Bedford Land Trust celebrates 25 years of conservation

The Bedford Land Trust is celebrating 25 years of land conservation in Bedford through the creative vision of area artists in a special exhibit, "Celebrating 25 Years of Land Conservation Though the Eye of an Artist," at Sullivan Framing & Fine Art Gallery from Oct. 6-Nov. 26.

Artists were asked to capture an essence of the trust’s conserved properties and easements located throughout Bedford and transport it to artwork. The artist’s eye of inspiration centered on a farm animal, barnyard, silo, or on rocky outcroppings, wetlands, waterfalls, meadows, forest, flora or fauna, and became a creative interpretation of conservation.

Featured artists for this exhibit are Marcia Blakeman, Dana Boucher, Bill Earnshaw, Randy Knowles, Sandra Kavanaugh, Judy McLean, Darlene Robyn, Dawn Sanel, Josee Severino, Amy Sullivan and Cheryl Vratsenes.

Gallery owner Amy Sullivan said 10 percent of the exhibit’s sales will be donated to the Bedford Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The exhibit’s opening reception will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6-8 p.m. at the Sullivan Framing & Fine Art Gallery, 15 North Amherst Road in Bedford. For additional exhibit hours through Nov. 26, please visit www.sullivanframing.com or call 471-1888.

There is a convenient way to find out more about the properties the trust protects in Bedford. This summer, the trust launched a new website designed to bring viewers more information about the trust’s mission of land conservation and how to get out and enjoy protected properties. More maps, photos, and descriptions have been added to tell the story of each property. Besides providing a graphic of all of the properties, there is an interactive map that guides viewers to each parcel. Once there, the viewer can explore a series of photos illustrating the special features of that location, a description of the property, and hiking maps for existing trails. The site also includes a page for special events such as the "Celebrating 25 years of Land Conservation" event on Oct. 6, and the annual meeting on Oct. 27. The membership and donation page offers a variety of ways to participate and be part of a lasting legacy of land conservation.

From the time of the trust’s founding in 1990, when very little land was set aside as open space in Bedford, the trust’s vision has been to help preserve the town’s quality of life and to protect important natural, scenic, recreational, historic, ecological and reproductive features of Bedford’s remaining open space for the benefit of the citizens of Bedford. Since 1993, when the trust acquired its first conservation parcel – the Linda Hockman Conservation Land, it has continued to acquire conservation easements throughout Bedford such as the Benedictine Land, the Van Loan Preserve, Pointer Brook Easement, Sebbins Pond Road Easement, Joppa Hill Conservation Easement, two School District Easements, the Bedford Village Common, Fortin Preserve Easement, Nault Easement, and Pulpit Rock Conservation Easement. It owns two small properties: the historic Town Pound and MacDermott Parcel.

Over the past 2½ decades, the inventory of land protected by the trust’s conservation easement has grown from 10 acres to more than 700 acres. Most of this land is open and accessible to the public for passive recreation. Since its first acquisition, the trust has worked with the town, the Bedford School District, and private landowners to conserve land for the multiple benefits that open space provides. By protecting water resources and wildlife habitat, and by providing recreational opportunities, open space benefits the health and well-being of the community.

It is a cause for celebration that Bedford’s special places have been protected over the past 25 years. It is a milestone celebration – made possible by people who believe in the goals of the trust and provide support.

For more information, visit www.bedfordlandtrust.org. Questions can be sent to info@bedfordlandtrust.org.

Submitted by
Bedford Land Trust