The Trustees is seeking support for an effort to double the pace of land conservation done by Hilltown Land Trust, with the goal of protecting an additional 500 acres of land every year.
Hilltown Land Trust, which has been an affiliate of The Trustees since 2010, has conserved over 5,000 acres of land in 13 Hilltowns in Western Massachusetts. The demand for Hilltown Land Trust’s conservation services is very high—20 landowners representing over 3,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat and pristine recreational land have reached out to the organization in the past two years.
The current environmental conditions—willing landowners who want to help address the climate crisis, moderate prices, large parcels available, state and federal money to support land acquisition—make this work increasingly urgent and necessary. With this rural area facing development pressure from all directions, now is the time to accelerate the pace of land conservation in the Hilltowns.
Support this Challenge Grant
Hilltown Land Trust has secured a three-year, $210,000 challenge grant for this effort. Hilltown Land Trust and The Trustees must match this grant with two-to-one support and raise a total of $420,000 by June 2025.
Our focus is to hire a dedicated staff person to spearhead Hilltown Land Trust’s urgent and vital land conservation work. The added capacity will allow Hilltown Land Trust to double the pace of this work, protecting 500-600 acres of high conservation value land each year.
We intend to focus future conservation efforts on properties with high habitat and climate resilience values as well as strategic partnerships that provide benefits to those who have been underserved or directly harmed by the land conservation movement.
Given the current climate crisis, increasing development pressure, long list of ready landowners, and state and federal interest in land conservation, the time to accelerate the pace of land conservation in the Hilltowns is now.