A 70-acre woodland parcel adjacent to "The Mount" (Edith Wharton’s home and a National Historic Landmark) is now permanently protected thanks to a Conservation Restriction generously donated to Mass Audubon by the property’s owner, David Carver.
Becky Cushing, Director of Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries, has partnered with the staff at The Mount for the past two years, providing free bird walks for the public on The Mount property and extending on to Mr. Carver’s property next door. The Mount’s Executive Director, Susan Wissler, has been working closely with Mr. Carver for several years to protect this property and says, "This is a huge move on David’s part, and through Becky, Mass Audubon is proving to be an excellent partner."
Protecting these acres will provide greater resiliency to the impacts of climate change in a relatively developed location—absorbing flood waters from storm events and connecting 14 acres of Lenox Township conservation land on Laurel Lake with The Mount and at least 1,000 acres of undeveloped lands around Rattlesnake Hill to the west.
Mass Audubon and The Mount will work together on improving and maintaining the trails throughout the Carver property—enhancing and restoring a 6-mile network of trails for public access and recreation.
"Our intention is to improve the trails, expand the trail network and reactivate wonderful old carriage roads that connected old estates," Wissler said. "It's a marvelous opportunity, given The Mount’s interest in protecting its borders and Lenox’s interest in having open space and natural beauty preserved."
"This partnership supports the integration of nature and culture, a theme strongly woven through the fabric of the Berkshires. We look forward to working with The Mount to connect visitors with nature through interpretive signage, trails and programming," Cushing said.