A Balancing Act
To guide the dual goals of our stewardship of each reservation, The Trustees use a comprehensive management planning framework. First, we research the reservation’s scenic, historic, and ecological resources and patterns of land use and, using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, we create a comprehensive map of these resources. Next, we establish objectives for the protection of these resources and identify compatible forms of access and visitor use. The resulting management plan is a blueprint for achieving our dual commitment to resource protection and public access.
Massachusetts is blessed with a wealth of wonderful scenic, historic, and ecological landscapes. The remarkable diversity of these landscapes is the result of thousands of years of complex interactions between nature and people. Today, these landscapes connect us to our natural and cultural heritage. Our reservations protect virtually every type of natural and scenic landscape, from mountains and forested woodlands to working farms, river valleys, salt marshes, barrier beaches, and islands. The historic houses, structures, and landscape features on our reservations represent every significant style from the early settlement period to the late 20th century.
We are committed to providing free public access to as many reservations as possible. More than one million people visit our reservations each year. Currently, three-quarters of our reservations are open free of charge, every day of the year. Where admission fees are charged, Trustees members are admitted free or at a greatly reduced rate. Where opportunities arise, we work to expand and connect existing trail networks, both among our own reservations and in connection with other conservation land. As part of our commitment to public access, we strive to provide clear entrances, sufficient parking areas (where appropriate), signs to welcome and direct visitors, and information such as trail maps to help visitors find their way and enjoy their visit.