2023 Annual Impact Report

March 5, 2024

Dear Opacum Community,

I am writing today to share Opacum Land Trust’s 2023 Annual Report and to thank you for your support. Thanks to you, local land conservation is alive and well.

In addition to the projects included in the 2023 Annual Impact Report, your support makes it possible for us to steward and protect the 2,441 acres that are already permanently conserved by Opacum. These properties include land owned by Opacum as well as land protected through conservation restrictions. A conservation restriction is a voluntary legal agreement that permanently protects the conservation values of a property and limits future development, while the property continues to be owned by the landowner. The conservation restriction is enforced by a qualified entity, like a land trust or conservation commission. Opacum’s role is to monitor the properties and ensure that they remain protected, per the terms of the conservation restriction, in perpetuity. 

Currently, Opacum Land Trust is working toward permanently conserving 10 properties in the towns of Brimfield, Brookfield, Dudley, Hampden, Monson, and Southbridge for a total of 1,088 additional acres. We anticipate being able to complete some of these projects in the coming year and look forward to sharing more information about them and celebrating their completion with you throughout the year!

Thanks to your support, Opacum has taken on leadership roles in a number of conservation partnership projects. The Southern New England Heritage Forest Regional Conservation Partnership Program (SNEHF RCPP) and the MassConn Regional Conservation Fund are two such programs. As you will see in the Annual Impact Report, Opacum’s participation in these partnership programs has allowed us to expand our reach by assisting private landowners and other conservation partners, including other land trusts, in the conservation and stewardship of thousands of acres of land.

We thank you for your support and for protecting local land, water, and wildlife for current and future generations. You make local land conservation possible.

With Gratitude,

Laney Wilder, Executive Director