Workshops, Seminars & Networking

Workshops

Workshops are multi-session collaboratives bringing together teams of peers representing different land trusts to study a topic of common interest and support one in applying lessons learned to set and advance objectives for their respective organizations. Participating land trusts are asked to send at least two staff or board members to participate and commit to attend all sessions.  

Seminars

Seminars are multi-session trainings on an over-arching theme that take place over several weeks, focusing on a particular topic(s) each week, where someone familiar with the topic teaches to others. It includes Q&A. These are often recorded.

Endowments and Board-Designated Funds: Does Your Land Trust Need One?

Thursday, February 29, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This free educational webinar presented by Matt Goward CFP, UBS Wealth Management, will address how to create, fund and appropriately manage an endowment, and how endowments and other board-restricted funds may fit into managing your organization's financial sustainability. Hosted by MLTC. Register.

Networking Discussions

These informal one-hour discussion are intended for staff and board members of non-profit land conservation organizations, with a focus on exchanging information on topics of common interest. The conversations are facilitated by MLTC, with occasional guest hosts. Sessions are not recorded. To receive log-in information, register for each session that interests you.

Topics of Interest to AVLTs (All Volunteer Land Trusts)

Tuesday, March 5, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Register
The focus of this call will be "Membership Programs: Yes? No? Alternatives?". Some organizations have membership programs, others don't. Some are moving away from a membership model. Why? What alternatives are there? Come share your experiences, questions, and suggestions. This discussion will not be recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to Small Staffed Land Trusts

Wednesday, April 10, noon - 1:00 p.m. via Zoom
Register
The topic of this quarterly networking call is still being determined. Come with your questions, and feel free to share your experiences, so we can learn and support each other. This call will not be recorded.

Previous Workshops, Seminars & Networking Discussions

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 admin@massland.org.

Stewardship Roundtable: Unhoused Encampments
This call took place Thursday, February 8, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
This one-hour Zoom will start with a brief summary by two land trusts of their experiences with homeless encampments, then open the discussion to the group for insights, questions, and sharing their stories. We'll also gauge if there's interest in holding regular topic-based stewardship calls. Part of MLTC's Stronger Together networking series, intended for staff and board members of land trusts and their conservation partners. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded.

Development Staff: Sustaining Donor Membership
This call took place Thursday, January 25, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
Share with your development colleagues from across the state your success stories, questions, and ideas about sustaining donor memberships, and any programs you have (or would like to implement) for retaining and sustaining donors. This call was not recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to Small Staffed Land Trusts
This call took place on Tuesday, January 16, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. via Zoom
Topic(s) may include: efficient committee management; trail audits; enforcing trail rules. This call was not recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to AVLTs (All Volunteer Land Trusts)
This call took place on Tuesday, December 5, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
The focus of this call will be Community Outreach and Engagement. Come prepared to share your experiences and ask questions. Topics for discussion might include letters, websites, social media, email list management, reaching kids/teens, etc. This call was not recorded.

Development Staff: Online Giving Days
This call took place Thursday, November 30, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
We'll discuss "Online Giving Days" - pros, cons, success, ideas. We invite you to share your successful programs, and come with questions for your development colleagues. This call was not recorded.

Agricultural Conservation Working Group
This hybrid event took place Monday, October 30, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
This two-hour Zoom will continue the conversation started at the Land Trust / State Agency Retreat about farmland conservation funding and strategy. This conversation will be hosted by MLTC, and guided by David Viale (MDAR's APR program), Jamie Pottern (American Farmland Trust) and Kathy Orlando (Sheffield Land Trust). This call will not be recorded. NOTE about attending in-person: there is limited parking for up to 15 vehicles. Car-pooling is recommended. Park at the Sweet Alice Conservation area lot on Bay Rd, then walk up the driveway path towards Plum Brook. Another alternative is to park at Atkins Market and walk from there.

Topics of Special Interest to Small Staffed Land Trusts
This call took place Thursday, October 26, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Join this second networking session for staff and Board of Small Staffed Land Trusts. Topics on this call may include: year end appeals, board development, or volunteer recruitment and engagement. We are polling registrants for their topics of interest. There will also be time to ask any urgent questions of interest to this community. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded.

Development Staff: Engaging Business / Corporate Support
This call took place Wednesday, September 27, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
This month's topic for discussion will be "how to engage corporate and local business support for land conservation". We invite you to share a successful business collaboration, and come with questions for your development colleagues. Facilitated by MLTC. This call was not recorded.

