Category Archives: Trustees of the Reservations

TOTR close their properties

Email today from the The Trustees of the Reservation –


Hi Michael, Gus, Osler and Kristine.
I hope you and your families are well during this uncertain time.  I wanted to be sure you were aware the Trustees has made the decision to temporarily close properties statewide.
Early this evening, Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO, announced the closure of Trustees properties from March 24 to April 7, in compliance with Governor Baker’s emergency order and stay-at-home advisory issued earlier today.  Mass Audubon and several state parks are also closed or closing.  A copy of the Trustees news release announcing the closures, as well as Barbara’s letter, distributed to 100,000 recipients, is attached.
With the decision to close properties, we will be posting signage at all  parking lots and closing gates where we have them.  We are also working on roping off lots where there are not gates.  Parking lot entrances will be monitored once daily to ensure ropes haven’t been moved or gates which cannot be locked are pushed open.
I will continue to keep you updated as developments occur and am tremendously appreciative of your support during these fluid and challenging times.  As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts.
Many thanks and best.


D.A. Hayden

Director – Charles River Valley Portfolio

Trustees  |  Powisset Farm

37 Powisset Street  |  Dover, MA 02030



Dear Matthew,

These are unprecedented times. During these times, we must be both brave and prudent. Over the last three weeks, we have seen that our 118 special places have become sanctuaries for those seeking safe spaces to get out of their homes, to occupy their children and families, to get exercise away from gyms, to spend time with animals, to practice social distancing with acreage to spare. We are grateful to provide these opportunities, for the chance to serve in both times of leisure and in times of stress.

Thus, with today’s announcement from Governor Charlie Baker to suspend all non-essential businesses, we are saddened to announce that we will comply with this advisory by closing all Trustees properties beginning tomorrow, March 24 until April 7. All staff who are not involved in the care and maintenance of agricultural production and necessary operational care will be at home. All gates and parking lots will be closed and we ask the public to respect these barriers. The Trustees will continue to operate our agricultural operations in compliance with the guidelines issued for the care and feeding of animals, and the production and distribution of food. Our farm properties will only be available for the pick-up of food products.

We recognize that many Trustees properties are without gates or barriers and are within safe walking distance from neighbors and others and could be safely visited within the parameters of the Governor’s directive. We ask that those who choose to visit those properties at this time, be respectful, follow guidelines about litter, safety, and dog behavior. We understand that these changes will feel dire to many who have come to rely on the daily use and enjoyment of our properties. We ask that everyone comply with the Governor’s orders, that you respect the closures of our properties, and that you keep your families and others safe during this unknown and unpredictable time.

Despite our closures, we will continue to pay all staff. Our colleagues are available to answer emails and questions, can process Memberships and gifts made online on our website, and we are working on creating virtual resources that you can enjoy at home. Please watch out for these resources.

Thank you for understanding how difficult this decision was. Once this crisis passes and we receive word from officials that it is again safe to gather, we look forward to welcoming all back to our special places.

Best regards,

Barbara J. Erickson
President & CEO



Meaghan Flaherty Lawton | +1.978.500.6471 |
Christine Boynton | +1.410.259.5966 |

Trustees Outdoor Properties Temporarily Closing to
the Public Amidst Evolving COVID-19 Situation
Public’s help sought in respecting closures to
maintain responsible social distancing, in light of
stay-at-home advisory issued by Governor Baker

