Topical Discussions

Building Community Connections to Advance DEI 

Monday, September 12, 2022, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register here.

This Stronger Together networking discussion provides an opportunity for land trust staff and board members to exchange ideas on efforts to advance racial justice, equity and inclusion initiatives within their organizations. This session will focus on sharing ideas on how to build and strengthen relationships with communities that have been historically underserved by conservation organizations. This informal discussion will feature no experts -- just your questions and ideas! It will not be recorded. Sponsored by MLTC and facilitated by Robb Johnson, Executive Director. Free, but advance registration required here.


The Family Forest Carbon Program: Climate-Smart Forestry Guidance and Incentives for Small Family Forests

Thursday, September 21, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. via Zoom. Register here.

As of July 2022, the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy have expanded the Family Forest Carbon Program into western and central Massachusetts (as well as Vermont and 4 counties in eastern New York). This program provides landowners who are interested in managing their forests -- when carbon is one of their top values -- technical assistance and annual payments if they commit to either delaying harvest, or doing climate-smart forest harvests, for 20 years. Patti Ruby, Northeast Director for the Family Forest Carbon Program (AFF), and Laura Marx, Climate Solutions Scientist (TNC) will walk through the program and explain continuing roles for consulting foresters and land trusts. There will be plenty of time for questions, both about how consulting foresters and land trusts can work with the program, and how the program is different from existing carbon market programs. Free but advance registration required here. Brought to you through MLTC's Stronger Together program.

Previous Workshops

If you are interested in materials from a previous workshop, please log in here, then Other Content for Members > Workshop Materials. For member log-in information, please contact

Landowner Webinar Series: Plan for Your Land

2nd Thursday of each month, November 2021 - April 2022, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Hosted by UMass MassWoods

This six-part webinar series for landowners will feature relevant professionals to provide information and help answer questions. Sign up for individual webinars or the entire series. Learn more and register.
November 11 - What’s the next step in planning the future of my land?
December 9 - What’s my land worth financially and ecologically?
January 13 - Who will own my land next?
February 10 - How can I reduce my property taxes?
March 10 - How can I conserve my land?
April 14 - What are the financial benefits of land conservation?

Boot Camp for Land Trust Board Members

Five consecutive Tuesdays, February 15 – March 15, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., via Zoom

This five-part series provides an orientation to unique elements of land trust work and important roles that Board members play. Drawing from Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices and feedback received from Massachusetts land trusts, Alliance Circuit Rider Connie Manes will guide participants through an exploration of governance, finance, transactions and stewardship issues. Ideal for new Board members or any land trust board or staff members looking to refresh their knowledge! Cost: $25 for MLTC member organizations; $45 for non-members. Register here.

Leadership Succession Planning for Land Trusts

Four 90-minute sessions: January 26, February 2, February 9 and March 9, via Zoom

At its heart, succession planning  is not about replacing people but a way to facilitate change and growth, making your mission more enduring. Through a series of virtual sessions with separate tracks for staffed and all-volunteer land trusts, this Land Trust Alliance (LTA) seminar series will give you tools and resources to build new leaders, transform your organization and create a timeline for thoughtful succession processes. Cost: $95 for LTA members; $125 for non-members. Learn more and register today. This series is co-sponsored by the MLTC's Stronger Together program, which will provide a significant discount for Massachusetts land trusts. Contact us for details at

Learning Collaborative: Advancing Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion for Land Trusts

Wednesdays September 15, September 29 and October 20, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., via Zoom.

This interactive three-part learning collaborative is for land trusts leaders interested in exploring ways to advance equity and inclusion initiatives. Led by Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna, a dynamic researcher, educator and advocate for racial equity and environmental justice, this series will help participants examine opportunities, clarify challenges and set concrete objectives for meaningful next steps. At the end of this series, participants will be in a position to draft a plan of organizational learning and relationship building to support strategic priorities specific to their organization. 

To foster a supportive peer cohort, participants are asked to commit to attend all three sessions and set aside adequate time to read materials and participate in exercises before and between sessions. Materials to be reviewed and exercises to be completed before and between sessions may require as much as 8-10 hours of additional time across the entire series. Due to the discussion-oriented nature of these sessions, they will not be recorded. Content will include: 

Basic concepts and history related to racial justice and the implications for land conservation of systemic displacement and residential segregation; Racial self-awareness; Identifying the historically excluded and oppressed populations within or near your organization’s service area; Practice explaining ideas or concepts to stakeholders who may be resistant to addressing racial justice; Reviewing organizational structures, policies and programs to identify areas where exclusion and inequity are fostered; Understanding microaggressions and responding to them in a manner consistent with one’s position and personality; Understanding the stages and kinds of change needed to plan for and build an anti-racist, equity-centered organization over the short, medium, and long term; and Understanding the kinds of relationships needed to engage in anti-racist, equity-centered practice. 

