than 100 acres known locally as Alder Meadow.  By far the most significant feature of the property, this wetland provides excellent habitat and likely supports rare species as well. 

Nesting pair of great blue herons
In addition to the numerous frogs we saw (and heard), we also were lucky enough to observe a pair of great blue herons sitting atop their nest in the middle of the swamp.  Although at present, the range of great blue herons is well distributed throughout North America, human intrusions near their rookeries in the form of suburban sprawl, timber cutting, wetland drainage and other disturbances are slowly nibbling away at critical nesting habitat, but thankfully this particular rookery is protected forever by CR.

Green frog peering through the sedges

Sally Naser, CR Monitoring Specialist

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Environmental laws to keep in mind

(Image from MA EOEEA)
In addition to following their conservation restriction, every landowner should keep in mind whether an activity they plan to undertake requires approval under the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), zoning bylaws, or any other federal, state and local law. Landowers should pay particular attention to the WPA, which protects wetlands and the public interests they serve, including flood control, prevention of pollution and storm damage, and water supplies, fisheries, and wildlife habitat. These public interests are protected by requiring a careful review of proposed work that may alter wetlands. The law protects not only wetlands, but other resource areas, such as land subject to flooding (100-year floodplains), the riverfront area (added by the Rivers Protection Act), and land under water bodies, waterways, salt ponds, fish runs, and the ocean.

The following information is provided to help you understand whether an activity is subject to any law or regulation and where to go for more information: 

Wetlands and Waterways
Where to go for more information
Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA)
DEP (Department of Environmental Protection); DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation); DFW (Division of Fish and Game);

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet our CR monitoring team

Sally Naser joined the Conservation Restriction Program in November of 2010 as the Conservation Restriction Monitoring Specialist based at the Doyle Center in Leominster. Sally previously served as Boundary Program Manager for the Appalachian Trail in partnership with the National Park Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. While there, Sally worked with 24 of the 31 volunteer trails clubs responsible for maintaining the Appalachian Trail between Virginia and Maine, assisting them with boundary maintenance, monitoring, and encroachment mitigation along the 1,300 miles and 112,000 acres of land that provide a protective buffer to the Appalachian Trail corridor. Perhaps Sally’s greatest contribution to the Trail was her ability to inspire, train, and involve volunteers dedicated to doing this important work while providing the leadership to keep them coming back. In Sally’s first six months with The Trustees, she has begun a number of new initiatives aimed at establishing more accurate CR boundaries, helping CR landowners (and their abutters) to be more responsible land stewards, and recruiting volunteers to assist in monitoring CR lands across the state. Sally, your stewardship prowess knows no bounds!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Paper version of "On the Land" in the mail!

If you are a CR landowner, look for the newest edition of our annual "On the Land" newsletter mailed out to you last week. If you want a copy, you can download one from by clicking HERE or email us at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Fitchburg park takes shape -- and adds more protected acres

The Gateway Park in Fitchburg is now under construction (see earlier post about this new park and conservation restriction by clicking HERE). The park is also growing with the addition of 7 acres of woods that were recently purchased -- and soon to be transferred to the City -- by The Trustees of Reservations working through its affiliate Massachusetts Land Conservation Trust. Like the Gateway Park, this additional land will be protected by a conservation restriction co-held by The Trustees of Reservations and North County Land Trust. The project was made possible by support from Fidelity Bank, a Conservation Partnership Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Fields Pond Foundation.

Community Conservation Specialist, Dave Outman, is seen below checking on the progress of the Gateway Park construction.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Glimpses of Resident Wildlife

As CR monitors, we are often lucky enough to glimpse a variety of animals in their home habitat, or at least evidence of their presence in the form of tracks, foraging evidence, or scat.  Here are a few photographs of some common wildlife from recent annual monitoring visits!  

(A young porcupine snacks on buds and twigs high in a tree on a sunny spring day)

(Hemlock is among porcupines' favorite foods!)

