Letter From The Executive Director

Preserving a multi-generational legacy poses numerous challenges for landowners, ranging from succession planning to economic pressures. Each family’s situation is unique, and in our new series of blog posts covering some the work we’ve done this year, we explore the differing approaches that two such families took to conserving their land.

In “Home Is Where the Heart Is” we cover Thelma Nye Pilgrim’s generous gift of 86 acres to Franklin Land Trust, which was motivated by her profound attachment to the land and deep love for its wildlife. Thelma’s generous donation ensures that this property will remain unspoiled by development, forever accessible to the community. Thelma’s story isn’t the only example of conservation in her family.

In 2008, Thelma’s aunt, Evelyn Guyette, bestowed her 107-acre Plainfield farm to FLT in honor of her late husband Harry Guyette, as well as his brother, Merrill, and father, Arthur. Evelyn’s gift marked the end of her family’s 78-year ownership of the property while guaranteeing its continued responsible stewardship.

Hartsbrook Farm, the West family home since 1810, embodies a multigenerational commitment to farming. Here, dairy production and crop cultivation have sustained successive generations, while modern technologies, like a robotic milker, coexist harmoniously with time-honored traditions.

Through Agricultural Preservation Restrictions facilitated by the Franklin Land Trust, the Wests have secured their legacy and ensured the perpetual viability of their farm as agricultural land.

The conservation of our natural heritage is profoundly personal. Land transcends mere commodity status; its value extends beyond acreage, soil reports, and other quantifiable attributes. For Thelma and the Wests, safeguarding their land means preserving an indispensable link to the past.

At the Franklin Land Trust, we hold the belief that every conservation endeavor is distinctive. We are committed to tailoring solutions to the specific goals of each landowner, collaborating to develop strategies that honor their unique circumstances. This personalized approach ensures that the conservation process takes into account land use history and the profound emotional
bond that families have with their properties.

With warm regards,
Mary Lynn Sabourin