A confidential and lightly moderated discussion space will be created for participants to interact with and support one another between sessions. As an optional final deliverable, participating organizations may submit a draft set of organizational objectives for feedback from Dr. Estrella-Luna.  

To enhance the likelihood that organizations will be positioned to put ideas into action, each participating organization is asked to register at least two representatives to attend. Cost: $20 per attendee for MLTC members, $40 per attendee for non-members. (Please contact regarding scholarship assistance). 

Models for Land Trust Collaboration: A Stronger Together Learning Collaborative

Three sessions, beginning Monday May 10, 10:00 am – noon, via Zoom
Next sessions Monday May 17, 10 am – noon; and Monday June 14, 10 am – noon

This interactive three-part workshop is for land trusts leaders interested in exploring the possibility of formalized collaboration with other conservation organizations. Could formalized collaboration (i.e. beyond occasional advice, networking and project-specific partnership) be a tool for sustaining and strengthening your organization? Learn from peers as you clarify motivations and reservations about collaboration, hear lessons learned from those who have implemented various models, and set concrete objectives for next steps you can take if you want to explore further. Facilitated by Robb Johnson, with guest speakers sharing experience with models including paying for staff time or services from a larger or umbrella organization; sharing staff or office space; and fiscal agency or legal affiliation. Agenda details will be sent in advance. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. Note: Each participating organization is encouraged to send least two representatives to participate. Free of charge to MLTC members; Non-member fee: $30 per organization. For more information contact Robb at Advance registration required here. (Registrants will receive a follow-up email with registration links for sessions 2 and 3.)

Environmental Protection at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office: Lessons and Opportunities for Massachusetts Land Trusts

Thursday, May 27, noon - 1:15 pm, via Zoom
Attorneys from the AG’s Office will discuss the Environmental Protection Division's work tackling climate change, challenging recent federal environmental rollbacks, enforcing state wetlands laws, and furthering environmental justice across the Commonwealth. The presentation will include lessons learned and opportunities for land trust engagement on some of the most pressing environmental issues facing Massachusetts. Speakers include Chief Legal Counsel Richard Johnston (former president of the Dennis Conservation Land Trust and Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts), Assistant Attorneys General Turner Smith and Meghan Davoren and Special Assistant Attorney General David Frankel. Sponsored by the Dennis Conservation Land Trust, Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts and Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. Free but advance registration required here.

Land Trusts and the APR Program: Increasing the Pace of Farmland Preservation

Thursday, May 6, 10:30 am - noon. via Zoom
David Viale, Agricultural Lands Program Manager with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, will lead a discussion with land trust representatives to explore ways to improve the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) acquisition process. Input will be sought on topics including shortening the APR acquisition timeline; increasing available funding and the number of projects per year; possibly reimbursing land trusts for project planning and management, due diligence and pre acquisition; other ideas for increasing the number of applications facilitated by land trusts; expanding eligibility for APR or revising ranking criteria; and a possible pathway for APRs other than NRCS' Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. Free but advance registration required here.

Expanding Eligibility for Protection Funding through Farmland of Local Importance

Wednesday, March 24, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Advance registration is required here.
To date, NRCS in Massachusetts has routinely recognized prime farmland, unique farmland, and farmland of statewide importance as eligible for agricultural easement programs, including those conducted in partnership with Massachusetts' APR program. If additional important soil types were recognized, more farms would be eligible for easement funding. In 2019, the first Massachusetts farmland of local importance (FLI) was recognized in Hatfield. Speaker Al Averill will share information on the potential to expand the designation of FLI throughout the Commonwealth, and discuss how land trusts could help identify tracts for such recognition.

Climate Change Communication for Land Trusts Workshop: Learning from Peers

September 12, 2019 9:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Mass Audubon Farm Life Center at Drumlin Farm, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA

Leadership Workshop for Board Members and Executive Directors

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 3:00pm - 6:30pm
Fidelity Bank Community Room, 9 Leominster Connector, Leominster, MA

Protecting Biodiversity in a Changing Climate

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 9:30pm - 4:00pm
Brigham Hill Community Farm, 37 Wheeler Road, Grafton, MA 

Combat Communications

December 4, 2017, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Brigham Hill Community Farm, 37 Wheeler Road, Grafton, MA


September 21, 2017, 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Greenbelt, Cox Reservation, 82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA

Cracking the Communication Nut

Southeastern Massachusetts Land Trust Convocation
February 4, 2017, 8:15am - 12:30pm, Upper Cape Technical High School, 220 Sandwich Road, Bourne, MA