President: Jan Parke (Leicester)
Treasurer: Mary Barrell (Spencer)
Secretary: Ellen Sousa (Spencer)
Caroline Ely (Spencer)
Sandy Snow (Spencer)
Rick Barrell (Spencer)
Josh Soojian (Leicester)
Glenda Williamson (Leicester)
Jeremey Snow (Spencer)
Our bylaws require 2 board members to be residents of Leicester, and 2 board members be residents of Spencer, MA
We are a non-profit organization working to protect some of the open spaces that make the towns of Leicester and Spencer a great place to live and play. As development moves west from the Worcester and Boston metro area, we need to act now to protect the remaining prime farmland, forests and wetlands from disappearing forever.
Our board and members are hikers, hunters, skiers, horseback riders, snowmobilers, farmers, residents and businesses who enjoy and value the rural nature of our landscape. We also aim to educate our community about the importance of protecting our natural resources.
Conservation Restriction (CR) - a deed restriction that prohibits development on a property in perpetuity. A donation of a CR on land to a Massachusetts land trust, town or state for land conservation purposes may qualify for a state income tax credit and a federal tax deduction.
Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) - a state grant program that pays a farm landowner the difference between the fair-market-value and the agricultural value of their farmland in exchange for a permanent deed restriction that keeps the land in active commercial agriculture.
Chapter 61 Program - a state program in which landowners who enroll their land in the program receive substantial property tax reductions in exchange for a lien on their property. The terms of the lien require that enrolled land remain in an undeveloped state and be managed for agriculture or forest resources extraction under a forest management plan approved by the state. Chapter 61 does not permanently protect land from development or sale -- but a town has the right of first refusal to buy the property at the sale price, should the landowner put the land up for sale while it is enrolled in the program, or can assign that right to a land trust or state agency.