(Red tailed hawk, grounded and turning an eye to the camera  in Devens, MA)
(Bank swallows create these nest holes seen in sand dunes on a Martha's Vineyard CR)

Friday, May 13, 2011

CR to help protect new Town of Marshfield conservation land

The Trustees of Reservations is working with the Town of Marshfield to place a conservation restriction on 14 acres along the North River and abutting Two Mile Farm.  The CR will be the last step in a long battle fought by local residents, the Town and The Trustees of Reservations over many years to conserve this special property. The town relied on Community Preservation Act funds to purchase the property, and The Trustees received a generous private donation to its CR Fund that provides for annual monitoring and CR defense.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leaving a legacy of conservation in Shirley

Professor Arthur Banks recently passed away at the age of 84, leaving his property in Shirley to The Trustees of Reservations to eventually become a new reservation. Professor Banks had first donated a Conservation Restriction to The Trustees in 1995, followed by a gift of the property in 2000 with a retained life estate. He was a passionate conservationist who leaves behind a lasting legacy that will benefit generations to come. Community Conservation Specialist Dave Outman interviewed Professor Banks for the CR newsletter in 2005 that captures the history of the property and its owner.... 

DRIVING NORTH ALONG CENTRE RD. TOWARDS THE historic town center of Shirley, Massachusetts, you will come upon a small white sign with black script on the west side of the road reading “Farandnear.” This unassuming shingle marks the residence of Arthur Banks, retired professor of political science from Binghamton University, and the third generation of his family to call this piece of land in central Massachusetts home. In 1902 his grandfather, Charles E. Goodspeed, purchased just over three acres where he built a summer cottage as a retreat for his daughter, Miriam, who suffered from asthma. He named this property “Far-and-near” for its geographic proximity to his permanent residence in Wollaston (a suburb of Quincy), roughly 50 miles to the east – the Shirley property being close enough to allow for seasonal residence, yet far enough away to require a two days journey by horse and carriage. In 1939 the original cottage (which Goodspeed had made his permanent residence some years earlier) was destroyed by fire and replaced by a two-family house, the main portion of which was occupied by Miriam (Goodspeed) and Gordon Banks, and their three children Arthur, Barbara, and Shirley.

As a young man Arthur Banks spent many hours tending the property that had grown from 3 acres to roughly 60 (through acquisitions made by C. Goodspeed of four adjacent tracks of land), including his responsibilities as resident greens-keeper of the small golf course constructed by his father in the early 1950’s. Out of these experiences grew an affinity for the property, and though his later life in academia would keep him away from the land for most of the year, he would return for periods of time each summer and autumn to enjoy the tranquility of this rural landscape. In the mid 80’s and early 90’s Arthur purchased two additional parcels of land of historic and scenic significance to the community. The first being a cranberry bog that in years past had been worked as a cooperative by a number of Shirley families until they could no longer compete with the increasingly mechanized cranberry industry.

The second was nearly 10 acres of pasture and hemlock forest that included a ravine of Spruce Swamp Brook referred to locally as “Paradise” for its scenic qualities. Over the years Mr. Banks has been an active steward of Farandnear, with his time and interest in local conservation only increasing with his retirement in the mid 90’s – acting as associate editor for the for The Shirley Volunteer, and even authoring articles on various conservation matters on occasion. His efforts on the land at Farandnear include the cultivation of an arboretum on what was the golf course, as well as restoration of the cranberry bog, including repairs to the dikes and installation of culverts and bridges where the old sluice gates had been (naturally occurring cranberries can still be picked on site).

In 1995 Mr. Banks ensured that his efforts would not be lost, and that future generations of Shirley, as well as Massachusetts, residents would be able to enjoy the history and natural beauty of this place with the donation of a conservation restriction (CR) on Farandnear to The Trustees of Reservations. In 2000, he donated a remainder interest in the property to The Trustees so that it would become a reservation in the future, conserved for public use and enjoyment. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Banks the Shirley community will always have this land that provides links to their cultural heritage, and a place to connect with the natural environment."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fly Like an Eagle

This photograph was taken from an airplane, and depicts... other airplanes!  The CR on this 40 acre property in southeastern MA preserves wildlife habitat for rare species, as well as water quality and soil protection on the property, but also contains a reserved right to continue use of the owner's grass airstrip! With close to 350 properties under CR across the state, there are some unusual activities that are allowed under the restrictions. As for explanations?

Every CR that we accept is the result of careful negotiations with the landowner, whether a private individual, another land trust, or a city or town.  And, since CRs are flexible documents, they can be adapted to protect the unique characteristics of each property.  A main goal of The Trustees' CR program is to protect the conservation values of our restricted properties, while staying reasonably flexible to the needs and uses that the owner envisions for their land.

