We were deeply saddened to say goodbye to the former President and Treasurer of the FLT Board and longtime friend, Charlie Cohn.
FLT’s first Executive Director, Mark Zenick, sent along his reflections on Charlie.
While I was so fortunate to have Charlie as a prized and beloved friend for more than four decades, the land preservation community knew no more ardent champion of rural values and rural landscapes. While leading the Franklin Land Trust, I so benefitted from Charlie’s keen insight and implacable wisdom during his long tenure on FLT’s Board of Directors. He taught me and reminded others by his example that at all times integrity is more important than money. Charlie was ever mindful of the organization’s financial health but supported and urged bold yet responsible intervention by FLT to save what everyone in western Mass could not afford to lose, the deep, still woodlands, the visually uplifting and productive farm fields, and the lush open spaces which so nourish the bounty of rural life. Charlie was not a farmer but he greatly admired and deeply respected farmers as hard working stewards of vistas and views he cherished. Without fanfare Charlie put his money where his heart was. He purchased undeveloped, at-risk farmland near or abutting his haven home high in the Shelburne hills to ensure that it would be permanently conserved for generations yet to come. Charlie held an unabashed passion for the simple, sublime pleasures of small-town rural life. And he knew that the land underpinned and sustained all that is good in small-town life, land which required protection from the scarring impulses of human development. Thus, Charlie supported unrelentingly, as a Board member and loyal donor, the Franklin Land Trust’s unyielding work to preserve those properties which imbue collective rural life with such natural vitality and such saturating satisfactions. Charlie’s too early departure from this world has left me without a most remarkable and unforgettable friend and has left local land conservation without a quiet, unassuming, and yet indefatigable warrior.
The Franklin Land Trust has set up a fund in Charlie’s honor. These funds will first be used to create a handicap accessible trail at the Guyette
Farm to honor Charlie Cohn’s legacy and his unyielding passion for the outdoors.
Laurie Sanders will lead a Nature Walk on the Guyette Farm to Honor Charlie on May 5th. more details
To donate to “Charlie’s Fund” please mark same in the memo line on your check or check off the “In Memory of” box on your online donation and indicate Charlie Cohn in the provided box.