The idea for the formation of the Mount Washington Valley Land Trust, now known as the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, initially began as a collaborative effort between Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Mount Washington Valley Community Supported Agriculture. These organizations wanted to promote conservation and sustainable community growth through environmental education, community farming and land protection. Although there were 40 local and regional land trusts in New Hampshire, none were active in the Mount Washington Valley, the second fastest growing region in the state.
The Mount Washington Valley Land Trust was founded in September of 2000 as a grassroots initiative to preserve land for community benefit in the watershed of the upper Saco River in New Hampshire and Maine. From the beginning, we planned to involve the community in the organization’s development. We held our first public information session in October 2000, out of which was formed a Steering Committee to guide the organization’s development.
After receiving our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS in May 2001, we elected a 15 member Board of Directors, changed our name to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust to better reflect the area we served, and began soliciting membership contributions. We completed our first land conservation project, a conservation easement, in December of 2001. The rest is history.