SPRING 2017 VOLUME 25 NO. 1
FOR MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE TRUSTEES
Welcome Fruitlands Museum A new chapter begins for this storied place
BE A TRUSTEES VOLUNTEER
Get your hands dirty! We get it. Your time is valuable, and you have a choice on how you spend it. By working with us, you’ll be able to share your skills and develop new ones, surrounded by the beautiful land and culture of Massachusetts. Ongoing and short-term opportunities to volunteer with The Trustees this spring include:
KITCHEN Assistants, Cheese Ambassadors Flexible schedules Boston Public Market, Boston firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Ambassadors Flexible schedules Boston Community Gardens, Boston email@example.com
Public Program Assistants Flexible schedules Appleton Farms, Hamilton & Ipswich The Stevens-Coolidge Place, North Andover firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE STATE
New Membership Program for Nonprofits
Trustees G et Outside
Y LEVEL* ADMIT AS FAMIL ldren under *Two adults & chi ission 18 included in adm
Trustees has recently launched a new statewide access program for libraries, organizations, and their patrons. The Trustees GO Pass (G-O for “Get Outside”) is our first access pass created exclusively for nonprofit organizations to share with their patrons. The $350 fee provides an organization with a passbook containing 100 one-time use GO Passes for use at Trustees
properties for free or reduced admission. (Each GO Pass is equivalent to the admission benefit of a Family-level Trustees membership.) And GO Pass organizations also receive other member benefits, such as a subscription to Special Places and a copy of our property guide. Interested organizations can join or get further details at 978.921.1944 x1870 or email@example.com.
Tour Program Assistants Weekend schedules Crane Estate, Ipswich firstname.lastname@example.org
Stewardship & Carpentry Volunteer Flexible schedules Appleton Farms, Ipswich email@example.com
Event Assistants, Field/ Harvest Crew, Gardeners Flexible schedules Powisset Farm, Dover; Weir River Farm, Hingham; World’s End, Hingham; Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday Workday Corps 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month 9:30AM-1PM Powisset Farm, Dover (+ nearby reservations) email@example.com
Program Assistants, Property Ambassadors Flexible schedules Fruitlands Museum, Harvard firstname.lastname@example.org
National Public Gardens Day
Coloring Inside the Walls at the Bradley Estate
In a recently announced partnership with Proven Winners—well known as a top brand of high quality flowering plants—Trustees is launching a unique display garden this summer at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton. Showcasing a meticulously planned assortment of annuals, perennials and shrubs, from established favorites to brand-new varieties, the Bradley display garden will boast a riot of color to delight the eye. Jeff Thompson, Horticulturist at the Bradley Estate, is the new garden’s designer. He says, “My intentions are to return the space to something closer to how it looked when the Bradleys lived here. It’s a start at returning the garden to a more floriferous and colorful composition.” The display garden will be open from mid-June through September, and a concert series is also planned for the space, so there will be many reasons to make the Bradley Estate a must-visit this summer. Keep an eye on our website and e-newsletters for details.
Help us beautify eight of our gardens across the GARDEN DESIGN ©TRUSTEES state; mulching and cleaning up the grounds to welcome the beauty of spring. Friday, May 12 | 9AM-12Noon These listings are among scores of options for you to help us out at our properties For full details and to sign up, across the state. For more details and a full list of all our volunteer opportunities, visit thetrustees.org/volunteer visit thetrustees.org/volunteer.
Youth Conservation Corps: Leading by Example
This past summer and fall, a great group of 70 teens from Fall River, New Bedford, and eight Boston neighborhoods participated in our Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The program, offered by The Trustees for more than 20 years, is based on the philosophy that hands-on service projects can teach valuable job-readiness skills to urban teens, while fostering the next generation of inspired environmental advocates. YCC crews make a very tangible difference by caring for natural spaces around the city, and making them more accessible to residents of all ages. Projects like clearing invasive species, building trails, planting trees and flowerbeds, and harvesting vegetables for local food pantries immerse the teens in the natural and green spaces in and around their own cities, and are blended with enrichment workshops, field trips, and hiking excursions.
The 2016 Youth Conservation Corps gathered for their annual summit—a day that brings the seven local crews together for outdoor fun and bonding—last July at Rocky Woods in Medfield.
For many participants, the YCC is their first job, as well as their first education about their local environment. While these young adults experience the challenge and satisfaction
of working hard and making a difference in their communities, they gain new skills, build confidence, and learn to lead by example.
Grant Assures a New Vision for Boston’s Waterfront
© RENDERING BY STANTEC
A conceptual rendering illustrates the type of innovative open space that is the ultimate goal of the Boston Waterfront Initiative.
Trustees’ Boston Waterfront Initiative (see Special Places, Winter 2016) has taken a significant leap forward as a result of a recent $1.2 million grant from the Barr Foundation. This new funding establishes a yearlong endeavor to articulate, with key partner organizations, a shared vision and set of goals for the protection and stewardship of Boston’s vulnerable waterfront, which has been under increasing stress due to rapid and uncoordinated development. The vision—which will address coastal resiliency, foster a collaborative effort among local groups and organizations, consider the needs of all City residents, and ultimately ensure the public’s interest—will provide the starting point for analysis of potential land parcels that could be transformed into open recreational green space and to provide a natural buffer against flooding. As a result of the grant, Trustees recently welcomed Laura Jasinski as Associate Director and first member of the new Boston Waterfront Initiative team. Laura has most recently been a project manager and program director with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Look for further updates as the year progresses, here in Special Places, on our website, and in our eNewsletters.
