Beverly & Sharon, MA – October 4, 2012 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), the nation’s oldest regional land trust and Massachusetts’ largest conservation organization, recently honored Al French with a Life Trustee award at the organization’s annual meeting held on September 27th at the New England Aquarium. The honor was bestowed on Mr. French for his many years of leadership of the Bay Circuit Alliance, a 200-mile recreational trail and greenway encircling 57 towns and cities in the Boston metropolitan area between Route 128 and Interstate 495. The trail and greenway connects thousands of acres of scenic, historic and conservation lands running, through 37 communities from Plum Island to Duxbury. Many of those properties are owned and managed by The Trustees.
Mr. French joined The Trustees in 1991 as an active member, organizational partner and advocate. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, he spent many years working in the printing business before leaving to open his own outdoor equipment store, Moor and Mountain, with Burt Batcheller, in 1966. The store, which closed its longtime Andover storefront in 2012, was a hub for Merrimack Valley’s outdoor sporting community. In 1991, Mr. French became chair of the fledgling Bay Circuit Alliance, a volunteer organization made up of towns and conservation groups formed to oversee the expansion and management of the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway. At the end of 2012, Mr. French will retire as The Bay Circuit chairman, as The Trustees and the Appalachian Mountain Club begin an historic collaboration to carry on his legacy. Both organizations will work together to support the Alliance completing, protecting and promoting the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway. Mr. French has hiked the entire Bay Circuit Trail four times, including a 16-day thru-hike with his late wife Mary in 1998 and is its most passionate advocate. In addition to his work with the Bay Circuit Alliance, Mr. French has also been highly involved with the Andover Trails Committee and The Trustees’ Ward Reservation property committee.
Trustees of Reservations
Founded in 1891, The Trustees of Reservations is the nation’s oldest regional land trust and Massachusetts’ largest non-profit conservation organization. The organization’s mission is to hold in “trust” and “preserve, for public use and enjoyment,” “reservations,” or properties, of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.” For over 120 years, The Trustees have worked to conserve the natural, cultural and scenic character that makes Massachusetts’ landscapes and communities unique. The Trustees own and manage 108 properties totaling more than 27,000 acres, serving more than one million visitors each year. Supported by over 100,000 member families, generous donors and over 1,500 volunteers annually, The Trustees work to foster healthy, active, and green communities, with an emphasis on encouraging sustainable, local agriculture and urban and suburban community gardens throughout Massachusetts. For more information visit www.thetrustees.org.