A History of Helping
It is no longer impossible to imagine a dystopia in which our planet is void of vegetation and completely overrun with the material products of mankind. One where buildings stretch as far as the eye can see and pavement has replaced any trace of grass; natural wonders are no longer protected and national parks do not exist. In this dreadful scenario, humans have replaced most animals in their race for control and power.
However, to avoid such a horrid plight, we must continue to expand our awareness of the importance of open land, healthy environments and thriving creatures who live there. Preserving ecologically valuable areas has become imperative to ensuring the presence of fields, flowers and furry being, well into the future. The Tewksbury Land Trust, one of many organizations dedicated to protecting undeveloped land, has made a lasting impact on its community through the work of its dedicated members.
Once organized - in 1991 - new trustees for the Tewksbury Land Trust’s began to rally support for protecting open space. Though it took some time to get off the ground (no pun) Smith Preserve on Farmersville Road became the group’s first procurement in 1997. This was a time when development pressure was provoking community support of land preservation. Guided by Ted Koven, Harris and Bets Smith, generous benefactors of Centenary College, donated an easement on their 120 acre sheep farm (with the exception of two or three acres for buildings.) Although the logistics involved with protecting a family farm proved to be challenging for a newly established group, the rewards were immense. This property is of particular value because it is adjacent and accessible to the 170 acre Christie Hoffman Park. Securing this easement not only assured that the land would be protected well into the future, but it provided a model for leveraging other properities.