Come Together for the Future of the Highlands

Learn More

Space at HCI's conference is limited, and pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Conference schedules, registration forms, and more information about HCI are available Or call 413.268.8219.


The future of the Highlands is in good hands – yours. On Saturday, September 12, join The Trustees of Reservations’ Highland Communities Initiative (HCI) for its 5th biennial conference celebrating the rural communities of our region and the people who are working for its bright and beautiful future.

Held for the first time in Ashfield, the conference will begin at 8:30AM at the Ashfield Town Hall, with morning and afternoon workshops located throughout Ashfield’s gorgeous town center.

In action since 2001, the Highland Communities Initiative has been working with local volunteers and residents of the 38 rural Highland communities between the Housatonic and Connecticut River Valleys to identify and protect their extraordinary natural landscapes and community resources. HCI works towards a broad and ambitious vision: that a network of informed and engaged citizens can protect and preserve important resources, shape and steer new development to meet community needs, and create a forward-thinking and comprehensive plan of action. At this upcoming conference, we invite you to gather with friends and neighbors, celebrate local volunteer successes, and think about the challenges and the course of action that lies before us in this unique landscape.

HCI is proud to welcome Laurie Sanders, host of WFCR’s “Field Notes” radio program, as the conference’s keynote speaker. Also, there will be a diverse and interesting set of smaller conference sessions to choose from, addressing topics such as how to protect our dark, nighttime skies; how local businesses are building community; ways in which farms and the farming experience are being connected to local schools; and news about regional broadband Internet access.

Conference registration is $25 for Trustees of Reservations members and $30 for nonmembers, with a $5 discount for those registering before August 31. Registration fees include lunch and morning refreshments. Please call if you are interested in volunteering at the conference in return for free admission. Attendees are asked to bring their own coffee cups or mugs to reduce the environmental impact of the conference.