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MISSION

The mission of THE STOCKBRIDGE LAND TRUST, INC. shall be to encourage and promote the preservation of land and the natural, historic and community resources in the town of Stockbridge. Those resources include open space, forestland, farmland, wetlands, waterways, streams, ponds, lakes, historic structures and affordable housing. The primary objective of the Trust shall be to preserve the rural character of the town and to influence future growth and development in the Town.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Swann Family Preserve

This past summer we lost an important advocate for the lands of Stockbridge. Clover Swann was not only a member of the Stockbridge Land Trust for over 20 years, she served many of those years as the Trust’s secretery. She was instrumental in conserving hundreds of acres of the Swann Estate on and around Cherry Hill. She cared deeply for the land and wanted to preserve it. She also had great insights about other properties and people in town. Her memories of Stockbridge and her knowledge of history was such an asset. Her generosity, preservation of the land and legacy will last for many generations and something we may not fully appreciate for some time to come.

To help preserve and protect the lands Clover Swann so loved, we’ve set up this campaign with a goal of $100,000.

In Memory of Helga S Orthofer

We lost a beautiful advocate of our lands in Stockbridge, with the passing of Helga S. Orthofer on September 20, 2022.

Helga and her late husband John Kaiser were early environmental and conservation leaders in Stockbridge in granting to the Stockbridge Land Trust a conservation restriction on their scenic and environmentally sensitive lands located on East Street, a significant gateway entrance to our Town.

We are very grateful for the leadership and selflessness of Helga and her husband. As a token of our appreciation, the Stockbridge Land Trust made a donation to the Helga S. Orthofer Memorial Fund in memory of Helga.  This fund  supports the painter-in-residence program at Chesterwood which was established at the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Annual Meeting – Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 10AM – Chestnut Preserve

Stockbridge, MA - The Stockbridge Land Trust will hold its 2022 Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 8, 2022 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Stockbridge Chestnut Preserve . Besides very brief business, we will have the pleasure of hearing from two members of the staff of the Berkshire Natural Resource Council (BNRC) - Mackenzie Greer (Director of Community Programs) and Deanna Smith (High Road Manager).  They will provide some background and an update on the BNRC's High Road Project.

MORE NEWS

WHO ARE WE?

On a rainy Saturday morning in the summer of 1986, a small group of people met to discuss the preservation of open space in Stockbridge, MA…

Over the past 25 years, the Land Trust has used a number of methods to carry out its mission of preservation. Its preferred method is the acquisition of a conservation restriction (CR) on privately owned land that has been identified as environmentally significant. The Land Trust informs the owners of this type of property of the tax benefits to be obtained if the owner grants a CR to the Land Trust. The CR limits development of the land and therefore reduces the value of the land. However, the owner is entitled to a federal charitable contribution tax deduction in the amount of the reduction in value brought about by the granting of the CR to the Land Trust, a charitable corporation under federal tax law. In addition, the reduction of the owner’s property value (in granting the CR) reduces the owner’s local, real property tax liability.

Sometimes the Land Trust has identified environmentally significant property where the owner is not interested in granting a CR but wishes to sell the property. In these situations, the Land Trust may ask the owner to convey the property to the Land Trust for less than its full market value. Such a transaction provides the owner with direct compensation (in the amount of the agreed upon purchase price) and also entitles the owner to a charitable contribution federal tax deduction in the amount of the difference between the full market value and the agreed upon purchase price.

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