HIKE 125 CHALLENGE Members from many parts of the state were the lucky prize winners in the 2016 Hike 125 Challenge, created to celebrate The Trustees’ 125th Anniversary. Winners were picked at random from among all hikers who had completed various distance mileposts; they came together to receive their prizes in early February at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton.
Congratulations to our lucky winners!
John Walker, Sandwich Grand Prize (125-mile award)
John Walker, left, from Sandwich, the Grand Prize winner (and new Trustees member,) explores Norris Reservation in Norwell recently. All winners received Trustees prizes along with camping equipment generously donated by our partner REI Co-op.
Sandra Woodbury, Burlington 100-mile prize Russ Kiser, Natick 75-mile prize David Greatrix, Tewksbury 50-mile prize Margaret Seymourian, Billerica 25-mile prize Elizabeth Seltenrich, Ipswich Family Hikers prize Dave Dunham, Bradford Honorable Mention Jeff Eustace, Needham Honorable Mention See page 28 for a great story that came out of the challenge. And be sure to visit thetrustees.org/hike125 for information on this year’s program. We can’t wait to see you on the trails!
A remarkable combination of nature and culture.
Trustees adventures bloom just for you.
Spring programs and events, statewide.
Meet two of our passionate farmers.
ON THE COVER: FRUITLANDS MUSEUM, HARVARD ©AKIYAMA
Things To Do
For the Love of CSAs
Standing for Open Space Dear Members, The Trustees was born out of a political act. Now 126 years ago, with the signature of Governor William E. Russell, The Trustees was created as a private organization—the first of its kind—through a public act. These two values—private authority and public responsibility—are intertwined in our DNA. Throughout our history since, our relationship to Massachusetts’ governors, federal agencies, and municipal leaders has been integral to our work and success. We will work to continue these strong ties. Our mission has thrived with some and suffered with others. We have, most of all, always played our role without partisanship— as champion and advocate for open space and preservation for all. This role, like our mission, does not change. Even though we live in times that call for louder voices, clearer communications, and stronger stances. The role and value of open space for the public finds itself in intense debate in our country. We do not waver on this issue. As many of you know, we were part of the fight to keep the Keystone XL pipeline off of conservation land in Massachusetts and we continue to monitor these efforts. We also believe firmly that open space and public land should be saved for all and that such an idea requires time, energy, effort, and resources. There are some key areas where you may be hearing more from us in the coming months. The federal agencies with which we most work are being challenged, reorganized and threatened including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts; changes to the laws which govern conservation and land protection are being revised, relaxed or repealed; and policies which guide one of the most impactful issues to conservationists—energy and climate—are being relaxed, repealed or in jeopardy of being defunded. In these areas, we stand with our colleagues at other conservation organizations and we will work to make sure that the best policies and actions are taken to protect our public lands, our open spaces, and a sustainable environment. Our founder responded to the times in which he lived, a the t, celebrates Jeff gh time of dire stress on populations. And today, we respond to new ri n, so ck arbara Eri . From left: e t sponsors nt & CEO B lu B en de si ev ss stresses and new times but with the same antidote. Just as it re d ro P C an e Trustees ith winners Affairs, Blu hallenge w p & Public dbury hi oo ns W a ze did in 1891, nature awaits to offer salvation and healing for our iti dr C Hike 125 C te inner San of Corpora e challenge, mile prize w th 010 ng Bellows, VP ; ri ts du et s g times. Please join us. us es propertie nd Marketin of Massach Engla Shield ent Truste annon, New at 49 differ ; and Paul G t) (who hiked an ip h. ic ac rt re any pa s & Out the most of or Program r REI Outdo Manager fo
Barbara J. Erickson President & CEO
Saving World’s End and Wasque
Celebrating two extraordinary conservation efforts.
A Trustees treasure map of fun.
Members bond over competition.
A man with a plan!
No school? No problem!
Going Toe to Toe
The Fruitlands Farmhouse (in the distance, center) is the only building original to the Fruitlands site, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1975. The property is popular beyond the museum itself—it’s also home to a summer concert series and the town of Harvard’s July 4th fireworks show, as well as many weddings, an annual fall Crafts Festival, and even a Cyclocross race.
