March Change for Change Recipient: Hilltown Land Trust
Hilltown Land Trust protects land and promotes ecological diversity and health, respectful land stewardship, historic character, and natural beauty in our hilltowns.
What Does Hilltown Land Trust Do?
Hilltown Land Trust works to conserve ecologically important wildlands, economically and culturally important working lands, and the scenic beauty and rural character of the hilltowns in their 13-town service area. Their service area includes Ashfield, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Windsor, and Worthington. Since their founding in 1986 as a local, all-volunteer land trust, they have acquired 34 conservation restrictions (CRs) covering over 2,500 acres in their service area, with more projects currently in the works. They have also acquired and then sold to the state three agricultural preservation restrictions (APRs) on 468 acres of Worthington farmland.
HLT owns nine properties: two in Williamsburg on which they maintain hiking trails, two in Worthington wetlands which they plan to leave undisturbed, another forested property in Worthington on which they plan to develop a small trail, three contiguous properties on the Huntington-Westhampton border, and a forested property on Hanging Mountain in Westhampton. This large protected area includes extensive hiking trails, an area managed as a sustainable forestry project, and an undisturbed area reserved for wildlife. You can learn more by visiting our Protected Lands page.
Their project committee and Executive Director work with landowners to develop conservation restrictions on their land and lead them through the process of permanent protection.