Conservation & Housing in Collaboration

This call took place Thursday, September 14, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
This one-hour discussion will start with a brief summary of potential avenues for collaboration between land conservation and affordable housing that have been covered in prior meetings this year, then discuss whether and how to further dig into any of them. Part of MLTC's Stronger Together networking series, intended for staff and board members of land trusts and their conservation partners. Facilitated by Robb Johnson, and not recorded. 

Agricultural Conservation Interest Group

This call took place Wednesday, August 16, 11 a.m. – noon via Zoom
Join us to learn about the soon-to-be released Farmland Action Plan, and discuss a two-pronged proposal for accelerating agricultural conservation in Massachusetts. First, MLTC is considering hosting a multi-part training to more fully educate land trusts and others about APR options, tools, and farmland protection in general. Second, MLTC and partners are considering convening a work group to vet and prioritize various policy initiatives that have been proposed to improve and increase agricultural preservation. Participants will be invited to offer ideas and/or express interest in learning more about either of these ideas for moving ag conservation forward. This conversation will be hosted by MLTC and guided by David Viale (MDAR's APR program), Jamie Pottern (American Farmland Trust) and Kathy Orlando (Sheffield Land Trust). This call will not be recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to AVLTs (All Volunteer Land Trusts)

This Stronger Together networking call took place Tuesday, August 15, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
The focus of this call will be Human Resources, with topics such as contractors vs. staff, growing the organization, hiring and firing, "staffing" both volunteer and paid, and others as participants bring up. Facilitated by MLTC. This call will not be recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to Small Staffed Land Trusts

This Stronger Together networking call took place Monday, July 31, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Small Staffed Land Trusts often face a unique set of concerns running their organizations. Topics of interest could include: managing a sustainable volunteer program, staffing vs. contractors, efficiency tools, project best practices and more. Bring your questions and ideas. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion will not be recorded.

Development Staff: Growing Land Trust Membership

This Stronger Together networking call took place Wednesday, July 12, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Join development colleagues to network and gather ideas on this month's focus topic of Growing Land Trust Membership. Share an approach that's been successful and / or describe a challenge that the group may be able to address. Facilitated by MLTC. This call will not be recorded.

Fundamentals of Land Protection

Thursdays in June (June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29), 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. via Zoom
Syllabus
This five-part series is targeted to land trust and municipal staff and volunteers who are interested in better understanding or directly engaging in land conservation transactions, but who have limited prior experience (i.e., zero to five conservation deals under their belts). Topics include: 
June 1 - The Basics of Land Protection: Real Estate & Tools
June 8 - What to Protect: Project selection and Prioritizing
June 15 - Landowner Outreach and Relationships
June 22 - Due Diligence
June 29 - Funding, Partnerships, Documentation, Post-Closing
Faculty includes Rob Warren, Christa Collins, Paul Catanzaro, Abby Hardy-Moss, Cynthia Henshaw, Olivia Lukacic, Sarah Wells, Jassy Bratko.
Cost: $20 for the series. Sessions were recorded, registrant access only.

Conservation & Housing in Collaboration

This Stronger Together networking call took place Tuesday, June 27, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
The focus of this call will be "How to Partner with an Affordable Housing Advocate / Developer / Community Land Trust". Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion will not be recorded.

Kickstart the Agricultural Conservation Working Group

This networking / working group call took place Tuesday, June 13, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
Do you work with the agricultural community and want to enhance what can be done to support farmland protection and farming in the state? Join this group of stakeholders to convene around agricultural conservation. This will follow in the footsteps of successful MLTC working groups that have revised the state’s model CR and created the Valuing Nature's Services Toolkit, building off of the former Agricultural Subcommittee. With the recent releases of the Healthy Soils Action Plan, Resilient Lands Initiative, Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and the forthcoming Farmland Action Plan, this working group aims to address both the challenges and opportunities in farmland conservation. Kathy Orlando from the Sheffield Land Trust and David Viale from MDAR APR program will spearhead this effort. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded.

Topics of Special Interest to AVLTs (All Volunteer Land Trusts)

This Stronger Together networking call took place Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
All Volunteer Land Trusts often face a unique set of concerns running their organizations. Today's discussion will touch upon some of those, such as succession planning and hiring staff or contractors, and perhaps others. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded.

Development Staff: Strengthening Fundraising Efforts / Expanding Funding Opportunities

This Stronger Together Networking Call took place Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Join MA land trust development colleagues to follow up on the lunchtime gathering that took place at the March MLTC conference. Our aim is to strengthen connections, increase opportunities to network and collaborate on fundraising efforts, and ultimately expand funding for the vital work of land trusts in the Commonwealth. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded.

