The Harvard Conservation Trust was established to preserve Harvard’s unique character and natural resources. For nearly 50 years, HCT has worked to ensure that Harvard protects enough land that wildlife can survive and thrive in their natural habitats, water resources can be sustainably managed, and areas of historic or agricultural significance are maintained. At the heart of HCT’s mission is also a commitment to helping our community enjoy the beauty and natural resources of Harvard in ways that do not impact sensitive ecological areas.
To accomplish this, we seek to acquire lands and conservation restrictions through gifts or purchases. Our funds come from HCT memberships, generous donors, and occasionally grants. When appropriate, the lands we purchase may later be sold, with conservation restrictions, to the Town of Harvard. This helps to replenish funds for future additional land protection.
With limited funds and much undeveloped and unprotected land in town, HCT must prioritize the projects it takes on. Each property we consider for protection is carefully evaluated for various attributes that would make it a valuable addition to conservation land in Harvard. These attributes include the parcel size, adjacency to other already protected land, ecological significance of the area, opportunities for public trails, scenic or historical value, agricultural use, and more. This evaluation helps us focus our efforts and fundraising on preserving the lands that make the most significant contributions to furthering our mission.
Some ongoing and recent land protection efforts can be found here.