Franklin Land Trust, Massachusetts
Connecticut River Valley. Photos by Reggie Hall/The Conservation Fund
Rich Hubbard’s phone rings often. As director of the Franklin Land Trust in western Massachusetts, Hubbard fields multiple calls a week from landowners asking for help. “Currently, we have 60 active projects and a total of over 100 in the pipeline,” he says.
The challenge is bringing all these projects to life. Working diligently since a modest beginning in 1987, the land trust has protected more than 20,000 acres—farmhouses, fields and the historic beauty that is the Connecticut River Valley. This mission grows ever more critical as the pressure to develop remaining rural land intensifies. “This is some of the best farmland in the world—incredibly productive and rich,” says Hubbard. “It’s worth saving.”
The Conservation Fund is a steady partner in this effort, providing dozens of loans to protect this iconic part of the country. We’re joined in this important endeavor by landowners eager to protect their properties for future generations, government leaders who value rural land and dedicated land trust staff. Together, we’re protecting a favorite place before it becomes just a memory.
“Our first partnership with The Conservation Fund was in 1997-98. When you hike to the top of Mount Sugarloaf in Deerfield and look down on the Connecticut River Valley, much of what you can see has been protected by the Franklin Land Trust, often with help from the Fund.”
— Rich Hubbard, Executive Director