About SVT

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Cedar Hill Vista. Photo by Tom Sullivan.

SVT is a nonprofit land trust that conserves vital natural areas in the region between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts.

    

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SVT Region with Projects Highlighted

Our Mission

Sudbury Valley Trustees works to protect natural areas and farmland for wildlife and people in the 36 communities that surround the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers.


Our Work

We care for some of this region’s most important forests, wetlands, and grasslands—natural areas that support wildlife habitat, working farms, and recreational trails. As of Summer 2022, SVT cares for more than 5700 acres on 93 Reservations and 97 Conservation Restrictions, and we maintain more than 65 miles of trails. Since our inception, we have assisted other organizations and governmental agencies in protecting an additional 3000 acres in the region.

We achieve our success thanks to the efforts of a full-time professional staff and an all-volunteer Board of Directors, the assistance of TerraCorps-AmeriCorps members, the hard work of more than 200 volunteers, and the support of approximately 3,000 member households. SVT is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

We work in three major areas to fulfill our mission:

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Healthy Natural Areas for Wildlife & People
  • We protect land. Through collaboration with individual landowners, local land trusts, and our municipal, state, and federal partners, SVT employs a number of strategies to protect land, from assisting communities and other organizations with local efforts to working with land owners to permanently conserve their parcels.
  • We take care of natural areas. Our job does not end once a parcel of land has been protected. We actively work to steward these parcels, ensuring that the values that originally inspired protection are cared for in perpetuity. Stewardship tasks include invasive species control, habitat restoration and management, trail maintenance, and boundary monitoring.
  • We provide people with opportunities to connect with nature and to act for conservation. SVT recognizes that we must engage a greater number of people to care and act for natural areas, and we work to provide a diversity of opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about our region’s open spaces and wildlife. Our trails are open to the public free of charge, and we sponsor dozens of outings and educational programs every year. We also provide a wide range of volunteer opportunities, both in our offices and on our properties.


Diversity Statement

March 8, 2022

SVT’s mission is to protect natural areas and farmland for use by all people and wildlife in the 36 communities that surround the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers.

Diversity is fundamental to the health and resilience of both human society and ecological landscapes. To truly advance our goals of protecting natural areas for wildlife and all people, SVT must strive to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.

To that end, we have embarked upon a journey of listening, learning and purpose-driven work to engage and serve the full diversity of people who live in our region. To lay the foundation for this long-term mission, SVT’s Board has initiated organization-wide training; an internal audit of our operations and engagement efforts; and outreach to historically marginalized communities with the hope of building lasting relationships.

We recognize that we have much to learn and are committed to keeping our members and the communities we serve informed as we proceed. We invite you to join us and submit any comments to [email protected].

Our History

SVT was formed in 1953 as a handful of citizens from Wayland became concerned that a development boom threatened to change the rural nature of the region. The organization was formally created on September 28 of that year, when seven men from Wayland—Allen Morgan, George Lewis, Allen Benjamin, Henry Parker, Bill Ryder, Dick Stackpole, and Roger Stokey—met to endorse an Agreement of Association, adopted a set of by-laws, and set a governing Board of Directors.

In its early days, SVT set out to conserve land in Wayland and Sudbury, and among our early successes were the acquisition of Upper Mill Brook and Hamlen Woods in Wayland in 1957. We soon welcomed opportunities to acquire properties in northwest Framingham (Fay Fields in 1959 and Baiting Brook Welch in 1960), and over the ensuing years, we expanded our reach throughout the entire Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord River watershed, where we have directly conserved or assisted in the protection of thousands of acres of land in 29 communities.

In 1981, Allen Morgan became the first Executive Director of SVT, put SVT on a strong financial footing, hired staff, and began what has been a lasting endeavor in land conservation.