If This Hill Could Talk Fruitlands Museum’s stunning landscape, unique collection, and considerable history BY COURTNEY GOODRICH
In the early 1840s, Amos Bronson Alcott had an idea. He imagined a simple life based on core principles of Transcendentalism—that people are inherently good and at their best when on their own in nature. Alcott, along with friend and fellow reformer Charles Lane, decided to create their own transcendentalist community, moving with their families and a handful of other supporters to a 90-acre farm in Harvard in the spring of 1843. With a goal of keeping their minds and bodies pure, they planned to grow everything they would eat (believing in a vegan diet) and make everything they would need to survive; such practices as trading goods or using animals for farming were banned. They named their self-sufficient home “Fruitlands” in recognition of the bountiful fruit trees on the property. The 174 years between then and now have seen many changes on the Fruitlands property. First, the communal experiment failed after only seven months, mainly because the group of thinkers couldn’t produce either
enough food or goods, or sufficient profits to cover even the first mortgage payment. Alcott eventually moved his family back to Concord, where he continued his friendship with other Transcendentalists, including
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. After years of belonging to Joseph Palmer—one of the Fruitlands participants— and others, the property was purchased in 1910 by Clara Endicott Sears, a wealthy Boston philanthropist and avid collector. Intrigued by the Transcendentalists’ shortlived community, Sears restored the 1820s farmhouse and opened it and the land to the public in 1914 as Fruitlands Museum. In the years that followed, Sears passionately added to the museum, assembling an eclectic collection of Americana. “Her move to Harvard and the building of her summer home, The Pergolas, in 1910 started a wonderful chain of events,” says Curator Shana Dumont Garr. Fascinated by the relationship between Lane and the nearby Shakers, Sears became friendly with them herself, which led to the founding of the Shaker Museum in 1920 after moving a building from the Harvard Shaker Village to the Fruitlands Museum property. Similarly, Mrs. Sears recognized that Native Americans had inhabited the Nashua River Valley area for many millennia, and was concerned that there was a lack of understanding of native cultures in 20th-century America. As a remedy, she began collecting arrowheads and, ultimately, a geographically diverse assemblage of Native American objects. And in addition to the Shaker and Native American themes, Sears also collected Hudson River School landscapes and folk portraits. By listening to her own aesthetic inclinations, Sears combined this variety of eclectic elements. “As a female collector in the early 20th Century,” says Christie Jackson, Trustees Senior Curator, “she has such a strong voice. I love that it is her view that brought these pieces together.” And the 210acre landscape itself, with its breathtaking views, archaeological narratives, abundant flora and fauna, and proximity to what is now the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, provides a natural collection of its own. Fruitlands Museum became a part of The Trustees, as its 116th special place, in 2016. We speculate that the merger was a move Ms. Sears herself would have approved, given her admiration of The Trustees and its mission during her lifetime. “The relationship
Clara Endicott Sears (18631960)—pictured with several of her collection of 19th-century portraits, the second largest in the country—was a pioneering art collector and preservationist of the region’s history.
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between the Museum, its founder, and The Trustees dates back to the 1950s, with Ms. Sears considering a possible merger at that time. Her letters acknowledge, even sixty years ago, the shared mission and vision of protecting and preserving iconic places for the benefit of the public,” says Joanna Ballantine, Trustees Vice President for the Western Region. “We have the same primary focus of preservation and enrichment,” says Marie LeBlanc, former Chairwoman of the Fruitlands Museum Board, who now serves on the Trustees’ Advisory Board. “The Trustees have a very large base of members who are interested in exploring new places.” And quite a place to explore it is. From the moment you arrive at the entrance of Fruitlands Museum, the view is captivating. The landscape, with its subtle peaks, makes you stop for a moment and breathe in the fresh air. It could be then that you feel you are traveling back in time, or it could be when you step inside the stillness of the 1794 Shaker Museum or the heavy quiet that encompasses
Drawn to the breathtaking view of the Nashua River valley, Sears built her summer home atop Prospect Hill in 1912 and lived in it until her death in 1960. An overlook on Prospect Hill Road now provides the view from where the house once stood. ; FRUI TL AN
DS MU SEUM
COLL EC TION
the Fruitlands Farmhouse at the bottom of the hill. At some point during your visit, you’ll feel transported. That’s the point. “A lot of wonderful things have been happening here for a long time,” says Catherine Shortliffe, Engagement
The story of Fruitlands is not just the objects in the buildings—it’s also about the land and the context.”
Site Manager. “You have to respect the history of this place; it has so much to offer.” Delving into the past is part of the Fruitlands experience—a cornerstone that will be cherished and preserved by The Trustees. The objects on display in the Shaker Museum and the Fruitlands Farmhouse, as well as the permanent collection in the Art Museum
and the Native American Museum, embody Fruitlands Museum’s story. “The museum has at least 6,000 objects in its collection,” says Garr, “including 230 19th-century folk portraits—the second largest such collection in the nation.” But why are these pieces gathered together on a failed 19th-century Transcendentalist commune? It all comes back to the land. Having been home to many people over the years—Native Americans, Colonial settlers, briefly by a small group of Transcendentalists, farmers, and the well-to-do Sears—Fruitlands Museum tells the stories of those tied to the property. “This place is unique,” says Garr, “because it’s not just about the objects in the buildings. It’s also about the land and the context—they are all part of the story we tell.” While the grounds—with almost three miles of walking trails through meadows and woodlands, and past several archaeological sites—are a natural attraction for visitors, other components of Fruitlands Museum are being revived with the Trustees’ support. Most notably, the integration presents The Trustees with an asset it did not have until this point—a dedicated gallery. The Art Museum originally opened in 1939, and has approximately 1,900 square feet of space. This year’s exhibits and programming focuses on literature (see sidebar), a theme that emphasizes the connection between Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse, another Trustees historic site in nearby Concord. “The two special places were sites for revolutionary thought that transformed American discourse and society,” says Ballantine, “resulting not only in literature that is essential to the American experience, but beliefs about the importance of nature and living off of the land.” Harriet Friedrich, Museum Store and Guest Services Manager, who is also in charge of the annual craft festival in the fall, has enjoyed seeing people visit the Museum over the years. “I love this place,” she says. Echoing Ms. Sears’s passion for Fruitlands, and her vision of protecting it and its collections for the benefit of the public, Friedrich adds, “We are really mindful to ensure every single guest enjoys themself while they’re here.” Whether you come for a special event, a wedding, lunch in the Fruitlands Café,
Fruitlands Museum is home to more than a hundred Hudson River School landscape paintings and a large assortment of Native American artifacts from around the country, including legendary Wampanoag leader King Philip’s war club—which had been stolen from the museum in 1970 but returned 25 years later.
