Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to FAQs about The Trustees including Membership, financial information, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Our History

Q: What is a “reservation?”

A: When founded in 1891 by landscape architect Charles Eliot, The Trustees of Reservations name was much better understood. The term “reservation” was used by Eliot to describe his own notion of “park-making.” Unlike Frederick Law Olmsted, whose approach to designing parks was to start from scratch, Eliot favored selecting natural or cultural landscapes that had inherent beauty and interest and then improve, preserve, and open them to the public – the vision that has guided the mission of The Trustees of Reservations ever since.

Financial Resources

Q: Does The Trustees of Reservations receive direct government funding?

A: No. However, from time to time, The Trustees applies for state or federal grants to support specific stewardship projects.

Q: Where does The Trustees of Reservations get their funding?

A: The Trustees of Reservations is funded through a combination of membership dues, annual contributions, admission fees at properties, special events, competitive grants, and endowments. Visit our annual report archive to download PDF files of past annual reports.

Q: How can I donate to The Trustees of Reservations?

A: Click here.


Q: Where can I buy the Property Guide?

A: The Property Guide is an exclusive benefit of membership and is not for sale. When you join, you will receive a copy in your new member packet. Members can buy a replacement copy for $15 (check or credit card) by calling 978.921.1944.

Protecting Land

Q: I need advice about protecting my property. Who should I call?

A: Visit our land conservation techniques page and then speak to a community conservation specialist in your area. Call 978.537.4458 x312 or email our Land Conservation Department to be put in touch with the appropriate staff member. Or use our staff directory to get in touch directly.

Q: Does The Trustees of Reservations acquire land outside of Massachusetts?

A: For the most part, no, though we can. We do own land in adjacent states that is contiguous to properties we own along the Massachusetts border. Examples include parts of Bartholomew’s Cobble (Connecticut) and Mountain Meadow Preserve (Vermont).

Q: Does The Trustees of Reservations preserve working farms?

A: Yes. Appleton Farms is our best example which, operates as a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA). Powisset Farm in Dover is our second CSA. We also own properties that are maintained as agricultural landscapes, though not operated as in the past; Weir River Farm is a good example. We also lease parts of properties to local farmers who help us to maintain them as agricultural landscapes, such as Fork Factory Brook.

Q: Does the organization preserve historic buildings and collections?

A: Yes. Sixteen of our properties contain historic buildings, including nine historic house museums and two lighthouses that are open to the public. Many contain object collections (including paintings, textiles, furniture, and various decorative arts) as well as archival collections (including photographs, prints, and paper materials). Our Archives & Research Center is a state-of-the-art storage and research facility for our collections. See our Facts & Figures page for more details.

Getting Involved

Q: Does The Trustees of Reservations offer internships?

A: Yes. Contact us at for open positions.

Q: How do I find out about job opportunities with The Trustees of Reservations?

A: Click here.

Q: How do I find out about volunteer opportunities with The Trustees of Reservations?

A: Click here.

Q: How do I become a member of The Trustees of Reservations?

A: Click here.

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