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Massachusetts Preserve Visitation Guidelines

Please review our preserve guidelines before visiting one of The Nature Conservancy's preserves.

The Nature Conservancy’s preserves are set aside to protect natural plant and animal communities. We invite you to observe and enjoy these preserves, but remember that every visitor has an impact. Please follow these guidelines to lessen the impact of your visit.

Our preserves are open to the public during daylight hours. We ask visitors to respect the nature of the land at all times. Passive recreation such as walking, bird watching, and photography is welcomed. Activities such as research and field study as well as educational programs and field trips with more than 10 people require advance written permission. See information below.

To protect the health of our preserves for generations to come, and to ensure the safety of all visitors, the following activities are not allowed:

  • Picking flowers, mushrooms, etc.; removing rocks or other parts of the landscape.
  • Smoking.
  • Camping, fires or cookouts.
  • Driving motorized vehicles, including ATV’s, except those permitted for accessibility.
  • Biking.
  • Fishing, trapping, or hunting, except as otherwise posted. Building of blinds or tree stands is prohibited. Please contact our Western MA office at 413-229-0232 to find out about our hunting permit program on selected preserves.
  • Horseback riding.
  • Feeding wildlife.
  • Releasing animals or introducing plants.
  • Disposing of trash or other waste, including biodegradable materials.

In addition, in order to minimize the impact visitors have on the preserve, we ask that you please:

  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Avoid walking in wet, boggy areas.
  • Inspect pant legs and shoes to remove seeds before entering and when leaving the preserve. Failure to do so could introduce unwanted weeds to new locations.
  • If you flush a ground nesting bird - stop and avoid walking near the nest area.
  • Observe all posted signs.
  • Please do not remove stakes, signs, flagging, tape or other objects - they might be part of a research project.
  • Please do not trespass on private property adjacent to the preserve.
  • Avoid use of preserves for geocaching locations.

For your own comfort and enjoyment, come prepared. Wear comfortable shoes for hiking, pack some rain gear and wear long pants with socks over them to protect yourself from ticks and poison ivy. Bring along insect repellent and sunscreen for protection. Always remember to carry a water bottle. And, of course, bring your binoculars, camera, field guide and a compass.

HELP US STEWARD OUR PRESERVES

If you are interested in helping us take care of our properties please contact our Western MA office at 413-229-0232. If you are interested in reporting invasive species locations please visit either the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England at: http://www.eddmaps.org/ipane/report/index.cfm or download the Outsmart Invasives app for your smart phone http://masswoods.net/outsmart.

MORE INFORMATION

If you want to do research on a Nature Conservancy preserve, please share your plans with us and receive permission before starting. Contact Karen Lombard, Director of Stewardship, at 617-532-8356 or at klombard@tnc.org.

For educational or field trips with more than 10 people in Western Massachusetts, please contact Angela Sirois at 413-229-0232. For Eastern Massachusetts please contact Karen Lombard using the contact information above. For trips to Martha’s Vineyard preserves please contact our Island office at 508-693-6287.

If you observe any illegal activity such as ATV use on a preserve, feel free to call the local police.

Enjoy your visit and please report any problems with a preserve to the Massachusetts Chapter at massachusetts@tnc.org or call the numbers listed above.
 

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