Becket Land Trust Transfers Ownership and Management of Historic Quarry to Reservations Administrators |
BECKET – The Becket Land Trust, which has owned and managed the historic 300-acre quarry and forest property since 2000, has now transferred ownership to the Reservations Trustees (the Trustees). The Trustees is the nation’s premier and the state’s largest nonprofit land conservation and preservation organization.
During its ownership, the Land Trust developed seven miles of hiking trails, created a 20-acre oak regeneration forest area, a 40-acre New England Wildlife Management Area, and installed a 14 point self-guided educational history walk. The Land Trust has also developed a permanent museum exhibit in the Mullen House Education Center in Becket, which will continue to be accessible to the public. This exhibit documents the life and times of quarry exploitation from the 1860s to the 1940s, as the city’s major industrial operation. The museum’s exhibit includes historical photographs, financial records and quarry-quarry diaries, as well as many small artifacts from the property.
In recent years, the historic quarry and forest have grown in popularity and during the Covid-19 pandemic, public tours have exploded. During the summer seasons of 2018 and 2019, the site received 3-4,000 visitors, with over 14,000 visitors in the summer of 2020. BLT’s board of directors agreed that while the interest audience was positive, management would be better with a larger, more experienced organization. After discussions between the Becket Land Trust and the Trustees – and a successful joint fundraising campaign that created a stewardship fund of $ 270,000 – the Trustees acquired the historic quarry and forest, as well as the responsibility for managing it. and maintain it as a public recreational and protected area. Ken Smith, Chairman of the Becket Land Trust, expresses his deep gratitude to the Trustees for making this long-term, sustainable protection possible.
The Trustees intend to improve the trail network and maintain wildlife and forest areas, as well as
The land trust will advise the trustees on improvements, providing a historical perspective and information on its 20 years of management of the property.
The Becket Land Trust, a 501c3 (non-profit) organization, was founded in 1991 by a group of citizens concerned with protecting the rural character, natural resources and environmentally sensitive areas of the town of Becket. With the transfer of the historic quarry and forest, the organization owns and protects two properties in the town of Becket and will continue to work with landowners who share interests in conserving the land and protecting our natural resources. .