The Community Land Trust (CLT) in the Southern Berkshires
is a non-profit organization made up of members throughout the Southern
Berkshire region. Anyone living in the area may join
simply by paying a yearly $10 or 10 BerkShares membership fee. The central principle
motivating the work of the CLT is that homes, barns, fences, gardens,
and all things done with or on the land should be owned by individuals,
but the land itself is a limited community resource that should be owned
by the community as a whole. The CLT makes possible the community ownership
Greg Watson, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture, will be the speaker for the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust, Friday, March 22nd at the First Congregational Church, Great Barrington. 7:30PM. Open to the Public. Donation $5 or 5 BerkShares.
Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money, was the speaker for the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust, Tuesday, April 24th in Great Barrington.
Dan Levinson, Co-founder of Westport Green Village Initiative was the speaker for 2011 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust
click here for details
Gar Alperovitz was speaker for the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires. Listen to his talk on You Tube here. Listen to the audio here.
Gordon Thorne spoke on "Community Arts Trust"at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires.Listen to the audio of this talk
The CLT's primary function is to buy or accept gifts of land and lease
it back to members under a 99-year lease that is inheritable and automatically
renewable. Through the 99-year land lease, the trust removes land from
the speculative market and facilitates multiple uses such as affordable
housing, agriculture, and open space preservation. Part of this process
is to determine - in conjunction with land-use planners, local government,
and the community at large - the most appropriate use or uses for a
given parcel of land, be it a wildlife refuge, a group of houses, a
managed woodlot, a commercial development, or vegetables grown for the
The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires currently holds
three parcels of land. The first is Alvastra, a 10
acre parcel in the shadow of Jug End Mountain that includes four residences
and an apple orchard planted in 1925.
The second is Forest
Row, a residential community of 18 dwellings on 21 acres,
much of which is undeveloped woodlands. The third is Indian
Line Farm, an active organic farm of 17 acres, including
sensitive wetland areas that are permanently preserved.
For information about the history of land trusts, or to access legal
documents and information to start a land trust in your community, visit
the Schumacher Center for a New Economics' web site. The Schumacher Center (formerly the E. F. Schumacher Society) is
an educational non-profit that initiates practical measures that lead
to community revitalization and further the transition toward an economically
and ecologically sustainable society. The Schumacher Center's Library and Office are located on land of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires.