Hilltown Land Trust works to preserve working farms and forests, native habitats and scenic landscapes of western MA hilltowns.
Hilltown Land Trust (HLT) serves thirteen rural towns in western Massachusetts (Ashfield, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Windsor and Worthington). Our mission is to maintain the area’s working farms and forest as a vital part of Hilltown life, and to protect the area’s rich ecological resources, species diversity, native habitats, water quality, and unique scenic landscapes.
Since our founding in 1986 as an all-volunteer land trust, HLT has protected nearly 3,500 acres of land in eight towns. We have acquired 28 Conservation Restrictions (CRs) covering nearly 2,500 acres of farmland, forests, streams and wetlands. We have acquired and then sold to the state three agricultural preservation restrictions (APRs) on 468 acres of Worthington farmland. In addition, HLT owns six properties, two in Williamsburg on which we maintain hiking trails, two in Worthington wetlands which we plan to leave undisturbed, and 379 acres on the Huntington-Westhampton border on which we maintain public hiking trails and an eco-forestry project.
In 2010, HLT and The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), one of America’s oldest statewide conservation organizations, launched a new partnership that combines the efforts and resources of these two non-profit land conservation organizations in thirteen rural towns. Hilltown Land Trust and The Trustees continue to function as independent entities, but are now pooling resources in order to hire staff and increase the pace of land conservation work in the Hilltowns.