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The Manchester Essex Conservation Trust (MECT) is an almost 60-year-old 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 enhances the quality of life on Cape Ann by ensuring that lands that are vital to public health remain in their natural condition. These lands protect drinking water supplies, hold back storm waters that would otherwise threaten homes and businesses, provide educational and research opportunities, and offer quiet recreation on miles of foot trails. An informed public is essential to long-term success, and we gladly share knowledge of the special conservation values of the lands that we protect.
The Covid 19 pandemic highlighted the important interconnection between people and the land we protect. In our 60 years, we have worked to preserve nearly 1600 acres in these two communities and assisted both towns with protecting additional land. The proximity, extensive trails, and peaceful surroundings we offer to the public have provided important places to meet and gather. Our membership and communities have been grateful for these safe places to engage in activities that support physical and emotional well-being.
Through this sharing of the land we steward, we affirm that it is the people in these communities that helped assemble these gifts over our 60-year history, creating reciprocity that is at the heart of what we do. Just as the watersheds and wildlife corridors cross town boundaries, so do our members. As such, we are committed to broadening our circle of outreach and membership to include surrounding towns, with an emphasis on growing the community of supporters that have shared values of conservation.
MECT’s work is generously supported by donations from the community who enjoy being a part of this hyperlocal and impactful organization.
Membership and events are open to all. We welcome members of the community to volunteer, and join our committees and board of trustees. Let us know how you’d like to join in this important work!
In 2021, we created and staffed a full-time Executive Director position for the very first time in our history. This position is currently supported by three part-time staff members, bringing the total number of employee hours to 85 per week.
- Executive Director: Patrice Murphy
- Development and Finance Director: Alida Bryant
- GIS and Conservation Data Manager: Peter O’Donnell
- Communications and Engagement Coordinator: Ani Sarkisian
Board of Trustees (2022)
Our dedicated Board of Trustees represents both towns of Manchester and Essex, and brings a broad range of experiences and ideas to our organization. From the fiduciary responsibilities of owning land, and monitoring conservation restrictions, to the acquisition and stewardship of land, our trustees are fully engaged in our mission. Defending Shingle Place Hill and other tracts of land from inappropriate development has been a key issue for us, and our board has risen to the challenge while ensuring that we are also looking forward to the future to expand our conservation corridors.
- Matthias Plum, President, Essex
- Albert M. Creighton, III, Vice President/Secretary, Manchester
- Jonathan Calder, Treasurer, Essex
- Lynn Atkinson, Manchester
- Thomas Barrieau, Essex
- Michael Carvalho, Manchester
- Frances R. Caudill, Manchester
- Jeffrey Cochand, Manchester
- Gregory A. Crockett, Manchester
- George E. Davis, Manchester
- Michael Dyer, Essex
- Garlan Morse, Jr., Manchester
- Julie Scofield, Essex
- George P. Smith, Manchester