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Moose Hill Farm, Sharon, MA – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), one of Massachusetts’ leading land protection organizations, today announced a significant milestone: the opening of its 100th reservation, Cormier Woods, in Uxbridge on October 18, 2008.
In addition to a special celebration planned at Cormier Woods, including a ribbon cutting, ranger-led walks and live folk music, The Trustees will be marking the 100th reservation with local celebrations around the state throughout the month of October. The events are designed to highlight The Trustees’ entire reservation network, and honor the people and communities who love and help care for some of Massachusetts’ most important scenic, historical and natural sites. Several events will honor the original donors who gave the property to The Trustees, or the people who rallied to protect it, with a scrapbook of collected memories and stories. Events range from a cow and calf parade at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, to an old-fashioned family picnic at Brooks Woodland Preserve in Petersham, to a game of croquet on the lawn at Coolidge Point in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Most events are free and all are open to the public. Community members, friends and neighbors are invited to join the festivities, and share their stories and memories.
Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have been preserving, caring for and welcoming the public to some of the most treasured recreational, scenic and historical sites in Massachusetts. The Trustees’ reservations are wonderfully diverse, and include mountains and hilltops, formal parks, working farms, stately homes and gardens, country inns, 70 miles of coastline, and five National Historic Landmarks.
One reason for the statewide celebration is that so many properties have compelling stories behind them that the general public many not know; some beloved sites have been saved from becoming housing developments and suburban malls. Others were already cherished family estates, popular community gathering places, natural wonders and national historic landmarks that just needed someone to manage and care for them for present and future generations to enjoy. Many of these stories will be told at the statewide celebration events.
“The Patrick Administration shares with The Trustees of Reservations the conviction that we have an obligation to safeguard the Commonwealth’s diverse landscapes for generations to come,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said. “I commend The Trustees for reaching this important milestone. Because of their leadership, Massachusetts citizens have a wealth of places where they can enjoy the great outdoors and learn about the natural, historic and cultural fabric that defines our state.”
“This 100th reservation celebration is not only about The Trustees, but about all the people and the communities who cherish these special places,” says Trustees president, Andrew Kendall. “We’re celebrating the families who gave them, the community activists who fought for them, the civic leaders who championed them, the thousands of volunteers who care for them, and the more than one million people who visit and enjoy them each year. We want to make everyone aware of the role they can play in preserving their quality of life and the character of their communities.”
The Trustees: Conservation Leaders and Partners
Of Massachusetts’ five million acres, one million have been developed, one million have been preserved, and three million are “up for grabs.” Of the land not yet developed, 1.5 million acres are worthy of protection for their scenic, ecological or cultural significance. Unfortunately, Massachusetts is consuming open land at a pace far beyond its growth in population, making protection efforts all the more urgent.
The Trustees of Reservations protect land in many different ways: sometimes a treasured family estate is given to the organization after the death of its owner, as was the case with Cormier Woods; in other cases, The Trustees have assisted communities fighting to preserve a treasured landmark, such as World’s End in Hingham, or Eastover Farm in Rochester and Marion. Increasingly, the organization is working to preserve land near urban areas, including Holyoke, Leominster/Fitchburg and Fall River, where residents often have little opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Today, The Trustees own and manage more than 25,000 acres in 71 communities – all open to the public – and have helped preserve another 35,000 acres in cooperation with private landowners, local land trusts, communities and state agencies. The Trustees’ affiliate, Boston Natural Areas Network, owns 40 community gardens and advocates for urban wilds and greenways in the city of Boston.
A sample of The Trustees’ signature properties and when they were gifted or acquired include: Rocky Narrows in Sherborn (acquired in 1897); Monument Mountain in Great Barrington (1899); Chesterfield Gorge in Chesterfield (1929); the Old Manse in Concord (1939); Crane Beach (1945) and Castle Hill (1949) in Ipswich; Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield (1946); Naumkeag in Stockbridge (1959), Cape Pogue on Martha’s Vineyard (1959), World’s End in Hingham (1967); Coskata-Coatue (Great Point) on Nantucket (1974); and Appleton Farms in Ipswich and Hamilton (1998). To view all 100 reservations, visit www.thetrustees.org.
One of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits, The Trustees employ 165 full-time, 46 regular part-time, and 350-400 seasonal staff with expertise in resource protection, land management, historic preservation, farming, ecology, public policy, and outdoor education. To apply for employment, request a speaker, become an organizational partner, interview Trustees’ experts on important topics and issues, or become a member, please visit www.thetrustees.org.