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.



Photographers have until September 1 to submit their finest images to the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust Photo Contest. Let summer entice you to look closely at nature in open spaces in Manchester and Essex, and survey your files for your best shots from seasons past. Each photographer may submit up to 5 photographs taken throughout the year.

The contest accepts photos in four different categories: The Four Seasons; Animal Kingdom; Plants and Fungi; and Landscape. Each category will have one winner and one honorable mention. One outstanding photo will win “Best in Show.” Eagle-eyed judges, accomplished artists themselves, will determine winners and honorable mentions.

Photographers ages 17 and under can submit entries to a youth category that also will issue awards.

All winning photographs will be on display at the Santander Bank in Manchester during November 2016, with an opening reception to introduce the photographers. Photos chosen for display will be printed by MECT. Thanks to Nor’east Frameworks for donating time and materials to mat the photos and frame “Best in Show.”

Essex and Manchester are fortunate to have a variety of protected natural habitats in beautiful locations: woodland, open field, salt marsh, salt marsh island, river and stream, forested and shrubby wetland, sandy beach, intertidal, and rocky headland. These locales support a diversity of interesting and photogenic animals, plants and fungi, and the seasonal changes of light and weather are tempting lures to get out your camera, explore, sharpen your awareness of nature, your artistic eye, hone your technical skills and join the fun.

See the photo contest page for complete contest rules and submission instructions, including technical specifications.

Date posted: June 15, 2016

Kiosk Completed at Wilderness Conservation Area Gateway

The Wilderness Conservation Area Gateway kiosk display was installed on May 30, 2015. Designer, Alison Anholt-White and builder, Ken King, both Manchester residents, pose with their work.  Ken also constructed the magnificent wood structure. Photo by MECT trustee, Alan Budreau.


Date posted: June 17, 2015

Town Meeting Voted to Conserve Land

Manchester citizens voted at Town Meeting on April 6 to accept a gift of land from the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust. (Warrant Article 15) The 2.6-acre parcel of land, a generous gift from Judson L. Wilson, of Gloucester, is now part of the Town’s Dexter Pond Conservation Area. Surrounded by conservation land and the railroad, the woodland parcel is a natural fit for management as part of the conserved area. MECT is happy to support the Town’s conservation efforts. Full article with map is at  “About/Newsletters” – Spring 2015, page 4.

Date posted: March 31, 2015

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