It gets pretty interesting when we have to weigh and negotiate unique, pre-existing uses against the perpetual conservation values the land may hold.  Sometimes we are approached by landowners with a high-value conservation property who wish to set aside a portion of their land for an activity that may seem incompatible with land protection. If the overall conservation value of the property is high enough in terms of rare species, forest and habitat connectivity, water supply protection, or other factors, we just may accept the CR.  See our previous posts for other interesting CRs, including the entirety of Nashawena Island, an urban park, and an historic granite quarry!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New tool added to annual training for CR monitors

We provide annual training for every person monitoring CRs, and this year we've added a new tool to help locate the boundaries of a conservation restriction or its "special use" area (where specific, intensive activities like building a new house may be allowed). Staff Sam Phin, Andrew Bentley, and Chris Detwiller are shown below testing two new DeLorme PN-60 GPS units during the first training of the season held in Westport last week.

Thanks to the help of The Trustees' GIS staff, we can display on the GPS a color aerial photograph with the CR boundaries (green line), special use areas (red dashed line), and current location (blue triangle). While this still isn't as accurate as a survey, compass  and tape measure (which are also part of the trainings and our monitoring "toolkit") it gives us another way to navigate complicated properties and know what is -- or is not -- within the bounds of the conservation restriction.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CR will Protect New Community Park in Fitchburg

Last year, The Trustees and the North County Land Trust acquired a CR on Massachusetts' first Gateway Park, soon to be constructed in the City of Fitchburg.  Gateway cities are twenty-four traditional manufacturing hubs across the state that are home to 35,000 or more residents.  Fitchburg's economy once thrived, anchored by paper mills and a General Electric plant, but lost 75% of its manufacturing jobs between 1960 and 2000 when these facilities closed down.  Today Fitchburg, like other post-industrial communities, has seen income and education levels lag behind other regions that can attract knowledge-based businesses like software developers and financial services. The Commonwealth's Gateway Parks program will provide new opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors, where parks are in scarce supply, and help attract other economic investment.

The Fitchburg Gateway Park will add to the many beautiful parks managed by the Fitchburg Parks Department. The CR will ensure that the land remains a city park for the public to use and enjoy, and permits a variety of activities including a community garden, performance pavilion, and walking trails along the banks of the North Nashua River. 

(Nashua River flowing past the park site, May 2008)

(Shady grove on the park site, along Nashua River bank, May 2008)

This project also demonstrates the effectiveness of public-private partnerships where private land trusts, the Nashua River Watershed Association , and the Fitchburg Greenway Committee (TTOR's 2010 Conservationist of the Year!), worked with state and local government to carry out a complex project.  We can't wait to monitor this land and watch the park transform from an abandoned industrial site into a vital community space, benefiting the residents of my historic home town.

Andrew Bentley - CR Stewardship Assistant

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Conserving Cape Cod

The rapid growth in the number of summer and year-round homes on Cape Cod has consumed much of the remaining open land, and also created serious problems for drinking water supplies, ponds and estuaries polluted by nitrogen leaching out of septic systems. The Trustees of Reservations and several private landowners have protected more than 320 acres on four conservation restrictions in Barnstable and Yarmouth, keeping long stretches of coastline free of development and preserving habitat for birds like this Osprey (sitting on its nest during today's monitoring visit).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ipswich Salt Marsh CRs

Understandably, the salt marshes that The Trustees hold CRs on along Argilla Rd in Ipswich weren't much to look at on the cold, gloomy day we did our monitoring a few weeks ago, but I could certainly grasp what a vital ecosystem of plants and animals these wetlands support. 

As a native of western PA, I was curious to know more and have since learned that these CR protected salt marshes are part of what's known as the Great Marsh. At 25,000 acres, it's the largest contiguous salt marsh north of Long Island, NY.   This amazing salt marsh ecosystem supports over 30 species of shorebirds including the threatened Piping Plover and many other plant and animal species listed as "rare" and protected by the MA Endangered Species Act.

Although the 285+ acres of salt marsh protected by these 20+ CRs makes up only a small percentage of the Great Marsh, every bit helps to buffer this incredible coastal habitat from the ongoing threats of adjacent land development.

