The Spotted Salamander is found throughout Alford.

The Alford Land Trust preserves Alford’s rural character, scenic vistas and pristine ecosystems through land conservation and education. We advocate for conservation as a tool for smart growth — growth that balances economic, social and environmental concerns. In cooperation with residents, town officials and boards, and state and federal agencies we steward hundreds of acres of land in Alford. Our chief collaborator in the region is Berkshire Natural Resources Council.

Box Turtles are Alford natives

 

In the words of the Land Trust Alliance, “A land trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements. Land trusts work with landowners and the community to conserve land by accepting donations of land, purchasing land, negotiating private, voluntary conservation agreements on land, and stewarding conserved land through the generations to come.”

Mowing hay on the Dunn family farm on Green River Road
Mowing hay on the Dunn family farm on Green River Road

Land trusts preserve natural resources and open space, farms and forests, wetlands and watersheds, and historic landscapes and structures. The Alford Land Trust works to conserve land through conservation restrictions, also called conservation easements and Agriculture Preservation Restrictions. We provide support for stewardship with information about land conservation, farmland protection and historic preservation options. We encourage landowners to conserve their land and help them in the process.

Wild Columbine is an early spring bloomer native to Alford

 

A conservation restriction is a permanent legal agreement between a landowner and the land trust limiting the use of a particular piece of land. In most cases, future development is permanently restricted to avoid fragmentation of wildlife habitat and farms, and protect watersheds, prime soils and sensitive environments. Other activities may also be restricted, including mining, tree removal, hunting, and uses that impair scenic value.

 

Long Meadow Farm oat field at Shepard farm on West Road
Long Meadow Farm oat field at Shepard farm on West Road

 

The IRS has designated the Alford Land Trust as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Member donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. For more information on land conservation in Massachusetts visit the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition or contact us.

Deciduous forest near Dunn farm on Green River Road