As we end 2021, I am pleased to update you on the Tiverton Land Trust; both a look back at this year and some thoughts on our plans for 2022 and beyond.
As I begin serving as the President of the Board of Directors, I speak for the TLT Board and our group of volunteers when I say that 2021 was a big year for us, and we intend to keep the momentum going as we enter the new year!
We end 2021 with the satisfaction of exceeding our community fundraising effort of $235,000 for the Nonquit Pond Farmlands project. The project is to purchase conservation easements on two farms (30 total acres) that have been continuously worked for 250 years. The combined properties span over 1,000 feet of frontage along Nonquit Pond and will help further protect the Nonquit Pond watershed. This unique 44-square acre watershed helps define south Tiverton’s rural landscape.
Conserving land across Tiverton is our mission. Looking ahead, the Board aims to be active in identifying attractive parcels across our community, engaging with landowners who have an interest in maintaining open space, local farming, and wildlife habitat, and thinking and acting creatively to get these often complex transactions completed.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we significantly ramped up our schedule of community events, which were exceedingly well-received. In April, we hid more than 100 wooden (no plastic on Pardon Gray Preserve!) eggs for a Sunday Egg Roll that many young families enjoyed. In late August, we made the difficult decision to cancel Pardon Gray Day due to continued concern about the Delta variant. We pivoted, and together with our friends at the Tiverton Farmers Market, we jointly hosted our Harvest Market at Pardon Gray Preserve on a spectacular Sunday afternoon in October.
We had some 3500+ attendees (far more than we anticipated!) come out to support local artisans, purveyors, and community organizations. Folks purchased pumpkins, original local art, joined guided trail hikes, and most importantly, enjoyed socializing safely with their neighbors on Pardon Gray Preserve. The day affirmed the foresight of the founding Tiverton Land Trust members 22 years ago when they stopped a proposed housing development on this 230-acre preserve, and conserved it as permanent open space.
We have also been working on fortifying the Tiverton Land Trust team. In 2021 we added five new members to the TLT Board of Directors, the volunteer body that sets strategy and implements our efforts. These new board members all bring valuable functional skills like marketing, fundraising, or legal training, as well as unique perspectives. We are also working to expand our volunteer team. With an ambitious agenda for 2022, we need a larger pool of people who can work closely with the TLT Board to get things done. This effort has begun to pay off as we now have volunteer “champions” who provide logistics at events, photography for our website redesign and social media efforts, and are working to maintain Land Trust properties and trails.
Finally, in 2022 we intend to significantly expand our membership base. We want to get more people and families connected to our mission and help support our efforts to conserve and enjoy, open land across Tiverton. If you are not a TLT member, please consider joining. Look for an important announcement about TLT membership in the coming weeks!!
The past year confirmed the value of conserved land in Tiverton. Conserved land helps to maintain the rural character and natural beauty of Tiverton, and can serve as the backdrop to community events that bring folks together. Our goal for the next year is to continue to work towards land conservation, and engage with our community to enjoy these resources.
All of us at the Tiverton land Trust are grateful for your support and encourage you to up your engagement with us in 2022 and beyond!
Best for a wonderful Holiday season,