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 23, 2020 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) announces that in
response to the emergency order issued Monday by Governor Charlie Baker, requiring all non-essential
businesses and organizations to close, prohibiting gatherings of over 10 people, and discouraging
unnecessary travel or activities, The Trustees has made the difficult decision to temporarily close all
outdoor properties, from Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, April 7 at noon. This follows the closure of
indoor properties announced last week, also in effect until Sunday, April 7.
“We have seen in recent weeks a surge in visitation at our properties as many have sought to find a
place to get out of their homes, to relieve their stress, and to simply get find solace in nature. We are
grateful that our places have served this much-needed purpose in these unprecedented times,” said
Barbara Erickson, President and CEO, The Trustees. “Now we close our properties to the public per the
Governor’s orders in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the Commonwealth and our staff,” she
All gates and parking lots will be closed, and the public is asked to respect these temporary barriers. The
Trustees issued a statement to its members and followers requesting that they comply with these
barriers and closures, in order to help slow the spread of this serious virus.
“We recognize that many Trustees properties are without gates or barriers and are within safe walking
distance from neighbors and others and could be safely visited within the parameters of the Governor’s
directive. We ask that those who choose to visit our properties at this time, be respectful, follow
guidelines about litter, safety, and dog behavior,” said Alicia Leuba, Vice President, Trustees. “However,
we strongly encourage our visitors to avoid driving to our places in compliance with the spirit of the
Governor’s request,” she added.
The Trustees will continue to operate agricultural operations in compliance with the guidelines issued
for the care and feeding of animals, and the production and distribution of food. The properties will not
be open for recreational purposes but only for the pick-up of food products. Information about ordering
online from Trustees farm stands and stores for curbside pickup will be available soon, on and on Trustees social media platforms.
As this situation continues to evolve, The Trustees is monitoring all guidance and recommended best
practices to protect visitors, staff, and our special places. This is a difficult time, as individuals, families,
schools, and businesses all navigate these uncharted waters together. Over the coming days and weeks
Trustees engagement staff will be working to create online content for visitors to enjoy virtually while
they are safely at home.
Administrative staff are working from home and are available to answer e-mails and to process
memberships and gifts made online on our website. Membership staff are replying to telephone calls
and voicemail messages on a delayed basis and members are encouraged to send questions to the for the fastest service.
Please continue to check our website for the latest on our COVID-19 closures and policies
( and follow our social media accounts for the latest live streams, video
content, and virtual programming. A round-up of these digital engagement opportunities is being
updated at

More about The Trustees
Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors,
and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s
first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today
as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 118 sites are destinations for residents,
members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.

Beaver update

20150917_beaver dam at Fork Factory-3

Mike Francis, Superintendent for the Trustees of the Reservations’ Charles River Valley Management Unit reported via two emails,

  • first in a Monday email the TTOR’s willingness to insert additional beaver deceiver pipes, at the Fork Factory beaver dam, and
  • then Mike reported this afternoon in another email that the pipes were installed yesterday –

See my photo above from a week ago of one of the two beaver dams there with the then existing 6″ pipe.

Since we’re in agreement that the culvert should be larger, I contacted Michael Callahan with Beaver Solutions last week to schedule a site visit.  He has installed 100’s of these devices throughout the state (including several on Trustees properties) and I believe the town has worked with him before.  It would be great if you all can attend.  I’ll let you know when he can make it out.

In the meantime, Michael—can you tell me if I should file another application with the BOH for a beaver permit to increase the culvert?  If we have approval, we’ll work on the culvert today and/or tomorrow.



Quick update—As you may know, the two 10” culverts were installed yesterday afternoon.  As of 9:00am this morning, they were flowing at about half capacity and the pond level had not yet risen.  We’ll continue to monitor things.

Mike, thanks for connecting with the BOH and Con Com for the permit.



Mike Francis

Trustees | Charles River Valley Management Unit
37 Powisset Street | Dover, MA 02030

In this instance TTOR reacted quickly to a concern that the town raised.

Alec Stevens, the downstream owner of Jewell’s Pond, had expressed substantial concerns to TTOR about any sudden release  of water from the Fork Factory area adversely impacting his pond and dam.  Alec also questioned whether the two new 10″ pipes will be sufficient, given the water out flow he experiences in similar storm conditions at Jewell’s Pond, where he is letting much more water go than can possibly fit through those two 10″ pipes.