Celebrating 50 Years in Massachusetts

See how The Nature Conservancy started in Massachusetts and how, with your help, we've grown.

Enjoy a few of the images and highlights from our scrapbook.

Our early work was driven by community action and focused on conservation of special parcels of land. Across the state, groups of concerned citizens would join forces to protect a unique place, turning to the Conservancy for mentorship and fund-raising support.

1962 Black Pond Bog, Norwell
The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in Massachusetts is an exemplary, 100-acre kettlehole bog. “Cap’n” Bill Vinal, shown here, led the effort.

1983 Natural Heritage Program
Conservancy launches Natural Heritage Program to inventory species across the state.

1984 Schenob Brook
First Conservancy preserve in western Massachusetts is 65 acres in the heart of Schenob Brook.

1987 Stacy Mountain
Massachusetts program's first acquisition along the Connecticut River. Stacy Mountain Preserve is in Gill.

While land protection is still our primary method, the scope of work expands across two priority sites: the Berkshire-Taconic range and the coast (including Cape Cod and the Islands). Lands are chosen for protection based on a science-based filter: their ability to provide habitat for specific rare species.

1994 Prescribed Fire Program
First fire specialist is hired. Starting with controlled burns on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts staff become national leaders in restoring habitat and improving public safety with fire.

1999 Hawley Bog, Hawley
This 65-acre preserve is managed in partnership with the Five Colleges Consortium. The bog harbors carnivorous plants like this sundew.

Wayne Klockner joins the program as executive director and our focus expands further. Bioreserves — large landscapes that offer high potential for multi-species biodiversity conservation — become our focus. These include the Berkshire-Taconic range and the coast, as well as the Westfield, Taunton and Connecticut River watersheds.

1995 Martha's Vineyard
800-acre parcel added to the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest with the assistance of the Conservancy in one of the largest protection actions ever to occur on Martha's Vineyard

2004 Gobble Mountain, Chester
271-acre purchase launches our Westfield River watershed conservation program. We work with generous landowner partners with conservation restrictions that protect strategic lands.

2005 Public Policy
First Massachusetts government relations staff are hired. We continue to influence policies and programs that have lasting impact on conserving lands and waters.

The scope of our work expands to the conservation of whole systems: complete ecological networks that include protected and populated areas. Massachusetts is at the crossroads of New England’s whole systems: the Connecticut River (pictured), Northern Appalachian forests, Gulf of Maine and Southern New England Coasts.

2008 Wellfleet
Oyster restoration project in Wellfleet.

2010 BioMap2
TNC provides science that guides sustainable land use throughout the Commonwealth.

2012 Mill River Restoration
We begin removing dams on the Mill River in Taunton after years of collaborative planning.

2012: Celebrating 50 years of success conserving the Commonwealth and beyond. Please support us for the next 50 years!


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