Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view it in your browser.

 Greenbelt News

President Ed Becker to Retire in 2018

At last month's Annual Meeting, Greenbelt’s longtime leader Ed Becker announced that he plans to retire by the end of 2018. Ed sent a letter to our entire conservation community outlining the leadership transition game plan.

Ed has been at the heart of Greenbelt’s growth and land conservation success for thirty years, and has helped the organization become one of the most effective and highly-respected land conservation trusts in the country.

“Transitions offer unique opportunities for renewal and growth,” said Becker. “The organization has never been stronger or better positioned to take this next step.”

A Search Committee of the Board, headed by Past Chair Annie Madden, expects to name a new President in the fall of 2018.

"Our emphasis over the next year will be to continue Greenbelt’s path-breaking series of conservation accomplishments as we prepare for a full-scale search for a worthy successor to Ed’s incredible legacy of leadership,” said current Board Chair Philip Lake. 

Land Conservation News

Progress Made, Help Needed to Save Mehaffey Farm

Greenbelt is grateful to the Linn Foundation for its recent support of our efforts to permanently protect Mehaffey Farm with a  grant of $50,000.

Like farmland across the region, this seventh-generation Rowley family farm is at risk of being lost to development. 

Inclusive of this significant contribution, over $200,000 has been secured toward the acquisition of a Conservation Restriction valued at $450,000 that will forever protect this agricultural treasure in Rowley. Last fall, voters in the Town of Rowley authorized $100,000 in Community Preservation Funds toward the project. 

In July, Greenbelt will apply for competitive state grant funds that could help, but community-based fundraising is still needed to protect this historic Newbury Road farm. Please consider making a donation to help today. 


First-ever CR Stewardship Workshop Offered at Cox

Does your municipality or land trust have conservation restrictions that need monitoring?  Are you wondering where to start?  Attend our free Fundamentals of Conservation Restriction Stewardship Workshop, on Thursday, September 21st, 2017, 5-7:30pm, at the Cox Reservation. RSVP.
You'll learn:

  • The what, when, and how of monitoring CRs
  • How to efficiently produce Baseline Reports
  • The key to effective landowner relationships
  • How to create a volunteer monitoring program

Presenters include Becca Washburn, New England Program Manager, Land Trust Alliance and Dave Rimmer, Greenbelt's Director of Land Stewardship. This workshop is presented by Greenbelt in partnership with the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition and the Land Trust Alliance. Contact Vanessa Johnson-Hall for more information.


Land Stewardship Update

Greenbelt and FONAT Host National Trails Day Event

On June 3rd, Greenbelt partnered with the Friends of North Andover Trails (FONAT) to complete the new one-mile trail loop on the Leonhard Farm property.

Eight volunteers came out to construct the new hiking trail, including clearing, raking and marking. The trail takes visitors through a wooded area in North Andover and Boxford that was protected in 2016 by a conservation restriction granted to Greenbelt and the Town of North Andover by the Leonhard family.

Greenbelt thanks FONAT, along with all of the volunteers who celebrated National Trails Day by preparing the trail for public enjoyment.

Wilmot Boardwalk Built

On June 10, a hardy crew of volunteers from FONAT built a new boardwalk at Greenbelt’s Wilmot Lot in North Andover, adjacent to Boxford State Forest.
This boardwalk creates a safer, drier trail, and allows the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) to be rerouted away from public roads onto a more natural trail. And for the first time the BCT connects Middleton to the family of towns along the BCT. Thanks again to FONAT!

Community Engagement

New Property Openings

Join Greenbelt on Wednesday, June 28th at 4 p.m., as we officially open Whittier Hill Reservation, our first public reservation in Amesbury. A substantial portion of Whittier Hill was permanently preserved with the completion of a community-based fundraising campaign by Greenbelt in partnership with Amesbury Trails.

After brief remarks, a guided walk will introduce visitors to a meandering trail under a canopy of towering trees which eventually leads to the top of Whittier Hill, featuring spectacular views of the bucolic hills and valley that is Woodsom Farm. Visitors can access the new reservation from Whitcher Court, across from Amesbury’s Town Park on Friend Street.


