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Linda Loring Nature Foundation Given Nearly 20 Acres by The Nature Conservancy

A donation of land from one of the largest global conservation organization to one of the smallest

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization with more than 600 scientists doing conservation work in 69 countries. In contrast, the Linda Loring Nature Foundation is a small, local land trust on Nantucket Island dedicated to research on and education of the island’s unique flora and fauna. While different in scope, it is the similarities in values and dedication to conservation of fragile ecosystems that sealed the deal on this historic land transfer. On December 5, 2016 the Nature Conservancy (TNC) officially deeded the Linda Loring Nature Foundation (LLNF) 18.5 acres of sandplain grassland and heathland habitat bumping up the LLNF land holding to just over 104 acres. While this may be a relatively small amount of land, it is significant in that TNC, the largest conservation organization in the world, isn’t usually in the business of giving land away. Further, sandplain grassland is a globally-rare ecosystem that provides habitat for many endangered and threatened species. TNC’s transfer of this rare habitat further indicates their trust in LLNF to manage the land properly. With no island representation and no other TNC properties on Nantucket, they deemed the LLNF worthy of the land transfer. This speaks volumes for the land conservation and management efforts of the small island land trust.

The 18.5 acre parcel on Eel Point Road was purchased by TNC in 1991 with the hopes of later adding to their holdings and establishing a presence on Nantucket. However, with the creation of the LLNF by Linda Loring and the significant conservation efforts of other island organizations, there was no longer a need for the TNC to continue efforts on Nantucket. Like many aspects of Nantucket, the island community “took care of our own” and have preserved much of the island’s fragile habitats without the need for national or international efforts. This transfer would not have been possible without the efforts of the Nantucket Land Council which holds the conservation easements for both properties.

Located at 130 Eel Point Rd. and valued at about $750,000, the property itself nearly bisects the LLNF property. Since 2007, the TNC has allowed the LLNF to manage the land in their stead with the LLNF’s popular nature trail crossing into the TNC land. While this land transfer has been discussed for some time, it is the growth of LLNF as an organization, establishing a stewardship and research component to the operations that put faith in the LLNF’s ability to properly care for and manage the property.

Wayne Klockner, Massachusetts State Director of TNC, said of the transfer, “The Nature Conservancy is pleased to convey this beautiful piece of coastal sandplain to the Linda Loring Nature Foundation to be incorporated into their nature center property on Eel Point Road. The land’s wild character and ecological values will be well cared-for and will enhance the Foundation’s outdoor classroom and conservation activities. Our partnership with the Foundation, along with the Nantucket Land Council, ensures the long term stewardship of this piece of wild Nantucket.” Kitty Pochman, Executive Director of the LLNF, says, “We are excited to receive this generous donation from the Nature Conservancy. The expanded acreage will augment our research and stewardship capabilities to protect this critical habitat.”

Come see this property for yourself and take a walk on the 104 acres of the LLNF. You can learn more about what LLNF does and how they plan to manage the now 104 acres of land by visiting llnf.org or finding them on Facebook. To celebrate this historic donation as well as the Linda Loring Nature Foundation’s 10 year anniversary, a celebration is being planned for 2017.