History of the Hopkinton Area Land Trust
The Hopkinton Area Land Trust was founded in 1995 by a group of five people at Dave Goldman’s kitchen table, as a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving open space in Hopkinton and surrounding towns. It began with a vision to protect open space, meet the requests of the townspeople for more recreational areas, and maintain the quality of life in Hopkinton. Since its inception HALT has been managed by a small board of 6-9 volunteer directors who have been very active in acquiring and maintaining open space in the town. HALT has already preserved over 1,000 acres of land containing over 15 miles of trails. Despite our success, we must continue to work diligently to create and maintain open space for future generations.
HALT was established in response to the many growth issues facing our rural town and surrounding areas. We seek to give landowners a conservation option when they are making decisions about the use of their land. Our growing community is facing the many pressures associated with expansion and growth and to keep the balance we see the need to preserve open land and natural resources. As a charitable organization, HALT can assume leadership in wise land management and flexibility in dealing with the specific desires of land donors, giving us an opportunity to keep the rural character that makes Hopkinton so attractive.
Since its inception HALT has grown in the following ways:
- Responsible for about 900 acres either owned (in fee) or under Conservation Restriction protection
- Created and managed over 20 miles of public trails
- Created the Geocache-on-trails program with 14 geocaches
- Began a land stewardship program with 20 current stewards
- Awarded yearly scholarships to Hopkinton High School seniors who are interested in conservation
- Helped nearly two dozen Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts attain their Eagle Badge and Gold Awards by providing meaningful community service projects
- Received 16 state and town grants for projects benefiting open space in Hopkinton
- Actively worked with many parts of town government to insure protection of open space, such as the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Open Space Preservation Commission, Land Planning Department, Trails Coordination and Management Committee, and Upper Charles Trail Committee