Greenbelt will officially open our newest property, the John J. Donovan Reservation within the Sagamore Hill Conservation Area on Sunday, July 9th, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 473 Sagamore Street, Hamilton. 

This 270-acre property features wide trails, open fields, dense forest and a hilltop with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, the mouth of the Essex River and Cape Ann. The new Reservation is flanked by six newly-protected private properties, which together comprise the 525-acre Sagamore Hill Conservation Area. 

Come celebrate the community partnership that made this exceptional project possible. Festivities include guided walks on the property, family-friendly nature exploration with Kestrel Educational Adventures, music and refreshments. 


Take a Book - Leave a Book Nature Library

Check out this new "Take a Book - Leave a Book" Nature Library just installed at the Cox Reservation in front of the Studio Barn.

The idea for this free library was the brainchild of long-time member William Taylor, who generously provided funds for the materials. We are equally grateful to volunteer Bill Holton who built the library.

The taller, bottom shelf is designed for children’s books. Donations of nature-themed books are welcome.


7th Printing of Wild Edibles Book Available

Chowder from cattails, fritters from black locust and a pokeweed frittata are among the recipes made from the wild edible plants commonly found in New England.

All are found in the seventh printing of Russ Cohen’s Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, released this month, published by Greenbelt.

Cohen, one of New England’s foremost edibles experts, regularly lectures and teaches people how to forage safely on our local landscape. You can meet him Wednesday, June 28th, when we forage on the Cox Reservation.

Cohen first compiled decades of learning, practicing and teaching about wild food foraging into a book in 2004. Proceeds from its sale are donated directly to Greenbelt to further our land conservation efforts. Nearly 6,000 copies and $45,000 in proceeds later, Cohen’s following is stronger than ever. Purchase book.

Have Fun with Us!


Whittier Hill Dedication Greenbelt will introduce our first public reservation in Amesbury and lead visitors across the ridgeline toward spectacular views of the hills and Woodsom Farm.           

June 28, 4 pm                 Witcher Court, Amesbury FREE RSVP  


Wild Edibles Walk With Russ Cohen
Essex County is home to over 100 species of edible wild plants. Recipes and identification of these tasty plants.

June 28  6 to 8pm
Cox Reservation, Essex


John J. Donovan Reservation Opening
The iconic Sagamore Hill landscape is part of Greenbelt's newest and largest public reservation.

July 9, 1 to 3pm                   473 Sagamore Street, Hamilton FREE


10th Annual Run for the Hills, 5 & 10K
The popular trail run through the beautiful wooded hills behind the Pingree School.  10K is part of the 2017 Brooks-New England Running Company All-Terrain Series.  

July 15, 9am start          Pingree Reservation          537 Highland Street, South Hamilton  FEE.

Warren/Weld Woodland Weekday Hike
Join Greenbelt and the Y Connections hiking club for an invigorating hike into the Essex Woods.

July 20,   9:30 - 11:30 am
Apple Street, Essex

Baby Birds Book Signing & Presentation with Julie Zickefoose
Acclaimed artist and author Julie Zickefoose will present her new book "Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest," followed by a discussion and chance to purchase signed copies of her work!

July 20,   6pm: Meet & Mingle 7 - 8:30pm: Presentation
Cox Reservation, Essex



Summer Sunset Walk
Hike to the top of Eagle Rock at Tompson Street Reservation and absorb the amazing views of the sunset over the scenic landscape of Cape Ann.

July 23,   6:30 - 8:30 pm
Bray Street Gateway, Gloucester

Thank you for your interest in local land conservation 

Greenbelt | Essex County's Land Trust 
82 Eastern Avenue Essex, Massachusetts 01929

Phone: 978.768.7241 | www.ecga.org | Email: ecga@ecga.org
Privacy Policy  ◊  Email Preferences
© 2016 Essex County Greenbelt Association