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MA Spotlight on Barbara Erickson

MA Spotlight

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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

The Trustees of Reservations – Summer Fun Outdoors

With more than 100 properties spanning 27,000+ acres around Massachusetts, The Trustees is the world’s first and Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation nonprofit. Founded by the visionary landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891 to protect and share distinctive and dynamic places of natural, historic, and cultural value with Massachusetts residents and visitors. Trustees properties range from landmark historic house museums with designed landscapes and gardens, to barrier beaches, inns, campgrounds, working farms and popular community parks and hiking spots and welcomed 2 million visitors last year. We spoke to President & CEO Barbara Erickson about the Trustees.

Tell us about your background and how you came to work at Trustees six years ago.

My background includes working with national and international nonprofits and businesses like Earthwatch Institute, Bank of America, Boys & Girls Clubs and Save the Children to grow their strategic vision and mission impact and make a difference in the lives of humanity—a personal and professional passion. Being from Wyoming originally and a long-time resident of Massachusetts, I have always had a passion for history, culture, and the great outdoors, and value the amazing benefits all can have on leading a healthy, fulfilled, and balanced life.

When the opportunity to work at The Trustees came about, I was beyond thrilled to combine these passions all in one job. Since then, I’ve been working with an incredible team of statewide leaders and to preserve, protect, and share The Trustees’ amazing collection of properties with Massachusetts residents and visitors and move forward our mission to inspire them – especially the next generation — to care and take advantage of all the experiences we have to offer.

Monument Mountain is one of the spectacular sites on the Hike125 challenge

What are some of the seasonal activities the Trustees offer this summer?

Summer is when our beaches, gardens, hiking trails, campgrounds and farms truly come alive with programs and activities geared to all ages. June is National Get Outdoors month which is a great time to kick off exploring a new or favorite Trustees place with family and friends. For hiking lovers, our statewide Hike125 hiking challenge – which just kicked off its third year — has been a huge hit with our visitors, a few of which made it to all of our 116 sites around the state last year!

For beach lovers with a 4-wheel drive, a Trustees Oversand Vehicle Permit allows you a unique opportunity to drive on one of our beautiful, remote island beaches on Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket and create a truly unique and memorable beach day experience. As the caretaker of more than 120-miles of coastline in Massachusetts, we have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state ready for all to explore.

For families with kids, we have wonderful farm and nature-based programs throughout the summer, including camps, a few of which still have spots open at places like World’s End in Hingham and Farm Institute on Martha’s Vineyard. And our farms are also a great place to spend time with family and friends enjoying farm dinners, farm kitchen cooking classes, and fresh, healthy, locally grown veggies from our farm stands and CSA farm-share programs.

Farm Institute on Martha’s Vineyard

And last but certainly not least, as we have over 5,000 annual programs for all ages throughout the year, we have some of the most stellar public gardens across the state for garden enthusiasts to experience and explore, including Naumkeag in Stockbridge, the Bradley Estate in Canton, and Stevens Coolidge Place in Andover. All are now in full bloom and featuring tours, entertainment, and special events throughout the season. Follow our new garden trail to plan your next adventure.

How do the Trustees work with local partners to attract visitors coming to Massachusetts?

We have many partners – including the amazing Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism — who we work with to host and sponsor programs, volunteer days, outdoor concerts, and more. We love sharing the work of our partners and believe that we all need to support each other to continue to attract visitors to our beautiful state.

We have an exciting new partnership program this year with Notch Brewing of Salem featuring traveling pop-up biergarten-style experiences at nine of our outdoor parks, farms, and cultural sites in the Greater Boston area. We are the first, exclusive outdoor partner to host Notch Brewing’s new Traveling Biergarten featuring outdoor seating, Notch’s acclaimed session beer, and family-friendly activities and entertainment. An active community partner that supports other local businesses, Notch uses locally-sourced ingredients from companies like Valley Malt in Hadley and Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem. We welcome all to join us for a craft beer or two and enjoy this new experience at a Trustees property near you.

The Traveling Biergarten will take place over 13 weekends during summer and fall 2018

Tell us about some of your programs at Boston Public Market at Haymarket Square.  

As one of the largest owners of farmland in the state, with several working farms that offer farm share and site-based educational programs, an important part of our mission is to connect more Massachusetts residents and visitors to locally produced food and goods. We are proud to be one of the founding partners of the Boston Public Market where we run the Appleton Farms Cheese Shop, featuring our own farm cheese and milk and one of the largest selection of cheeses available from our Massachusetts Cheese Guild partners. We also serve as the educational programming partner for the Market’s large, on-site demonstration KITCHEN where we run all of the culinary and health and wellness programs, from cooking classes with local celebrity chefs, to curriculum-based school cooking programs, to weekly free cooking demos with Market vendors and partners like Project Bread, to yoga classes, private events and more. Whether you’ve been or not, The Boston Public Market should be a must on your summer to-do-list!

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