This Spring at Fruitlands
The Shaker Museum building, built in 1794, was the office building for nearby Harvard Shaker Village, the first Shaker settlement in Massachusetts. Moved by Clara Endicott Sears to the Fruitlands property on Prospect Hill after the village closed down in 1918, it became the first Shaker museum ever established in the U.S.
visits to experience the many elements of the collection, or the serene and profound beauty of its landscape, a trip to explore all that Fruitlands Museum has to offer will be an enjoyable journey into the nature and history of this remarkable place. Courtney Goodrich is a Boston-based lifestyle writer and associate editor of Design New England, a regional home and garden design magazine.
Two exhibits opening in April highlight the acts of reading and writing, and the cultural connections between Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse in Concord. And upcoming programs will tie into literature as well. “We’re hosting a Mother’s Day party that has a Little Women theme,” says Engagement Site Manager Catherine Shortliffe, in honor of Bronson Alcott’s daughter Louisa May (who resided for a time at the Fruitlands Farmhouse,) as well as writing workshops and journal making.
Exhibits Literary Spirit of Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse | April 15-November 5 This exhibition presents the shared cultural history of these two historic sites, combining historic artifacts, stories, and art, including contemporary art by Jonathan Gitelson and Lisa McCarty. Literary Soil | April 15-August 20 Solo exhibition by interdisciplinary artist Greg Lookerse. Opening Reception | Sunday, April 23, 3-5PM Fruitlands reopens on its full season schedule (daily, except Tuesdays) on April 15. For hours, programs and events, and more, visit thetrustees.org/fruitlands.
ADVENTURE IS IN THE AIR
Spring Fling BY JEANNE O’ROURKE
There’s an old New England joke that “we have two seasons: winter and the Fourth of July.” But if we believed that, then we’d miss one of the most thrilling and inspiring seasons in which to enjoy the world around us—spring. This season, Trustees properties are budding with fresh adventures for kids of all ages, from the forest to the farms, and everywhere in between.
Feeling sheepish? Head to Weir River Farm in Hingham or The FARM Institute on the Vineyard for an up-close-and-personal experience.
Two rites of a Trustees spring are sheep-centric: Sheepapalooza at The FARM Institute (April 15) and Weir River Farm’s Sheep Shearing Festival. Lindsay Brown, Engagement Site Manager at The FARM Institute says, “If you’ve ever seen a sheep being shorn, you know that it takes real skill and talent. Our shearer, Andy Rice, comes down from Vermont and shears all 50 of our ewes in one day, explaining his techniques as he goes.” These farm events have something for the whole family—educational demos for adults, crafts for kids, and baby farm animals for (who are we kidding?) just plain everyone.
Happy Brew Moon hikers enjoy local libations at the Rocky Woods Visitor Center in Medfield.
For the artisan food and craft beer crowd, April kicks off at Appleton Farms with From Cultures to Rinds: Cheesemaking Fundamentals (April 1, May 6 & June 3) with cheesemaker Kristian Holbrook, who also teaches an Intensives class starting April 6. At Dover’s Powisset Farm, join our Ethnic Cooking Series April 2, or hop on out west to the William Cullen ©P.DAHM Bryant Homestead for a Hard Cider Talk & Tasting (June 10) or Historic Brews: Beer Making Workshop on June 17. Or gather at Rocky Woods in Medfield for one of our Brew Moon Hikes (April 8, May 12, June 9) or Cocktails at the Castle on June 28.
Mom’s the Word
Remember all the times your mom took care of you? Well, show her some love! Celebrate Mother’s Day at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover at the Brunch Picnic and Lilac Festival or the Mad Hatter Tea and Croquet Celebration at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton. Visit Concord’s Old Manse for Mother’s Day: Lilacs and Lemonade, then head west for Fruitlands Museum’s Marmee’s Mother’s Day Party. Feeling whimsical? Join us for A Fairy House Tea at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. Or if your mom’s a nature lover, trek to World’s End in Hingham for a Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk around this stunning seaside property. (All held on Mother’s Day itself—Sunday, May 14.)
