Ten percent of the Massachusetts landscape is farmed, yet only 14% of that land is protected. Forests cover 61% of the Massachusetts landscape, but less than 22% is permanently conserved. Our land is protected primarily through passion. Family by family, community by community, project by project, conservation is done by people who have deep personal connections to the land, and Mount Grace’s success is built on our understanding of this fact. It is increasingly essential that we act on our passion for the farms, forests, clean air, and water.
We must support a strong, new generation of family farmers working in the fields; local foresters sustainably managing family lands for wood products and wildlife; and quiet places where anyone can hike, swim, hunt, and fish. We must provide public buildings that conserve energy; lands where neighbors can gather outdoors and garden; healthy places for children to play. This mission demands an organization that can withstand threats and capture opportunities as they arise.
The Land Forever campaign is our opportunity to invest in healthy, resilient communities and a more sustainable planet.
Our goal is $3,500,000 to secure the following:
CARING FOR THE LAND
The core of our The Land Forever campaign is a strategic endowment fund to ensure Mount Grace’s work in perpetuity. Income from this invested fund may be applied to such varying needs as annual monitoring, managing the transfer of affordable farms where we hold options, trail work and wise forest management, signage and safety, defending the land we love from powerful threats, and responding to climate change impacts. It will also provide a cushion for ups and downs in the economy that could otherwise jeopardize our operations.
RESPONDING TO OPPORTUNITY
Our 35,000 conserved acres is a great accomplishment, but we must be able to move quickly when land becomes available or is threatened. Increasingly the time frame to secure land is shorter and more unpredictable – but our mission is ever more important.
The revolving fund established by wise donors years ago has provided Mount Grace with the ability to move fast and nimbly. Now we must enlarge the fund with working capital to catalyze new conservation opportunities.
In honor of Leigh Youngblood and the great work she has accomplished, we’re naming this the Leigh Youngblood Conservation Opportunity Fund.
Mount Grace has grown frugally in a beautiful donated old farmhouse. Now our campaign includes funds for insulation, window inserts, repairs, and other energy and workspace efficiency upgrades at our headquarters, Skyfields Arboretum, as well as the construction of a new, energy-efficient accessible barn constructed with locally sourced lumber to create meeting and event space and enable us to continue to grow.
Mount Grace has often collaborated on innovative regional efforts such as purchasing a commercial building to house the Quabbin Harvest food cooperative. This promotes a healthy community, access to local food, and a strong agricultural economy and culture.
This campaign will enact our values, with responsible energy efficiency, accessibility, community well-being, and workflow improvements for our properties.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust has launched a $3.5 million campaign to support land, opportunity, and efficiency. We are asking you to join us in ensuring the protection, enjoyment, and health of our region. Your campaign gift may be unrestricted or targeted to support one of these three priorities, given now or pledged over three years.
Please help us achieve these goals in keeping with your own ability and commitment. We invite you to talk with us if you would like to explore the most mutually advantageous ways to help. Gifts of cash, checks, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are welcome.
If you are considering a gift of property, a bequest, planned gifts, or insurance policies, please contact Emma Ellsworth to discuss it at 978-541-1763 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In many cases there are tax benefits for certain ways of giving; please discuss these with your financial advisor and call us if you have specific questions.
Please remember that the Annual Fund is also a crucial part of our operations, and we hope you will maintain your support for today’s needs while participating in this campaign for the future. You will make a significant difference in our future and shared environment.
Senior Advisor and Campaign Director: Leigh Youngblood
The Land Forever Campaign Committee
Chair: David Spackman
Mimi Hellen Jones