Manchester Land Conservation Trust

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What is the Manchester Land Conservation Trust?

The Trust is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with a board of directors, officers, committees, and  several hundred members. The Trust accepts donations of undeveloped land as gifts or as conservation easements from individuals or businesses.  It is also glad to receive money or securities for the purchase of areas which are not likely to otherwise be preserved. We own many acres of land in the towns of Manchester, Andover, Bolton, East Hartford, and Vernon (click the "Trust Properties" tab in the left menu to see our properties). We maintain this land for passive recreation (no buildings or lighting) and we lead free hikes on the land (click the "Events" tab in the left menu to see upcoming activities).

As a private, nonprofit corporation, the Trust can assist potential land donors and work with them on a transfer for the conservation of the land in its natural state.  The Trust can assist with the services needed for transfer including assessment, surveying, and legal counsel, but we also welcome donations that include with a financial gift for these services.

Our History

In the spring of 1972 the Land Trust came into existence as a tax-exempt community organization to: “Engage in and otherwise promote for the benefit of the general public, the preservation and conservation of natural resources of the Town of Manchester, including water resources, swamps, woodland, and open spaces, and the plant and animal life therein, and unique scenic, natural sites and historic sites…and to use all property held or controlled…for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the Town of Manchester and exclusively for the conservational, recreational, educational, scientific and historic purposes….” From the Certificate of Incorporation on file at the Secretary of the State’s Office.

In 1971, prior to the establishment of the Trust, this letter was sent on Chamber of Commerce stationery: “We would like to invite you or a representative of your organization to attend an informal meeting to discuss the establishment in Manchester of a land conservation trust. The organization of a private non-profit, tax-exempt corporation…has been explored in a preliminary way by the City Beautiful Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, the Hockanum River Coordinating Committee, and the Manchester Conservation Commission. – Douglas H. Smith, M.D., Chairman, City Beautiful Committee, and Frederick Spaulding, DM.D., Chairman, Manchester Conservation Commission.
Theresa Parla, president of the Trust from 1980 to 2007, recalls: "The Trust came into being in April 1972. The incorporation certificate says April 11, 1972. The first meeting of conversation-minded individuals was held on February 18, 1972 in the Chamber of Commerce Office, then on East Center St. We invited Attorney Jack Gunther, President of the New Canaan Land Conservation Trust, to a meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a trust. On March 6, 1972, we had a Dutch-treat dinner of people in town who would be interested in creating a land trust. The cost of the dinner was $5.50, payable in advance.

We honor these forward-thinking founders of the Trust, as well as the volunteers who have served and continue to serve -- attending meetings, maintaining trails, organizing activities, overseeing our Treasury and legal issues, supervising projects such as Eagle Scout work, etc.

Officers, directors, and committee chairs

Officers:
Malcolm F. Barlow, President, 860-646-4081
Doug MacGillvary, Vice President and Stewardship Chair
Elaine Law, Secretary
Helen Robbins, Treasurer

Directors:
Nelson DeBarros
William Doak
Richard Griffiths, Newsletter Editor
Theresa Parla, Membership Chair, 860-643-1823
Glenn Law

Other appointees:
Legal Counsel: William R. Broneill
Technology Consultant: Jack Bowden
Webmaster and Publicity Chair: Susan Barlow

Help us preserve and maintain open space lands in the Greater Manchester area.