SVT is a member-supported, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works in a 36-community region between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. We accomplish our work through a community-based, all-volunteer Board of Directors, 13 staff members (full and part time), 2 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members, and over 200 volunteers. SVT is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
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.
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 2018, SVT cares for more than 5000 acres on 90 reservations and 79 Conservation Restrictions, and we maintain more than 63 miles of trails. Since our inception, we have assisted other organizations and governmental agencies in protecting an additional 3000 acres in the region.
We collaborate with numerous partner organizations, and our work is supported by 2900 members and 200 volunteers.
We work in three major areas to fulfill our mission:
- We conserve 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 protect 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.
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.