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich boasts its newly-restored Italian Garden, which your mother will love. Is that a reason to dance? We think so!
Bloomin’ Wild ©TRUSTEES
Whether novice or expert, you can get your hands dirty at our DIY garden workshops and classes in a suburb−or a city−near you.
For gardeners, spring is prime time: to plan, to plot, to purchase! For those folks in and around Boston, join us at a No-Till Gardening workshop April 22 at the Highland Park Community Garden in Roxbury, or DIY Garden Structures (May 6) at Starr Lane Park in Jamaica Plain. Start from the ground up in New Bedford at Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens with our Soil and Compost: the Foundation of a Garden workshop (May 13) or Having Fun with Hostas on June 8. (Be sure to check out the historic hosta collection while you’re there!) And whether you’re a hard-core gardener or an interested observer, the South End Garden Tour is an annual can’t-miss event in Boston (June 17).
And speaking of wildflowers (and mothers!), Mother Nature is setting the stage for the annual Wildflower Festival at our very own National Natural Landmark, Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield. As the sun begins to warm the forest floor, a dense and varied population of spring ephemerals emerges. Brian Cruey, General Manager for the Southern Berkshires says, “This three-week festival (starting April 17) is a celebration of the unique biodiversity and diverse ecosystem that is Bart’s Cobble. You’ll see wildflowers like trillium, wild ginger, and bloodroot, among many others, on the guided tours. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”
Walk this way…to spot a diverse display of wildflowers just waiting to be discovered amidst the beauty of Bart’s Cobble.
These are but a snapshot of the assorted varieties of Trustees programs that await you and your family all across the state. Check out our Things To Do calendar section or visit thetrustees.org/things-to-do for all the details, and let the adventures begin! 8
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Head to Dover’s Powisset Farm or Southborough’s Chestnut Hill Farm to meet the farmers who make the veggie magic.
LOVE of CSAs
What other benefits do CSAs provide?
Zannah Porter & Desiree Robertson-Dubois TRUSTEES FARMERS
BY MARK GARDNER Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are a popular way to eat more locally and healthfully, and as the largest owner of working farmland in the state, Trustees is no stranger to the growing CSA movement. Produce offerings have been a mainstay in recent years at Appleton, Weir River, Powisset, and Chestnut Hill Farms, and late last year, a meat CSA was introduced at Weir River, Powisset, Chestnut Hill, and Moose Hill Farms. We caught up with Zannah Porter (above, left), who manages Dover’s Powisset Farm CSA, and Desiree RobertsonDubois (above, right), who manages the CSA at Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough, to hear about their work and why CSAs are a trend that is here to stay.
What’s special about being a CSA shareholder? DESI: A CSA isn’t just about getting fresh, local veggies, it’s about knowing more about where your food comes from, how it’s grown,
comes from, and create a relationship with the people who grow your food. D: You can’t ask the produce stocker at the grocery store what was used to fertilize the soil for the veggies and fruits they are putting in pretty displays. And you don’t get the benefit of eating a strawberry right off the vine, or a purple and yellow striped wax bean that is so fresh and sweet, because it still has all of its sugars intact (which oxidize quickly, causing the flavor to get lost on the way to the grocery store.) Z: Until they try the veggies, most folks don’t realize how different they actually taste when they are truly fresh from the fields and are shocked by how sweet or crisp our vegetables can be.
and being able to have a conversation about how to pick, prepare, and eat it. ZANNAH: Powisset is what’s called an “open farm”—you’re free to wander and explore. When you enter the farm, you are at the center of activity. You can connect to where your food
D: My shareholders pay for a bucket size and when they come, they get to fill it with the vegetables they want to eat. This leads to less waste for our customers at home and less guilt that food was wasted. Z: Farm communities are important for so many reasons. We provide a diversity of healthy produce to folks in our community. As more of our food is grown locally, we can preserve farmland, reduce pollution, put money into our local economy, support local jobs, and create community space. Any favorite recipes? Z: I’m a huge fan of collard greens. I substitute collard greens in the place of kale in a lot of recipes. Our collards are tender and flavorful. I make black-eyed peas with collards almost every New Year’s. It’s a southern tradition—it brings good luck and is so delicious! D: I make recipe cards to hand out at events. When I asked my daughter which recipe from the CSA was her favorite, she immediately said Kusa Mihshi, which is a Lebanese zucchini recipe that I was given by one of my shareholders many years ago. It is so, so, so good.
Shares are still available! Summer is coming sooner than you think, and the time to get in on all the CSA goodness is now. 2017 shares are still available at both Powisset Farm and Chestnut Hill Farm CSAs. Visit thetrustees.org/csa to get more information and to sign up. And, in addition to CSA pick-ups, both farms offer a seasonal farm stand offering veggies and other locally sourced products. Check their pages at thetrustees.org for hours and directions.
50 years ago, two remarkable and simultaneous grassroots efforts protected critical Massachusetts coastline
SAVING WORLD’S END AND WASQUE a look at these properties’ two overlapping histories reminds us that daunting circumstances can help summon our best efforts once again.
