From The President’s Desk

Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, wait a few minutes.” Well, if he’d wanted to apply his maxim to a more extended time frame, he’d have been well served by attending the Warren Fall Festival from year to year. Over time, our sturdily built Warren Land Trust booth and the board members working at it have seen temperatures from sultry to freezing, conditions from balmy to blustery, and precipitation in all its forms including, one memorable Columbus Day weekend, snow. At this year’s event, a pleasant Saturday was followed by a raw and rainy Sunday. Even in the rain and cold, however, a steady trickle of folks (no pun intended) stopped by to learn more about our work, buy a WLT hat, sample a trail cookie, and enter our prize drawing. Speaking to them, I was reminded of the valuable work land trusts do that doesn’t involve land acquisition or stewardship. Another part of our mission is providing community outreach to explain why land conservation is important, and providing programming that helps people appreciate the great outdoors. You will read about that outreach and programming in this issue of The Conservator.

You may note that in many of the events in question, we haven’t been going it alone: we’ve partnered with the Historical Society and Warren Parks & Rec on some of our programming. In a small town like Warren, combining forces makes practical and logistical sense. But it’s also an example of one of the key trends in our field: community conservation. The Land Trust Alliance calls community conservation “an approach to land conservation that includes more people. Community conservation begins by listening to many different voices in the community — then responding. [It] uses the strengths of the land trust to meet needs expressed by people in the community.” More than a buzzword, community conservation can be an important way to make common cause and share common concerns or priorities. A couple of
recent examples include a group of hikers learning how our town’s history is bound up in and has left its mark on our natural environment; or a group of runners and walkers enjoying 3.1 miles paced in fresh, clean air along a road through the woods…in both cases having a good time with friends and neighbors!


Rebecca Neary

Hilary Adorno