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In Memoriam: Barbara Corey, Matriarch of Mount Grace

Barbara Corey (together with her late husband, Roger) are Mount Grace members #3. Barbara served on the Mount Grace Board a total of 12 years, from 1989-1993 and 1999-2007; perhaps the longest of any person. Appropriately, her photo is on the cover of Mount Grace’s first newsletter in 1990; Volume 1, Number 1.

Beginning in 1994, individuals like Barbara Corey and her conservation ally, the late John Woolsey, Jr., taught me everything important about land protection in this region when I was young and green and new at my job at Mount Grace. For me, Barbara will always be a role model of absolute integrity and ready action. Barbara exuded a genteel, riveting intensity. I already miss her quick wit, deep heart, and steadily shining blue eyes.

From 1984-1997 Barbara was the Executive Director of North Quabbin Community Coalition. She was an avid gardener, a passionately political person, and a beacon of civic involvement. When she co-signed a membership appeal, we had an 80% response rate. Unheard of. Barbara’s 90th birthday party, held this past year at her beloved Petersham Craft Center, was packed. Mount Grace has held a CR on the Corey family land since 2004. She and Roger hosted several Mount Grace events inside and outside at their home, gardens, and woods. One favorite was a well-attended owl program by Tom Wansleben, Mount Grace’s stewardship biologist at the time, with whom she enjoyed trading nature stories very much.

         Leigh Youngblood

In Barbara’s words:

The work of land protection can touch the soul and make the heart feel good. It is in our bones and makes us feel glad. It is a lasting, wonderful thing. You know the feeling.”

Re: Mount Grace’s Red Fire Farm Project: “Reading anew about the former Blue Meadow Nursery warms my soul. Many a memorable encounter at Blue Meadow! A lovely spot and important to protect.

Read reflections on Barbara Corey from Allen Young and Keith Ross.

Barbara asked that Mount Grace be one of the charities accepting gifts in her memory.  If you would like to make a gift, you may give via the link below or by mail to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, 1461 Old Keene Road, Athol, MA 01331.