Sally Naser, CR Monitoring Specialist

Monday, April 11, 2011

Teaming up on a CR in Lowell

LPCT Executive Director Jane Calvin describes the Hawk Valley Farm CR

Snowshoes at the ready (photo by Charles Cutler)

LPCT Stewardship & Education Manager Brian Cutler explains the basics of wildlife tracking
(photo by Charles Cutler)

 The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust and The Trustees of Reservations teamed up in 2009 to help conserve a critical five-acre parcel along Clay Pit Brook in Lowell's Pawtucketville neighborhood, resulting in the Hawk Valley Farm CR co-held by both organizations. Earlier this year LPCT offered a wildlife tracking event on the CR property on a snowy Saturday morning, treating those in attendance with a first-hand glimpse of signs left by a variety of animals that depend on this urban wild -- including fisher, deer, and fox.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harbingers of Spring

That high pitched sound you may be hearing in the early evening is made by small frogs known as spring peepers, and is one of the first signs that spring has truly arrived. These little amphibians mate and lay their eggs in ponds and spend the rest of the year in the forest. Many of the conservation restrictions we hold cover properties with vernal pools and other wetlands which are protected by the MA Wetlands Protection Act as well as local wetlands protections bylaws in some towns to help ensure this spring chrous will continue to be heard forever.

 Copyright USGS

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CR boundary signs

We have two different signs available to landowners for free to mark the boundaries of the CR. The first emphasizes the partnership between the landowner and The Trustees.

A new sign available this year stresses that the land is privately owned and no trespassing is allowed (this wouldn't be suitable where a CR allows for public access, of course). This marker can be effective where neighbors are inadvertently or intentionally straying onto the restricted land -- such as dumping grass clippings, extending their lawns or cutting down trees-- and stating clearly that this is private land protected with a permanent conservation restriction held by The Trustees.

Email us at or call 978-840-4446 x1922 to order your CR boundary signs and for help with posting your conservation land.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

A historic-folkloric CR monitoring visit

Since my arrival at The Trustees last November as the new CR Monitoring Specialist, one of the main aspects of my work that consistently intrigues me compared to my former job with the Appalachian Trail is the amazing variety of conservation values we protect through our CR program.

On a recent annual monitoring visit of a 185 acre CR in the Town of Milford, MA, my coworker and I spied this enormous rock pile deep in the woods.

Closer investigation of these massive stones left me wanting to know more about this property and of Milford's granite quarrying history.

With a quick google search back at the office, I soon learned of the discovery of pink granite in Milford back in the 1860's.  By the early 1900's, Milford was at the forefront of the granite industry providing over 1,000 quarrying jobs and building materials for such notable structures as the Boston Public Library, the former Pennsylvania Station in New York City and the steps and terrace walls of the Lincoln Memorial.  Between 1870-1940, it's estimated that over a million and half tons of granite were taken from the many quarries located across Milford.  Amazing!

For more information about the history of granite quarrying in Milford, MA see

Sally Naser, CR Monitoring Specialist

Protecting private farms

The Trustees hold or co-hold conservation restrictions on 66 farms, protecting 5,800 acres of important agricultural land. This is in addition to our work facilitiating transactions between farmers and the state that protect agricultural land through the MA Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chilly Cape Ann Monitoring!

This past week found us monitoring several conservation restrictions in towns on Cape Ann.  Little did we expect a snowstorm and blustery high seas!  A fish and chips lunch in Gloucester successfully drove the cold from our bones after our chilly treks!

The second picture is near Halibut Point Reservation acquired by The Trustees in 1934. On Cape Ann and elsewhere in Massachusetts we hold CRs on private land adjacent to Reservations and other conservation areas, creating networks of protected open space. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Monitoring Nashawena Island CR by plane

The Nashawena Island conservation restriction granted in 1976 is the only one we monitor by plane...and it's also the largest CR held by The Trustees at 1,820 acres.

Welcome to "On the Land"

Many who know about The Trustees of Reservations from visiting our 105 reservations across Massachusetts may not be aware that we also protect privately owned properties with conservation restrictions (these are known as conservation easements outside Massachusetts). In 1972 the first Conservation Restriction (CR) was donated to The Trustees on land along the Charles River in Sherborn, and today our CR Program cares for over 345 properties conserving nearly 20,000 acres in 79 cities and towns. This blog is a new way for us to share stories, photos and advice with landowners, partners, our team of staff and volunteer monitors, and the conservation community about the stewardship efforts that happen after the CR is in place. It will also highlight the extraordinary natural, scenic, and cultural features that are permanently protected by our CRs. It's just another way we are working to help ensure that the most important Massachusetts landscapes are protected, forever.

Chris Rodstrom, CR Program Director

Conservation restriction on Martha's Vineyard