Manchester Land Conservation Trust

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What is the Manchester Land Conservation Trust?

The Trust preserves open-space lands in Manchester, Andover, Bolton, East Hartford, Glastonbury, and Vernon (click the "Trust Properties" tab in menu on the left of this page to see a listing). We always welcome new members. We are an all-volunteer organization with a board of directors, officers, committees, and several hundred members. The Trust accepts donations of undeveloped land as gifts from individuals or businesses, and occasionally buys land which would otherwise be sold for development. The Trust also solicits money or securities for purchase and maintainance of properties. We own many acres of land, which we maintain for passive recreation (no buildings or lighting, no motor vehicles) 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 land donors and work with them on a property transfer for the conservation of their land in its natural state in perpetuity. The Trust can assist with the services needed for transfer including legal counsel, but we also welcome donations that include a financial gift for counsel, surveying, appraisal, etc.

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."

On April 15, 1972, The Hartford Courant reported on page 12B: "Dr. Douglas Smith was named president of the new Manchester Land Conservation Trust Friday. Other board members introduced Friday include: Harry Maidment, vice president; Dr. Frederick Spaulding, secretary; Mrs. Leonardo Parla, treasurer; and Robert Fuller, Walter Fuss, Attorney John Papa, the Rev. Clifford O. Simpson, and William Sleith, trustees. The ninth member of the board will always include the chairman of the conservation commission, of which Spaulding is presently head."

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

Malcolm F. Barlow, President, 860-646-4081
Helen K. Robbins, Vice President
William A. Doak, Recording Secretary
Dermot Jones, Treasurer

Directors (directors include Officers, above):
Dick Borden
Ginger Jackson
Rob Lewis
Colin C. McNamara, Stewardship Chair
Kwasi Ntem-Mensah
Theresa M. Parla, Membership Chair, 860-643-1823
Justin M. Pedneault
Janet Tunyina

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

Emeritus directors and officers:
Elaine & Glen Law
Douglas MacGillvary
Doug Smith
Fred Spaulding

Be a part of preserving and maintaining open space lands in the Greater Manchester area.