BY JEFF HARDER On the southeast corner of Martha’s Vineyard, the geography of Wasque Point fluctuates with the roiling ocean lapping against the shoreline. Over the last 50 years, two major coastal currents convening off this tucked-away stretch of Chappaquiddick Island have eaten away 1,200 sandy feet. Sometimes the erosion occurs as slowly as five feet a year, sometimes as fast as a foot a day—a dynamic that fascinates visiting scientists from near and far. “With sea level rise and warming temperatures, we’re seeing coastal changes everywhere, but it really seems to have been exacerbated at Wasque Point,” says Chris Kennedy, The Trustees’ Superintendent for Martha’s Vineyard and staff member on the island for 29 years. “It’s the epicenter of coastal change in New England.” That fragility at the threshold of land and sea only enhances Wasque’s singular beauty: rare sand plain grassland and coastal heathland habitats, the fisherman’s treasure of striped bass and bonito swimming within casting distance, the acres of sand that remain deserted even in July. And now, the modular aluminum stairways on the beach— quickly deployed and retrieved to provide access for visitors from the uplands—hint at The Trustees’ new approach all along the Commonwealth’s waterfront: by facing up to its impermanence. “For those of us here who are thinking about mitigating the impact of
World’s End’s distinctive landforms and carriage paths are set in stark contrast to Hingham Bay in this 2006 satellite image.
the inevitability of sea level rise, you can’t think long term any more,” Kennedy says. This year marks half a century since the acquisition of Wasque Point as well as World’s End in Hingham—two of The Trustees’ most iconic properties. Way back when, grassroots efforts freed both destinations from the perils of development, despite hefty costs—equivalent to almost $7 million today—and hurried, concurrent fundraising periods. Now, with 120 miles of Massachusetts coastline under Trustees care facing the challenges of the 21st century and beyond,
WORLD’S END: 1967’S FIRST BIG CHALLENGE Even before arriving in the hands of The Trustees, World’s End was a sanctuary within a suburbanizing South Shore. A 250-acre peninsula jutting into Hingham Harbor with 100-foot-high drumlins, four miles of carriage roads, 200 acres of fields, and a view of the Boston skyline 14 miles away, none of its alternative fates— a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed 163-lot subdivision, a nuclear power plant, or the headquarters for the United Nations—ever came to pass. Instead, the Walker family— the property’s last individual owners—simply let visitors wander the property and experience its agrarian grandeur for themselves. When the Walkers put World’s End up for sale in October 1967, the idea that it might become a golf course or private residence was too much for locals to bear. “The people in Hingham and the surrounding area had, to some degree, become accustomed to how beautiful it was,” says Tom O’Donnell, a Hingham resident, longtime town moderator, and veteran of The Trustees’ all-volunteer Standing Committee. “The notion that it would no longer be available for public enjoyment was horrifying for the people who were used to it.” Fortunately, locals had faith in The Trustees stewarding their special place,
and the Walkers wanted to see the property preserved (without losing money). The catch: the organization needed to raise $650,000 to purchase the property by the December 31, 1967 deadline. “We had something like 60 days to raise the money,” O’Donnell says. “And we did it!” After The Trustees paid $200,000 up front, Sam Wakeman, a retired shipyard manager and a World’s End neighbor, led the fundraising charge in Hingham and Cohasset and recruited O’Donnell for help. They set up an office at town hall and met with residents in their homes—particularly those facing World’s End itself, O’Donnell says, since they’d be the most affected by whatever happened to the landscape. Schoolchildren donated their allowances. Passionate residents reached into their wallets. In the end, 1,800 individuals made donations. With this, and an additional national campaign led by former Standing Committee Chairman Charles Mason, Jr., the World’s End purchase was secure.
Today, the distinct location of World’s End poses a host of challenges. The most paradoxical is its popularity: some 60,000 visitors pour down the same narrow, winding, traffic-clogged road to World’s End each year. Additionally, while the peninsula is sheltered from the brunt of the ocean, its position in the harbor makes its iconic carriage roads
Wasque Point sits at the southeastern tip of Chappaquiddick Island—as seen in this 1993 aerial image—fully exposed to prevailing winds and pounding waves, and the devastation they bring. Impermanent equipment, such as portable fencing and modular aluminum stairways (left,) can be deployed and retrieved quickly to help mitigate the destructive impact of storms and erosion.
vulnerable to storm surges and microbursts. Its fields—a holdover from its farming past and a habitat for grassland birds and butterflies—are susceptible to pests, disease, and invasive plant species. But for each problem, there’s a solution. The Trustees implemented a new plan to enlarge the property’s parking lot, improve
traffic flow, and better accommodate visitors. Volunteers help maintain the carriage roads to improve drainage. And Fran Blanchard, The Trustees’ General Manager for the South Shore, says a five-year restoration of the fields has already fostered a proliferation of butterflies—49 species in all, with potential for another 28. “World’s End is the most bio-diverse spot in the Harbor Islands, and we make an effort to conserve rare species and their habitat so they have a better ability to survive,” Blanchard says. These are boom times, in particular, for the pipeline swallowtail, hickory hairstreak, and juniper hairstreak butterflies, the latter of which has seen documented sightings increase from two to 400 in six years. Fifty years after Hingham and its neighbors rallied around a coastal landscape with an uncertain future, Blanchard says many of the folks who helped The Trustees purchase World’s End remain an active part of the reservation—a testament to its staying power. “People have really personal relationships with World’s End,” Blanchard says. “Allowing them the space to have those experiences and
World’s End is a part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Its 100-foot high drumlins and unspoiled shoreline offer views of the city’s skyline, just 14 miles across the harbor.
