The Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving ecologically important land and wildlife habitat in Manchester and Essex, Massachusetts, and promoting its use for quiet recreation, education and research.

MECT News


MECT Annual Meeting a Great Success

MECT held its 54th Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at the Manchester Community Center. MECT President, Mike Dyer, reported on a tremendously successful year, the highlight of which was the acquisition of 67 acres of land in the Essex woods that brings us ever closer to our goal of protecting all of the Wilderness Conservation Area that encompasses roughly 2000 acres of land in the heart of Manchester and Essex.

Dr. Richard Primack, author of Walden Warming and professor of Biology at Boston University, was the featured speaker for the event. He spoke to a full house, and gave an informative and detailed talk on the present day effects of climate change on plant and animal behavior right here in Massachusetts. His data indicates that urbanization contributes strongly to the degree of warming that we have already experienced in Massachusetts, particularly in the metro Boston area, which exemplifies the need to continue in earnest with our efforts to conserve undeveloped land in our communities.

Speaker Richard Primack addresses MECT members in the Manchester Community Center

MECT bid a fond farewell and a heartfelt thank you to two long time Trustees who will be truly missed. Both Bill Vachon and Kurt Wilhelm have stepped down from their roles as Trustees of MECT after many years of dedicated service. We are fortunate that Bill will continue to serve as a member of the MECT Land Acquisition and Protection Committee. In turn, we are thrilled to welcome Fred Wales, a long time volunteer dedicated to MECTs land research efforts, as a new Trustee. MECT is also fortunate to have re-elected all three of our current officers, President Mike Dyer, Vice President Greg Crockett, and Treasurer Bethe Palmer for another term. Finally, MECT recognized the unparalleled contribution of Helen Bethell, former Executive Director and current Land Director, who is stepping down from her role as MECT staff. Helen has dedicated forty years to researching, protecting, and stewarding land on behalf of MECT, a commitment that that we and our communities are fortunate to have enjoyed. Thankfully Helen will continue to build upon her accomplishments in land conservation as a member of MECTs Land Acquisition and Protection Committee.

Date posted: November 18, 2017

2017 Photo Contest Winners Announced!

Artists’ Reception!  Saturday, November 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Santander Bank, 17 Union Street, Manchester. All winning photographs will be on display at the bank from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6.  Hope to see you there!

Best In Show by Anita Brewer-Siljeholm

Best Photo in the WCA by Phil Frank

Animal Kingdom:  1st place:  Dave Perkins;  2nd place:  Dave Perkins;   Honorable Mention:  Phil Frank

Plants and Fungi:  1st place:  Robyn Lafata;  2nd place:  Dave Perkins;  Honorable Mention:  Phil Frank

Landscape:   1st place:  Phil Frank;  2nd place:  Neil Ayer;  Honorable Mention:  Neil Ayer

Four Seasons:  1st place:  Arlene Taliadoros;  2nd place:  Robyn Lafata;  Honorable Mention:  Arlene Taliadoros

And a huge Thank You! to the supporters who made this contest possible:

Judges: Barbara Almy and Steve Rosenthal
Framers: Chuck Hayback of Nor’East Frameworks and James Eves of Cape Ann Giclee

Best Photo in the WCA by Phil Frank 

Date posted: October 3, 2017

Our 50th Anniversary Video

Produced by Jeffrey McDonagh at JM Video Productions, and MECT Trustees Mike McDonagh and Mike Dyer, our 50th Anniversary video captures the beauty of the Manchester-Essex Woods, includes interviews with two of the founders of the Manchester Conservation Trust, shows enthusiastic school children exploring nature, and highlights the two-town cooperation that continues to support protection of this special natural open space.

Date posted: November 12, 2013

Welcoming New Members

MECT Annual 2012 004

Photo by Alida Bryant

Clean drinking water or parking lot pollution?  Bright fall colors or unchanging development?  Children’s nature trips or classroom routine? Invest in MECT’s future and invest in your own.  We have much to do and you can help.

 Choose a Tree and become a member now!

Date posted: September 4, 2013