Recognizing the pressures on land use and also recognizing the rights of individual property owners, the Lenox Land trust believes that it is imperative to preserve and maintain the rural New England character of Lenox and the surrounding area for present and future generations and forms this corporation for the following purposes:
The Parsons Marsh Trail Grand Opening Event, on Undermountain Road, Lenox, was Saturday, September 15th, 2018. Over 200 people attended! This fully accessible trail, including its boardwalks, is now open to the public. BNRC & LLT co-hosted guided public walks there prior to the construction of the trail and boardwalks and again in mid-October after they were finished. There may be more trails developed along the Marsh in the future.
The Lenox Land Trust was established in 2004 with the following mission: Recognizing the pressures on land use and also recognizing the rights of individual property owners, the Lenox Land Trust believes that it is imperative to preserve and maintain the rural New England character of Lenox and the surrounding area for present and future generations.
Several articles appeared that year outlining how the land trust came to be and the vision of its original founders (some of whom still serve on our board). Following many months of planning by its board members, the land trust's first public meeting was held on Sunday, February 29, 2004, at the Lenox Community Center.
In one of the articles that was written around that time, writer Kate Abbott quoted Kevin Sprague, president of the new land trust, as follows, "Many of the familiar sweeps of Lenox are less protected than people realize. The land trust is up and running and trying to reach out to people to teach them how to preserve the land." (Excerpted from: Land Trust Looks to Preserve Lenox Greenery, in iBerkshires, by Kate Abbott, February 18, 2004.)
Eight years later, on March 1, 2012, an article was posted to the land trust's website announcing the preservation of a 30 acre parcel fronting on Hubbard Street. The article began, "Lenox, Massachusetts is home to many interests: music lovers at Tanglewood, a procession of stately homes from the Gilded Age, a hike along the Yokun Ridge, fishing the Housatonic. One thing that ties these all together: a passion for the beauty of the rolling hills, quiet woods and beautiful country vistas that are Lenox. The Lenox Land Trust is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the rural landscape of the town. Please join us."
The board meets approximately 5 times/year, including a public annual meeting & community conversation in late fall. We periodically sponsor public walk-arounds on conserved or potentially to-be-conserved parcels. We also staff a booth at the fall Apple Squeeze and participate in other town events. Informational brochures are available at the Lenox Town Hall lobby and at the Lenox Chamber of Commerce. Our board members also serve on town committees and serve on or volunteer for other local environmental agencies including Mass Audubon and Berkshire Natural Resources Council. We have also adopted the Land Trust Alliance's Land Trust Standards and Practices as guidelines for the organization's operations.
We currently hold three conservation restrictions which we monitor annually - on the Toole Wildlife Preserve (111 acres - see Public Lands menu bar link for details), and two other CRs with no public access: the Lenox Gateway CR (9.3 acres) and the Spector CR (29 acres). We also own a small parcel (5.7 acres) on Yokun Ridge on the Lenox/Richmond town line abutting land owned by Richmond Land Trust.
Many joined us Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:00 pm at the Lenox Community Center for unabashed appreciation of our natural environment, with dessert, for the Lenox Land Trust 2018 Annual Meeting & Community Conversation: TREES & TRAILS. Peter Tucker, forester, educated us on the benefits of forestry management plans, using town-owned 231 acre Post Farm as an example. BNRC president Jenny Hansell shared BNRC's vision for The High Road - a hiking trails network connecting to Berkshire towns. LLT's recent efforts and near-future plans were summarized. LLT founding board member Gige Darey, who recently retired off the board, was recognized with Emeritus status, and Lenox DPW director Bill Gop was appointed to the board.
See the News link above for details about our 2019 & 2020 Annual Meetings.