GBLC is dedicated to conservation and stewardship of our community's natural resources and special places. In 2017, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of our establishment as Great Barrington's land conservancy.
- We work to protect open space for ecological, recreational, agricultural, and scenic purposes.
- We organize community volunteers on behalf of land conservation and stewardship.
- We partner with local, regional, and national land trust organizations.
- We support sustainable agriculture as a means of preserving our farming heritage.
- We support neighborhood initiatives that align with our mission.
Through our stewardship projects we engage the community in the understanding, appreciation, and care of our natural resource areas.
The Great Barrington Land Conservancy is a small town land conservancy with a big mission: To preserve natural places, agricultural land, and wildlife habitats within Great Barrington and to enhance recreational opportunities for residents and visitors through the creation of trails, walking paths, and special programs.
Since our establishment in 1992, we have preserved several hundred acres of agricultural and natural properties. Conservation restrictions evolved into projects for trail maintenance programs, community activism and collaboration. Please learn more about Housatonic River Walk (now a National Recreational Trail), the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest Trails, Pfeiffer Arboretum and Trails, and the Threemile Hill Trail that links Fountain Pond State Park with Berkshire South Regional Community Center.
We don't just put these resources in place, we help develop community involvement that ensures these places will be maintained and will be sources of recreation, ecology education, and community for years to come.
Lake Mansfield Alliance is a project of GBLC that has worked to preserve the ecology and recreational opportunities of the lake and its environs. GB Trails and Greenways is a collaborative partnership that brings environmental groups, health organizations, and our town government together to build an interconnected town-wide trail system for Great Barrington. Together, we share resources, improve existing trails, and plan for future trails. GB Trails also provides a year-round calendar of outdoor events from bird watching to snowshoeing.
We also established the markers that commemorate the involvement of W.E.B. Du Bois and William Stanley at the places where they lived and worked near the Housatonic River. Our programs and special places are available and accessible to all.
Partnership with the Town of Great Barrington and local land, trail, and habitat organizations is an important way that we accomplish our goals. We took a leadership role in helping the community to adapt the Community Preservation Act and worked with the town on its Greenway project.
Our work is accomplished through donations and the efforts of our community volunteers and volunteer Board of Directors.
Since we began, we have also:
- Conserved more than 300 acres of privately owned land as "forever wild"
- Protected 53 acres of open space for public recreation and enjoyment
- Preserved 45 acres of prime agricultural land for farm production
- Established and maintained 3.5 miles of public walking and hiking trails
- Provided care and stewardship of the Lake Mansfield Recreation Area and the trails within the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest through the work of Lake Mansfield Alliance
- Supported the creation of Great Barrington Trails and Greenways, a collaborative organization providing for trail development, maintenance, and enjoyment throughout Great Barrington
- Secured National Recreational Trail status for River Walk
- Landmarked Great Barrington's historic figures including W.E.B. Du Bois and William Stanley
- Worked towards Great Barrington’s adaptation of the Community Preservation Act
- Supported the engagement of students in conservation and stewardship from area schools and colleges as well as through partnerships with Greenagers.
We look forward to adding to these achievements in the coming years.
Board of Directors
Janice Kabel, President
Dale Abrams, Vice President
Jane Angelini, Treasurer
Tim Geller, Recording Secretary
Elia Del Molino
Rabbi Liz Hirsch
Richard Brousseau, AIA