making sure it stays available to them is an important part of what The Trustees does.” A NEW CHALLENGE ARISES ON CHAPPY Just as the World’s End campaign was beginning, another piece of pristine Com-
monwealth coastline was suddenly put on the market. Wasque Point, on the south side of Martha’s Vineyard, had once been eyed as the site for Chappaquiddick by the Sea, a recreational community comprising more than 700 small housing lots. To save those 200 acres of critical grassland and coastal
habitat from development, Mary Wakeman, a well-to-do Vineyarder (of no relation to Sam) and the donor of the Mytoi garden, led a fundraising campaign out of her home in Edgartown. “She commanded a good deal of respect on the island, and it was very clear that she cared deeply about preserving parts of the Vineyard,” recalls Bill Clendaniel, The Trustees’ Deputy Director from 1979 to 1988. “Mary was a formidable grande dame—but she was very nice to me.” Thanks to the grassroots efforts initiated by Wakeman and several other volunteers, nearly 850 yearround and summer island residents contributed to its $250,000 fundraising goal—a total equivalent to nearly $2 million today—and Wasque’s purchase was secured. Through the decades, much of Wasque’s acreage has been lost to erosion, a force that escalates when breaches open in the barrier beach connecting Chappaquiddick and the Katama section of Edgartown. “Hundreds of those planned housing lots are now in the ocean,” Kennedy notes. “If they had been fully built out as developers had planned, think of the catastrophic impact of the loss of those homes.” One recent breach episode left a wooden boardwalk, walkway, and stairs— built in the early 1990s for a quarter-million dollars—scattered along the beach. “You can almost think of the beach as a living animal,” Kennedy adds. “It moves constantly. Forget about having permanent structures on the beach itself.” Now, instead of long-lasting fences made from steel posts driven four feet into the sand and strung with galvanized wire, temporary fencing—shallower wooden posts strung with twine or a light rope—is the order of the day. If a storm comes up the coast, Kennedy’s staff can remove five miles of fence in three hours instead of simply crossing their fingers
Above: A photo from our 1970 Annual Report shows the Wasque campaign’s organizer, Mary Wakeman (in striped jacket,) at a clambake to celebrate her recognition as The Trustees’ Conservationist of the Year for her pioneering work to protect land on Martha’s Vineyard. Left: The impact of erosion on Wasque Point (see close-up, above left) is no more dramatically illustrated than by this remarkable overlay of the 1912 plans for a seaside housing community onto a satellite image from nearly a century later. Chappaquiddick by the Sea map courtesy Woody Filley; photo montage by Dana Gaines.
and hoping for the best. And instead of crafting more wooden sacrifices for the sea, Trustees uses roll-up boardwalks, simple plank platforms, and modular aluminum stairs to carry visitors from the cliff to the beach. “Coastal vulnerability is something we all need to think about on a constant basis. When we make recreational improvements to our properties—whether it’s a tent platform or a viewing stand, whether it’s at Wasque or Long Point or out on Nantucket—as coastal managers we need to look into the future and ask if we’re just setting ourselves up for heartbreak,” Kennedy says. “That can be a really difficult concept to internalize; we have to think in terms of future change instead of the here and now.” Since the breach closed in 2015, Wasque has begun to grow again. But the last halfcentury has proven that the Commonwealth’s coastline is in a constant state of flux.
Everything is cyclical, and nothing is changeless. “We can’t think in terms of decades anymore,” Kennedy says. “We need to think in terms of years. Maybe even months.” Even though shoreline landscapes like Wasque and World’s End can transform dramatically and in the blink of an eye, the protection and preservation of the places where land meets sea is a permanent obligation for us all. Jeff Harder is a freelance writer and editor who lives in New England. Anniversary events are planned for later this summer—to celebrate the legacy of both World’s End and Wasque, and the incredible efforts of Trustees staff and volunteers to protect these iconic properties 50 years ago. Look for announcements and invitations in your mailbox soon.
April s What during them sites a
To se happe (and a thetru
In search of…..
Find clues, seek out hidden treasure, maybe even win some prizes in scavenger hunts at these quest-worthy sites.
showers bring May flowers, but it also brings...school vacation! to do with the littles to keep their minds and bodies occupied g the week-long (and we do mean long!) school break? Make tourists in their own state! See what’s happening at Trustees all over the state.
Trustees has hundred trails all over the stat some of the best spot little ones trying it out
Magic in the forest
Fairies, elves and nymphs are doing their spring cleaning, and they need your help. Learn to build fairy houses at these magical places.
ee a list of all Trustees programs and events ening during April school vacation week anytime else this spring!) Visit ustees.org/things-to-do
Nature-ally speaking Explore the budding springtime, and see what nature has in store—from flowers to critters, stories to crafts, and more.