Conservation and Housing in Collaboration 

This Stronger Together Networking Call took place Monday, May 8, 2023, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Building on the momentum of the conservation / housing discussions at the annual conference on March 25, as well as the urgency to find solutions to protecting land to meet climate goals and the (affordable) housing crunch affecting Massachusetts, this networking discussion provides an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with peers. Facilitated by MLTC. This discussion was not recorded. 

Being Prepared for "What If"

This series took place on five consecutive Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. starting October 4, 2022
MLTC is collaborating with the Land Trust Alliance and Maine Land Trust Network to help you ensure the permanence of your land trust and its conserved lands. This new program is designed to help land trusts understand and identify risks, and assess current risk management strategies through a series of online training sessions, consultant-supported risk assessments, and modest grant support. The program will cover risks you may want to consider, like the risk of someone hurting themselves on a trail or while volunteering, insufficient funding, lack of board member involvement, and conservation easement violations, among others.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2022, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. 

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. Brought to you through MLTC's Stronger Together program. PDF

Building Community Connections to Advance DEI 

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

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.

Boot Camp for Land Trust Board Members

Five consecutive Tuesdays, February 15 - March 15, 2022, 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.

Leadership Succession Planning for Land Trusts 

Four 90-minute sessions: January 26, February 2, February 9 and March 9, 2022 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. This series is co-sponsored by the MLTC's Stronger Together program, which will provide a significant discount for Massachusetts land trusts.

Fielding and Responding to Concerns about Safety of Trail Users 

Wednesday January 19, 2022, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
Have you heard increased concerns about trail user safety in the wake of the late November attack on a woman hiking at the Middlesex Fells? If so, have you been wondering about an appropriate response? Are more group hikes a good idea? Additional signage or social media messages? This "Stronger Together" networking discussion provides an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with peers. Facilitated by Robb Johnson, MLTC Executive Director. This discussion will not be recorded. Sponsored by MLTC.  

Help MLTC Work for You: A Forum for All-Volunteer Land Trusts 

Monday, November 15, 2021, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. via Zoom  
Join us for this networking discussion that provides an opportunity for board members of all-volunteer land trusts to provide input on MLTC's 5-year strategic planning process that is currently underway. How can MLTC be a better advocate for you? Or help with your technical, funding, communications or other needs? Hosted and facilitated by Robb Johnson, MLTC Executive Director. This discussion will not be recorded. Please spread the word among your board. 

Landowner Webinar Series: Plan for Your Land

2nd Thursday of each month, November 2021 - April 2022, 6:30 p.m. - 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.
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?

Help MLTC Work for You: A Forum for Leaders of Single-Town and Smaller Staffed Land Trusts 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom 
This networking discussion provides an opportunity for leaders of land trusts with 1 to 3 staff people or trusts that work within a single town to provide input on MLTC's 5-year strategic planning process currently underway. How can MLTC be a better advocate for you, or help with your technical, funding, communications or other needs? Hosted and facilitated by Robb Johnson, MLTC Executive Director, with Janet Milkman, MLTC Board Member and Executive Director of Barnstable Land Trust. This discussion will not be recorded.

COVID and Your Fall Events

Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
This informal "Stronger Together" networking discussion sponsored by MLTC provides an opportunity for conservation leaders to share questions and ideas about how news regarding COVID breakthroughs and variants is impacting plans for your fall meetings and events. Go live or virtual? Hybrid? Masks or no masks? Exchange ideas with peers on this timely topic. This discussion will not be recorded.

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

Wednesdays September 15, September 29 and October 20, 2021, 4:00 p.m. - 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.

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

Thursday, May 27, 2021, noon - 1:15 p.m. 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.

Models for Land Trust Collaboration: A Stronger Together Learning Collaborative

Agenda
Three sessions, beginning Monday May 10, 2021, 10:00 a.m. - noon via Zoom
Next sessions Monday May 17, 10 a.m. - noon; and Monday June 14, 10 a.m. - 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. 

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

Thursday, May 6, 2021, 10:30 a.m. - 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.

Expanding Eligibility for Protection Funding through Farmland of Local Importance

Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
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, 3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Fidelity Bank Community Room, 9 Leominster Connector, Leominster, MA

Protecting Biodiversity in a Changing Climate

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

Combat Communications

December 4, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Brigham Hill Community Farm, 37 Wheeler Road, Grafton, MA

Stewardship

September 21, 2017, 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
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