Trustees Announces Bullitt Reservation Grants for Green Renovations

The Trustees of Reservations Receive Federal Stimulus Funding for Gold LEED-Certifiable, Green Renovation of Bullitt Reservation Farmhouse Bullitt Reservation to Become New Headquarters for Highland Communities Initiative & New Trustees-Hilltown Land Trust Partnership Renovation Completion and Public Property Opening Planned for Fall

Contact Information

Press Contact:
Kristi Perry
Trustees of Reservations PR Manager
617.359.3633
kperry@ttor.org  

Pioneer Valley Contact:
Jocelyn Forbush
Regional Director
413.532.1631
jforbush@ttor.org

The Trustees of Reservations Receive Federal Stimulus Funding
for Gold LEED-Certifiable, Green Renovation of Bullitt Reservation Farmhouse

Bullitt Reservation to Become New Headquarters for
Highland Communities Initiative & New Trustees-Hilltown Land Trust Partnership

Renovation Completion and Public Property Opening Planned for Fall

Haydenville, MA– As part of a deepening commitment to becoming more sustainable and carbon neutral organization-wide, The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), the nation’s oldest statewide land conservation organization, announced some exciting changes taking place at Bullitt Reservation, located in Ashfield and Conway.

Thanks to a gift of $350,000 from the Bullitt Family Trust and a $100,000 grant just received from the Patrick Administration, The Trustees will be able to move forward with a “Deep Energy Retrofit” of the historic farmhouse – formerly the Ashfield Town Poor Farm – located on the Bullitt Reservation. The renovated farmhouse will combine electric heat pump technology (with plans to add solar power as funds are available) and super-insulation to increase energy efficiency, cutting energy consumption by more than 50%. In addition, 100% of the materials from the farmhouse deconstruction will be recycled or reused.

The $100,000 Bullitt Reservation grant is part of a $650,000 federal stimulus grant received from the Patrick Administration in partnership with the Architectural Heritage Foundation and Historic New England for three historic properties located in the Commonwealth. The remaining grant funds will allow The Trustees’ Appleton Farms reservation in Ipswich and Hamilton and Historic New England’s Lyman Estate in Waltham to also undergo green upgrades. Each project will take a slightly different approach and will serve as a valuable model for future retrofits of historic properties.

“We are excited that the Deep Energy Retrofit of Bullitt Reservation will allow the property to become a ‘net-zero’ energy user by producing as much energy as it consumes,” says Jim Younger, Trustees Director of Structural Resources. “In keeping with our commitment to sustainability and reducing our overall carbon footprint at all of our properties, the green Bullitt renovation will be the fourth of hopefully many more planned green buildings owned and managed by The Trustees."

The Trustees are just finalizing permitting for the project, and are beginning the deconstruction to convert 2,000 square feet of the property’s early 19th-century farmhouse into a net-zero energy building. When complete, The Trustees hope the new Bullitt structure will have earned Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a building rating system established by the United States Green Building Council to measure the “greenness” of buildings).

“The federal stimulus grant is so exciting, as it will allow The Trustees to create a structure that is not only highly energy efficient, but one that will serve as a demonstration model for sustainable restoration in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,” says Jocelyn Forbush, Trustees Regional Director for the Berkshires, Pioneer Valley, and Central Regions.

The Trustees have contracted with Mary Quigley, Quigley Builders, of Ashfield and have begun to deconstruct the farmhouse, uncovering centuries of its history while implementing a sustainable renovation process. To date, the original shell of the farmhouse is being left intact, while inside materials and equipment have been salvaged to provide new sustainable opportunities in the local community. An oil-fired water heater salvaged from the basement is being converted to burn used vegetable oil. It will then be sold as a prototype “green” water heater. An old milk cooler salvaged from the basement has been given to a local Ashfield dairy farmer for re-use on his farm. In addition, all other materials removed from the farmhouse will be sorted into piles of wood, metal, and plastic for recycling or re-use, instead of being sent to the local landfill. Other green aspects of the building renovation will include the use of local materials and contractors, which will not only provide commerce and jobs for the local economy but also lower overall energy use and conserve water. In addition, rainwater will be harvested from the farmhouse roof and used for dual-flushing toilets. The final, renovated building will illustrate many energy saving and sustainable practices that can be used as a model for local homeowners and builders.

Trustees LEED Restoration Project Details
Each LEED renovation project has a scorecard that takes the 110 available points and breaks them down into six appropriate scoring categories:

  • Category 1 – Sustainable Sites: Out of 26 points, the Bullitt renovation seeks 11, including a bicycle rack, protection of open space, site design that encourages storm-water management, promotion of a cool site by using shade trees and a roof that reflects sunlight, and preservation of the night sky by limiting exterior light fixtures.
  • Category 2 – Water Efficiency: Out of 11 points available, the Bullitt renovation seeks 9 by promoting water conservation through the use of rainwater harvesting, the use of dual-flush toilets, and the elimination of water use for landscaping.
  • Category 3 – Energy and Atmosphere: The Bullitt project seeks 19 out of 35 points by optimizing energy performance.
  • Category 4 – Materials and Resources: Out of 14 points, the Bullitt project is seeking 4 by re-using the building shell, diverting waste from the landfill, and using local materials.
  • Category 5 – Indoor Environmental Quality: The Bullitt property is seeking 13 out of 15 points by designing the building to take advantage of natural light, providing all occupants a view to the outside, ensuring thermal comfort, and making sure that there is fresh air and that no toxic materials are used during the construction that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Category 6 – Innovation and Design Process: Seeking 4 out of 6 possible points, the Bullitt renovation will engage the public in education about the sustainable aspects of the building and the Reservation.