Behind the scenes
House tours—including some specifically for the kiddos—get started for the season during vacation week at these historic homes.
Melting winter ice and snow cascades in torrents over our state’s waterfalls each spring. We’ve got nine for your viewing pleasure.
On Saturday, April 22, we’re not just celebrating the end of school vacation—it’s also Earth Day. Dig in to some of the piles of activities we have planned!
Talk to the animals
What’s better than lambs, calves, chicks, and piglets? Baby animals arrive on New England farms every spring, including six of our own. Many of our farms have drop off programs, too, to entertain your kids for hours on end.
Finally meeting each other at the Hike 125 prize event in early February, Jeff Eustace (left) and Dave Dunham compared notes on their virtual competition during the challenge. Both are looking forward to putting in more miles again this year when the Hike 125 Challenge starts up again on April 15.
Going Toe to Toe
Two members bond over competition Dave Dunham (above, right) and Jeff Eustace (left) have been competing against each other for nearly a year, but they actually met for the first time just a few weeks ago. Both long-time members and avid hikers/trail runners, Dave and Jeff were two of the more than 1,200 participants in the Trustees Hike 125 Challenge. Both quickly took to the challenge of hiking 125 miles on our trails, viewing it as a great way to explore our trails, see some new properties, and get some exercise in the process. Jeff is very familiar with the numerous Trustees properties in the Charles River Valley—he has been a steadfast volunteer, giving hundreds of hours of his time as a trail steward, leading canoe trips on the Charles, and assisting with events like movie nights at Rocky Woods. Says Stewardship Manager Mike Francis, “Others on the trail are sure to find a friendly face with Jeff. And you can always ask him about the latest weekly wildlife sightings at just about any property in the area!” 28
Checking his progress on the Hike 125 leaderboard, Jeff noticed that he was up near the top and not far behind “double-d,” the leading hiker. “I think I can catch this guy,” he thought, and decided to do more and longer hikes. Little did he know, though, whom he was chasing. “double-d” is Dave Dunham, who is actually a runner—and a rather notorious one at that. Among other notable achievements, Dave is the first person to run in every one of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns, a feat which even earned him recognition in Runners World magazine. Running an average of 12 miles per day, Dave relished the idea of the Hike 125 Challenge, as it provided an incentive to try out the trails at many properties he’d never visited before. The two quickly started racking up many more miles than anyone thought possible. They had never met, yet each was pushing the other to see just how many miles they could do—and in the end, Jeff’s remarkable 390 total miles was only surpassed by Dave’s astounding 504!
Returns on April 15!
Are you up for a new challenge? Hike 125 is back, with new goals and ways to participate. Get yourself, and your family and friends, out on some of the 350+ glorious miles of Trustees trails throughout the state. Track your miles, check your progress on our online leaderboards, and maybe even win a prize for your efforts! Visit thetrustees.org/ hike125 for more information and to sign up for this year’s challenge.
You could be here now. Plan your spring getaway today.
The Guest House at Field Farm, Williamstown The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich Tully Lake Campground, Royalston Dunes’ Edge Campground, Provincetown
Visit thetrustees.org for more info ©J. BURK
The Trustees is Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organization and the nation’s first land trust. We are a nonprofit supported by members, friends, and donors. Explore 116 amazing places across Massachusetts, from beaches, farms and woodlands, to historic homes, urban gardens and more. Barbara J. Erickson President & CEO Joanna Ballantine Vice President, Western Region Jocelyn Forbush Chief, Operations & Programs Alicia Leuba Vice President, Eastern Region Matthew Montgomery Chief Marketing Officer Noah Schneiderman Chief Financial & Administrative Officer Edward Wilson Chief, Development & Enterprise editorial Wayne Wilkins Director of Marketing and Communications Jeanne O’Rourke Associate Director of Marketing Communications design Liz Agbey Lisa Foulger Senior Designer
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A Man with a Plan When old man winter blows up the Grand Allée toward the Great House at Castle Hill, the iconic statues lining the lawn are at risk from the elements. Enter former aeronautical mechanical engineer-turned-volunteer extraordinaire Dick Turner. “It used to take 4 or 5 guys a couple of days to haul and place the old plywood structures over the statues. But [Building Maintenance Specialist] Gerry Bouvier asked me if I could come up with a better solution, and after some research, and trial and error with lighter weight PVC pipe and vinyl, I did. Now it takes two people two hours.” This problem-solving spirit and love of Castle Hill and its neighbor Crane Beach, coupled with a drive to support The Trustees mission and use his considerable skills in retirement, make Turner a truly valuable contributor. Past projects include building storage cabinets for the beach shop and a bike rack for the Inn at Castle Hill. Currently he’s helping build twelve new tables for the beach snack bar. Turner logs an amazing 170 volunteer hours a year, and hasn’t lost his considerable zeal for it yet. “I designed some new easier-to-install screens for the Great House – we made fifteen so far…only have ninety to go!” Lucky for The Trustees, Turner is a volunteer who’s happily in it for the long haul. ©R.MANSFIELD/ANCHOR IMAGERY