About The Ashby Land Trust
The Ashby Land Trust, Inc. is a 501©3 non-profit land preservation organization dedicated to protecting the natural resources and rural character of Ashby. Since our incorporation in 1999, we have helped to preserve nearly 700 acres of land in and near Ashby. We also provide technical assistance to landowners wishing to protect their land, and educational programs aimed at increasing awareness and appreciation of the open spaces in our community.
The Land Trust was founded in 1998 by a group of residents of Ashby who recognized the need to have a private, non-profit land preservation organization in town. Most of the members of our Board of Directors and many of our members are current or former elected Ashby Town officials. We are committed to land preservation for its own sake, and for its value in bringing together our community.
Since our incorporation in 1999, we have helped to preserve nearly 700 acres of land in and near Ashby. We also provide technical assistance to landowners wishing to protect their land, and educational programs aimed at increasing awareness and appreciation of the open spaces in our community.
Although our town and land trust are small, we have never considered size to be an impediment to doing a big project. Our technical expertise, our ability to bring together a large group of diverse players, and our creative deal making and negotiating were vital to the purchase of Mt. Watatic from a reluctant and difficult owner with no interest in environmental or community concerns.
On-going Land Trust Programs:
In addition to our work on Mt. Watatic, the Trust continues to work on several fronts:
- Land protection priorities center around completing the wildlife corridor spelled out in the Town of Ashby Open Space and Recreation Plan. We are facilitating the protection of two more parcels of land in the corridor, totaling 210 additional acres.
- We lead regular wilderness hikes throughout town in all seasons, to showcase the beauty and diversity of our open spaces.
- We are continuing to provide educational programs to townspeople and to work with the town government.
- We take our monitoring and stewardship responsibilities seriously, and hold conservation restrictions on three parcels of land totaling just under 200 acres.
Key Land Trust Achievements:
- The Trust holds Conservation Restrictions on three parcels of Town land; the South Road fields (12 acres), the Morrison land (3 acres), and the Wiita Conservation Land (175 acres).
- We supplied the final funding to allow a DEM purchase of the Chiacchia land (210 acres).
- We brokered the shared ownership of Mt. Watatic (280 acres).
Land Trust Staff, Membership, and Funding Sources:
- Volunteer leaders conduct all business and manage the fundraising. We have no paid staff.
- We have a membership base of over 6% of the households in town.
- Our funding comes from membership dues, private contributions, and foundations.
Contributions to the Ashby Land Trust, Inc. are tax-deductible.