What We Care About
Since its founding in 1986 as a nonprofit, member-supported land conservation trust, the WRLF’s primary focus has been to support the conservation of open, accessible space as a major step to enhance the special quality of life we all enjoy in Williamstown. On a selective basis and as our resources permit, we also cooperate with other organizations to support affordable farming and housing projects, including such examples as Caretaker Farm and Habitat for Humanity houses.
To accomplish these objectives, we have put on educational programs and events directly related to our Mission to help people of all ages appreciate the natural history and rural nature of Williamstown, and to be good stewards of the land. We have also taken positions on selective issues involving land use questions to promote informed decisions by Town government.
Through these and other steps, we care about raising public awareness over how the community benefits from a balance between conservation and responsible development, which we also support. We believe this is a shared responsibility among everyone who enjoys the special quality of life in Williamstown.
Conservation and affordable housing
The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation has had a long tradition of supporting land conservation and affordable housing projects. The conservation of our land resources and affordable housing are not mutually exclusive. We favor examining and evaluating all options on previously developed municipal property, the acquisition of other privately owned sites, and the pursuit of infill before conservation lands are removed from conservation status.
Since concrete proposals accompanied by realistic cost estimates are not yet available, we believe it is premature to remove land from conservation status until such analysis for all alternatives is complete.
In the case of withdrawal of land from conservation, we strongly favor a no-net loss policy, replacing any removed lands with new land of equal conservation value and permanent conservation status.