More Background on the Bullitt Reservation
One of 13 Trustees properties located in the Pioneer Valley, Bullitt Reservation is a 262-acre parcel donated to The Trustees in March of 2009. The property was originally part of the 365-acre former estate of Ambassador William C. Bullitt, Jr., and his daughter, Anne Bullitt. William C. Bullitt, Jr., (1891-1967) was an American diplomat, journalist, and novelist, and is best known for his role as the first U. S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and his service as the Ambassador to France, which began in 1936. Abundant with a mix of forests, fields and streams, which provide natural habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and a diversity of species, the property was enjoyed as a summer home by the Bullitt family for many years. It was the wish of Anne Bullitt that the Bullitt property be conserved and the legacy of her father be carried on at the site for the community and future generations to enjoy. Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Bullitt Foundation, 103 acres of the former estate had previously been preserved through a conservation restriction donated to The Trustees of Reservations in 2008.

Completing an important missing piece in a large puzzle of connected land, the Bullitt Foundation’s recent donation is allowing The Trustees to fulfill the family’s conservation vision for the property, with plans to open the property to the public in summer 2010. Once open, The Trustees anticipate creating a series of trails that link into existing trail networks and providing fun, educational and agricultural programs for area families. In addition, The Trustees plan to use the site as a hub for the important conservation outreach and community building work of The Trustees’ Highland Communities Initiative and the new partnership between the Hilltown Land Trust and The Trustees. In the meantime, The Trustees have begun caring for the land and plan to hold a community outreach meeting in Ashfield and Conway in May to share plans for the reservation, hear residents’ ideas and feedback, and to identify volunteers for the stewardship efforts ahead.

In addition to owning the 262 acres of conservation land, The Trustees hold a conservation restriction on the majority of the remaining Bullitt estate land, approximately 103 acres on the northern side of Bullitt Road, which was sold with the main Bullitt house and barn to a private buyer late last year. The Trustees also own and manage two other properties in Ashfield – Bear Swamp and Chapel Brook Reservations – both popular community recreational sites and important ecological habitats. The new reservation will add to The Trustees’ diversity of program and property offerings in this corner of the Pioneer Valley.

About the Trustees in the Pioneer Valley
Since 2001, The Trustees have been building a stronger conservation presence in the Pioneer Valley region with educational and grassroots community outreach programs and the pursuit of significant land conservation opportunities. Currently, The Trustees own and manage 13 spectacular properties in the region, which include: Land of Providence (opening to the public May 1, 2010), Notchview, the Bryant Homestead, Dinosaur Footprints, Chapel Brook, Bear Swamp, Chesterfield Gorge, Petticoat Hill, Glendale Falls, Little Tom Mountain (to open 2012), and Peaked Mountain. Recent acquisitions which will open to the public in the future include the Bullitt Reservation (Fall 2010) and Mt. Warner Reservation. The Trustees locally operate the Highland Communities Initiative (HCI), a program created to protect the natural and cultural character of 38 rural hilltowns located between the Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers. HCI recently affiliated with the Hilltown Land Trust (HLT), which will be headquartered at Bullitt Reservation in the fall of 2010. To find out more about HCI and HLT, visit www.highlandcommunities.org.

The Trustees of Reservations Statewide
The Trustees are 100,000 people like you who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and believe in celebrating and protecting them for current and future generations. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees “hold in trust,” and care for, 101 spectacular “reservations” located on 26,000 acres in 73 communities throughout Massachusetts. All reservations are open for the public to enjoy and range from working farms and historic homesteads – several of which are National Historic Landmarks – to formal gardens, barrier beaches, open meadows, woodland trails, mountain vistas, and a Gold LEED-certified green building in Leominster, the Doyle Center, which serves as a meeting space and gathering place for the conservation community.

Offering hundreds of programs, workshops, lectures, and activities throughout the year for all ages, most of which are free-of-charge or discounted for members, The Trustees are also a leader in the conservation movement and have served as a model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. With communities and conservation partners, The Trustees work to address and support important conservation issues and efforts across the Commonwealth. In addition, The Trustees hold conservation restrictions on more than 16,000 acres of privately owned land and, with our partners, have assisted in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres.

As land and special places continue to be developed and open space is being fragmented at a rapid pace across the Commonwealth, time is running out to save the best of Massachusetts’ landscapes and landmarks. To find out how you can protect or preserve a special place in your community, become a partner, request a speaker, and/or become a Trustee through your volunteer, donor or membership contributions, please call 781.784.0567, visit www.thetrustees.org, or email membership@ttor.org.

Photos available upon request.