The Princeton Land Trust, founded in 1990, is a non-profit land trust guided by a board of trustees, all of whom are residents of or landholders in Princeton, Massachusetts. We have been recognized under section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code for tax exempt status

What is the purpose of the Princeton Land Trust?

We are dedicated to preserving, free from development, parcels of land (forests, farmland, scenic land, special wildlife habitats) and water bodies which contribute to the beauty and the rural atmosphere of Princeton.

Do we need to protect more open space?

While Princeton already has several large protected tracts, such as the Audobon Society's Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary and Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, there is still a need to protect open space.

The intense development pressure which moved west from Boston and reached Princeton several years ago has subsided - temporarily. As the Masschusetts economy continues to grow, however, this pressure will also continue, and Princeton's open space is at risk.

Don't the town and state protect land?

Yes, they do. But state and local governments always have fiscal problems which limit their effectiveness. Many areas in Princeton cannot be adequately preserved by zoning by-laws, Chapter 61 programs and state forest and park programs.

Preserving Princeton's Rural Landscape

In addition to your support as a Member of the Princeton Land Trust and your contributions to our occasional property-specific fundraisings, you can help to preserve Princeton’s natural beauty and rural character through a gift of land, or a gift of a Conservation Restriction.  Both approaches protect the land from development, and may result in a tax deduction. 

 A Conservation Restriction is a gift in perpetuity of the right to develop land.  This is most often used for parcels adjacent to a residence.  The donor continues to own and control access to the property, and can use the property for agriculture, horticulture, and forestry.  Other than an occasional visit from representatives of PLT to confirm the boundaries and verify that the land is not being developed, the donor continues to have the exclusive right to use the land.

A gift of land transfers title to the Princeton Land Trust.  Generally, PLT will develop a small parking area for easy access, and trails for passive public recreation on the property.  Usually PLT inscribes a small boulder at the parking area memorializing the gift.  This approach is most often used for larger parcels, independent of any residence. 

The Princeton Land Trust is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) organization.  Gifts of conservation restrictions and outright gifts of land can result in a federal income tax deduction for the value of the gift, as determined by an independent appraiser.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with you, and with your attorney and advisors if you are considering a gift.

How can I tell if this would be advantageous to me?

Review your situation with your lawyer or financial advisor. The Princeton Land Trust will be glad to discuss the many possible alternatives from which you can select the most attactive one.

What have you accomplished since 1990?

Since our start, we have grown to protect over 300 acres of land in 17 parcels around Princeton. We have also set up conservation restrictions on close to 300 acres which we do not own.

We have developed trails on several of these properties to facilitate their use by town residents.

We work cooperatively with the town planning board and various state organizations and other non-profit conservation groups.

Our Trust Agreement

Learn more about PLT by reviewing our Trust Agreement, below.

Rick Gardner PLT,
Apr 10, 2015, 4:21 AM