In 1974, with growing concerns worldwide about quality of the environment, eleven citizens of Mattapoisett, concerned about the rate of development in the town as well as the its effects on native flora and fauna, formed a non-profit organization with three primary goals:
- to acquire and preserve natural resources and wildlife areas for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations,
- to educate the public about the wise use of natural resources,
- and to work with other organizations having similar purposes.
They quickly built the membership to 200 concerned citizens and later that year received their first donation of land from Mrs. Joan Woodcock, a 17-acre parcel on Long Plain Road. The deed, like many that would later transfer property to the Land Trust, included a restriction that the land be used only for conservation purposes “in perpetuity”.
After over forty years, and with the contributions of hundreds of Mattapoisett residents and visitors, the Mattapoisett Land Trust now holds properties totaling more than 650 acres. The growth of the organization has not changed its three goals, however. The increased pressure for development on the South Coast with its adverse effects on the biodiversity of the area, as well as on the habitats in Buzzards Bay, has convinced us that these goals are as relevant today as they were in 1974.