Build The Trustees of the Future

From the seeds of a single idea about the power of nature, The Trustees has grown over the course of 131 years and now encompasses 123 properties across the Commonwealth. To build a better future, we must continue expanding our audience, increasing visitation, growing membership, and reaching new outdoor adventurers.  

The Trustees exists to provide nature not just for the privileged few, but for everyone. Preserving these places for public use was the animating spirit behind Charles Eliot’s founding of The Trustees, and it remains as our guiding principle today. As part of Momentum, our vision for the future is to not merely give people access to the outdoors, but to go even further and ensure all our visitors feel included and welcome in nature.  

Through Momentum we have launched a Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity roadmap to guide this work. We have begun to install multilingual signage at many of our properties and amplified traditionally marginalized voices through everything from art exhibitions to the naming of our properties, trails, and landmarks.  

Additionally, we have seen a tremendous increase in our visitation and membership during this campaign. Much of this growth came during the early days of the pandemic when people rediscovered the importance of the outdoors and the restorative power of nature, beomcing aware of Trustees reservations and building an appreciation of our mission in the process. 

Momentum has set the foundation of the Trustees future and allowed us to rapidly scale and implement our vision of a better, brighter, and greener Massachusetts. Through this campaign and beyond, we will ensure for centuries to follow that everyone can experience the invigorating power of our treasured and irreplaceable landscapes.

Major Accomplishments:  

  • The Trustees created a Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity Roadmap to create inclusive spaces of belonging for Trustees visitors as well as staff, members, volunteers across our organization and 123 properties. The DBIE Roadmap outlines our aspirations and plans for what we can achieve on this journey, acknowledging that this will be a long-term commitment that requires continuous learning and investment beyond this timeframe.
  • In 2021, The Trustees began installing multilingual signage at properties across Greater Boston and Greater Lawrence, to better engage and welcome all visitors. The new signage has been created in the primary languages of the local and neighboring communities to each property, and include Spanish, Chinese, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Arabic. To date, installations have occurred at Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens, Mary Cummings Park, and many of our Boston community gardens. These join previously installed multilingual signage at our Holyoke and Leominster reservations.  
  • We made a $2.5 million investment in our technology infrastructure, updating and modernizing our equipment and databases to build future success. This included the launch of a new, redesigned website in 2020, allowing members of the public to more easily search for programming, events, and information on all things Trustees.
  • We have seen tremendous growth in visitation and membership throughout the Momentum campaign, but especially in the early days of the pandemic. During that time, people rediscovered the importance of the outdoors and the restorative power of nature. In fiscal year 2021 (April 2020 to March 2021) we saw more than 2 million visitors to our properties, and a dramatic 44 percent increase in membership revenue.
  • Following the January 2021 passing of Barbara Erickson, the president and CEO of The Trustees since 2012, we created the Barbara Erickson Land Conservation Fund, allowing donors to make a gift to The Trustees in her honor. It has since raised several million dollars from contributions honoring her incredible legacy and supporting the future of The Trustees.
  • Donors Ann and Peter Lambertus created the Lambertus Conservation Fund, an endowment which provides the solutions to critical conservation challenges, allowing The Trustees to pursue projects of significant scale that are currently assessed as not viable due to project cost, helping us secure more iconic places.
  • We created the Al Creighton Conservation Specialist position, a role on the Trustees land conservation team for an early-career conservationist. The position was created and funded through the generous support of the Creighton family, in honor of longtime Trustees supporter Al Creighton, to provide training and development to a young conservationist and create a pipeline of conservation leadership at The Trustees.
  • The campaign has raised more than $40 million in endowment funding, which will support the protection and preservation of our state’s most special places for generations to come.