BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR

BY KAREN GREY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Having meaningful and respectful connections to the people we live amongst is something to value these days.  Strong neighborhoods and good neighbor relations add meaning to our lives, evoking a sense of connection, security, and collective shared interests.

Being a good neighbor is an essential quality of a responsible land trust.  With 240 conservation parcels in our portfolio, the Wildlands Trust handles a steady stream of phone calls, emails, and other interactions with many of our neighbors who care deeply about our lands. We rely on them to keep watchful eyes on our properties, report problems, and help us when issues arise;  in return we do our best to be attentive to their concerns.

For the past year, we have been working closely with our neighbors at the Halfway Pond Conservation Area, an important wildlife habitat and passive recreation preserve in Plymouth. Threats to the pond shore habitat require the Trust to adopt new management protocols, which include closing a section of the dirt road that neighbors have historically used as an alternative route. This proposed change is being met with some resistance and raises issues for the neighborhood including the location of new parking areas and restrictions on activities around the pond. Through an open dialogue, we are trying to learn more about their concerns, and as well, they are coming to understanding why the Trust needs to take such measures. The outcome will likely be imperfect for both the Trust and the people who live around the pond, but it will be a solution born of trust, respect, and compromise.

If you live in the vicinity of one of our properties please know we always want to hear your ideas and concerns.