Posted April 28, 2023
In March, I had the opportunity to go to the Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference hosted by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC) with a few other members of the WLT. This was my first time going to any environmental-themed event not hosted by the WLT, so I had no idea what to expect. I was pleased to find an eclectic group of conservationists, coming from Wareham to Williamstown, all of whom were committed to bettering their communities and building a more sustainable future.
I learned a lot at the conference! Throughout the day, I attended several talks about relevant issues led by knowledgeable people in the field. At two talks, I learned how land conservation and creating new housing, specifically affordable housing, do not always have to come into conflict. In another, I learned more about agrivoltaics and the hybrid solar-agriculture projects which have reared their head in the region recently. Also, as a renter, I finally came to understand the differences between an appraisal and an assessment. Assessments are done quickly by a town to assess tax liability while appraisals are done by a professional and determine the highest economic value of the land.
While learning was fun, the best part of the conference was definitely the people. Being new to the conservation world, I had no idea how many people were involved on a statewide level, and from what diverse backgrounds these wonderful people approached the same issues. I am proud to say I left with some new friends and, thanks to the vendors there, a list of new hiking trails to explore as well. I look forward to returning next year and adding to that list. My wish is that more WLT members get to enjoy this great event too, and I hope to see many of you there next year!
Written by Ryan Semple, WLT Board of Advisors member