How We Work
In acting to preserve open space, CLCT concentrates on large tracts that provide a critical mass of protected land, parcels that abut or link other protected properties, and parcels in areas of the Town where open space is scarce. Woods, fields and ponds are all suitable for protection. Not every parcel of land in Concord, however, is appropriate for protection. Isolated building lots are generally not regarded as suitable for acquisition by CLCT unless they enlarge or link existing conserved areas.
Gifts of Land
Gifts of land to CLCT are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes and can lower federal estate taxes by removing property from the estate. Recent gifts to CLCT include the Douglas and Adele Miller Farm near Nine Acre Corner and a property on Kennedy Pond in West Concord.
Purchases of Land
CLCT also purchases land, either directly by raising funds through contributions, or indirectly by organizing persons to sponsor a purchase which is then gifted to CLCT. Recent acquisitions by purchase include the 80-acre October Farm Riverfront, a joint project with the Town of Concord. A property owner who sells property to CLCT or COLF at less than its fair market value (a "bargain sale") may receive an income tax deduction equal to the difference between the fair market value and the sale price.
By placing a conservation restriction or easement on their property in favor of CLCT, a property owner agrees to limit the type and amount of development that can occur on the property. Most restrictions are
permanent and remain in force in perpetuity, but some restrictions may be for a term of years. Some easements may be restricted to a particular activity, such as a trail easement across an owner’s property. The value of the restrictions granted, which reduce the fair market value of the property, may result in income tax deductions and lower property taxes for the owner.
Options and Rights of First Refusals
A property owner interested in protecting its property from development can grant a purchase option or right of first refusal in favor of CLCT or COLF. An option gives CLCT the exclusive right to purchase the property at a set price within a period of time, providing CLCT an opportunity to solicit donations and raise funds for the purchase. A right of first refusal gives CLCT the opportunity to match a bona fide offer to purchase a property. Either device ensures that CLCT will have an opportunity to conserve a property without having to act immediately.
CLCT engages in activities to maintain and protect Concord's natural resources. This includes mowing meadows and maintaining trails on CLCT land. Recent efforts also include sponsorship of a project to clear water chestnuts from Fairhaven Bay and, with other area organizations, researching the use of beetles to control the invasive purple loosestrife.
Walks and Other Activities
Throughout the year, CLCT conducts guided walks on our properties, often followed by refreshments and a chance to socialize with other members. We also hold periodic volunteer events to work on trails, invasives removal, and other projects. We hold an annual meeting in the fall which includes a walk and the election of board members.