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Holyoke, MA — The Trustees of Reservations, the nation’s oldest statewide land trust and conservation organization, recognized the Sisters of Providence as “Conservationists of the Year” at their 118th Annual Meeting held on September 26.
The Sisters of Providence have been pioneers in the health and social service fields since they arrived in western Massachusetts in 1873. The Trustees chose to honor them at their Annual Meeting because, in keeping with their focus on caring for women, the Earth and the poor, they have recently placed 25 acres of the Community’s agriculturally rich land under the guardianship of The Trustees of Reservations—land The Trustees have named “Land of Providence.”
Elizabeth Oleksak, who accepted the Conservationist of the Year Award on behalf of the Sisters of Providence, joined the order in 1960 and has been the primary advocate within her community for this action. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Nuestras Raices, a grass-roots organization that developed an innovative agricultural training program for migrant and immigrant farmers on the site that is now the Land of Providence. In managing this new reservation, The Trustees will continue to support Nuestras Raices’ agricultural programming and together, the two organizations will coordinate outreach and the stewardship on the site.
About The Trustees of Reservations in the Pioneer Valley
Since 2001, The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) have been working to build a stronger conservation presence in the Pioneer Valley region with educational and grassroots community outreach programs and the pursuit of more significant land conservation opportunities. Currently, The Trustees own and manage 11 spectacular properties in the Valley including: Land of Providence, 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, with several prospective properties planned for the future. In addition, The Trustees locally operate the Highland Communities Initiative (HCI), a program created to protect the natural and cultural character of the 38 rural hilltowns located between the Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers. To find out more about HCI, please visit www.highlandcommunities.org. To reach The Trustees of Reservations Pioneer Valley regional office, please call 413.532.1631.
More About The Trustees of Reservations Statewide
The Trustees are 100,000 people like you, from every corner of Massachusetts, who share a deep set of similar values—a love of the land, the outdoors, and the distinctive charms of New England—and believe in celebrating and protecting them for ourselves and for future generations. Trustees’ volunteers, members, donors, staff, and governing board all “hold in trust,” and care for 102 special places called "reservations,” hence the name, The Trustees of Reservations.
Founded in 1891 by Charles Eliot, an open space visionary and protégé of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, The Trustees of Reservations are the nation's oldest statewide land conservation trust and nonprofit conservation organization. With 102 reservations—all open to the public—spanning 73 communities and 26,000 acres, Trustees properties are tremendously diverse. From mountains and hilltops, to open meadows, parks, working farms, stately homes and gardens, beautiful country inns, 70 miles of stunning coastline and beaches, and five National Historic Landmarks, Trustees properties offer something for everyone.
Some of The Trustees signature properties include: World’s End in Hingham, Crane Beach in Ipswich, The Inn at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Ward Reservation in North Andover, Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Long Hill in Beverly, Chesterfield Gorge in Chesterfield, Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield, Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, The Inn at Field Farm in Williamstown, Notchview in Windsor, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge on Martha’s Vineyard, Coskata-Coatue (Great Point) on Nantucket, Tully Lake Campground in Royalston, and the gold, LEED-certified Green Doyle Center building in Leominster.
In addition to protecting and caring for its many properties, The Trustees also provide hundreds of year-round programs and events that inspire people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors, and appreciate the history, nature and culture of the Commonwealth. Most events are free-of-charge or heavily discounted for members.
One of the largest non-profits in the state of Massachusetts, The Trustees employ 176 full-time, 22 regular part-time, and 350-400 seasonal staff with expertise in ecology, education, historic resources, land protection, conservation, land management, and planning. To find out how to apply for employment, request a speaker for an event, become an organizational partner, interview Trustees’ experts on important topics and issues, or become a member, please contact www.thetrustees.org.
The Trustees: Conservation Leaders and Partners
A leader in the conservation movement, The Trustees have both served as a model for other land trusts, nationally and internationally, and worked with hundreds of community partners to preserve open land and the character of local communities statewide. In addition to managing and caring for its 102 properties, The Trustees hold perpetual conservation restrictions on more than 16,000 acres—a total larger than any other conservation organization in Massachusetts—permanently protecting scenic and natural areas from development, and have worked with communities and other conservation partners to assist in the protection of another 16,000 acres around the state.