It has been an interesting and challenging year in many ways. While the Trust remains committed to our mission to acquire, preserve, and maintain vital properties that contribute to the rural nature of Tiverton, we are also cognizant of the health, economic, and social upheaval that is challenging us this year – not just in Tiverton but throughout the country and world.
While many state parks and beaches closed to enforce quarantining and social distancing protocols for Covid-19, we made the conscious decision to keep our trails and properties open, since we recognize the importance of having spaces for safe outdoor exercise. As a result, we have experienced increased visitation, so we required visitors to observe the governor’s protocols, including social distancing, while on our trails. As we move forward through this summer, we will continue to do everything we can to provide outdoor respite for residents of Tiverton and beyond.
As you may be aware, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our annual autumn celebration; A Country Day at Pardon Gray. We made this decision after reviewing the Governor’s protocols for social distancing and public gatherings and how they impact our planned activities. Every year, our dedicated planning committee, led by Wayne Browning, works diligently to put this event together. However, due to the uncertainty around what those restrictions will entail in September, combined with the planning required to put this event together, it became clear we could not with good conscience move forward. We are currently considering alternative safe activities we can host to celebrate our properties, supporters, and community. There is still work to do in order to finalize this and we will make an announcement once we have finalized our plans. If you do not already follow us on Facebook or Instagram please consider doing so - we’re happy to post photographs taken by visitors as well.
On a more upbeat note, we are proud to announce that our accreditation with the national Land Trust Alliance was renewed in 2020. The LTA is the national organization providing a number of services for local land trusts. Land trust accreditation is a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation. Accreditation demonstrates that a trust has successfully implemented Land Trust Standards and Practices. Accredited land trusts range from all-volunteer organizations to national groups and protect more than 75% of all land and easements held by land trusts in America. Accreditation is a voluntary program administered by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and the process is lengthy and comprehensive and we’re proud to have achieved this status, and we thank our past president John Foley for leading that effort.
In the past year we have welcomed several new board members; most recently David Elliot. David brings a wealth of experience in finance and fundraising, as well as a love of the rural nature of Tiverton. A short biography is contained in this Newsletter. We’re grateful to him for his willingness to serve the Trust as we continue to move forward.
We are continuing our land protection work with our partners at Tiverton Open Space Commission Tiverton Open Space, Department of Environmental Management (DEM), The Nature Conservancy, and others to acquire and protect open space in Tiverton. This newsletter's map of preserved land showcases our success in advancing our mission, but we know there is more work to be done. We are currently focusing on the Nonquit watershed as well as other parcels in Tiverton.
If our efforts are of value to you, we would encourage you to support the Tiverton Land Trust. Memberships start as low as $35/year. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS as we are a federally certified 501(c)3. Please use the envelope included with this Newsletter. Additionally, anyone with an interest in helping the Trust in any capacity (trail building/maintenance, committees, fundraising, land donation, protecting land from future development with an easement, planned giving, etc.) please feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to discuss these options in more detail. You can read more about us and our mission or contact us via our website at http://tivertonlandtrust.org/
Finally, while it should go without saying, we want to ensure our supporters that the TLT strives to make certain that we do our part to create and sustain an atmosphere in everything we do where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued. We can control the words we use, the actions we take, and how we treat one another. We are committed to ensuring that we have a welcoming and inclusive environment where all backgrounds and cultures can enjoy our wonderful properties.
Thanks for your interest and support of our mission and activities. We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and enjoyable summer – we hope to see you on one of our trails in the near future.
Eric Watne / President