About Us

DCLT's 5 Year Action Plan - January 2017

The Dudley Conservation Land Trust (DCLT) was organized by Chet Kulisa in 1990 and served primarily as an educational agency and facilitator to encourage local farmers to establish agricultural preservation restrictions (APRs) on their land. The land trust was quite active for a number of years protecting some 1,600 acres through the APR program. After 10 years, the DCLT became inactive. In 2004, the DCLT was re-activated to address the need for a local conservation organization. We are a private, non-profit, all volunteer organization. Our goal is to provide for, and promote the conservation, acquisition and protection of land and open space for education, quiet recreation, wildlife habitat and to preserve the rural, natural and scenic character of the Town of Dudley and surrounding communities for current and future generations.

Since 2005, the DCLT has acquired twelve parcels of land in two towns (totaling almost 350 acres). The DCLT has its 501(c)3 non profit designation and provides community education via our semi-annual newsletters and environmental workshops. Presently, the DCLT is supported by over 150 members and a 9 member Board of Directors.

Learn more about our Board Members

Accomplishments

2016
  • The DCLT expanded Wieloch Woods via the acquisition of 10 acres for $15,000. This was funded from member donations and grants from the Fields Pond Foundation and the Wharton Foundation.
  • Our website was redesigned by Westwell’s Web Works, and funded via a $1,000 grant received from the Norcross Foundation in 2015.
  • The DCLT was awarded a $2,600 grant from the Janet Malser Humanities Trust to fund new brochures and videos for four of our sanctuaries.
  • The removal of the dam at Wieloch Woods was completed in the Fall, and the land is now returning back to its natural state.
2015
  • After a three year hiatus in land acquisitions, the 77 acre Wieloch Woods property is acquired via a generous donation from the Wieloch family. This acquisition increases DCLT land holdings to almost 340 acres.
  • Wieloch Woods is dedicated via a “Walktober” event sponsored by The Last Green Valley. Attendance is high with over 100 people celebrating the achievement.
  • DCLT launch its first fundraising campaign in five years via the Wieloch Woods campaign to acquire an additional 10 acres for $15,000.
  • Forest Conservation Due Diligence grant awarded for Wieloch Woods
  • A community outreach presentation on Lyme Disease was held at the Black Tavern.
  • Community Outreach - Ed Hood, Opacum’s Land Trust’s first Executive Director, talked about the challenges for smaller land trusts and the potential for working together.
2014
  • A Membership Drive is launched via a grant obtained from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Over 50 new members join the DCLT.
  • DCLT sponsors a presentation on Bobcats from the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game at the Black Tavern.
2013
  • A $1,565 grant from the Janet Malser Humanities Trust allowed the DCLT to clean up construction debris and other waste items on the Keith property dating back to the 1970’s
2012
  • Slater Woods is dedicated via a “Walktober” event sponsored by The Last Green Valley
  • 14.9 acres of wetlands are acquired by the Keith Family via a bargain sale.
  • DCLT awarded a $2,000 grant from Norcross Wildlife Foundation to ready Slater Woods for public access.
  • DCLT awarded an $800 sustainable gardening grant from Wal*Mart
2011
  • The creation of the 1.5 mile long Mass Audubon-Peter Pond green/wildlife corridor is a reality via the acquisition of the 74 acre Slater Wood parcel in Dudley for $130,000. With this acquisition, the DCLT now owns almost 250 acres of conservation land.
  • The Massachusetts Audubon Society sponsors a spring paddle on the French River beginning at Leovich Landing
  • DCLT receives a grant from the Janet Malser Humanities Trust for stonewall renovations at the Keekamoochaug and Tufts Branch Valley Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • With the assistance from grants obtained from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and the Southern Worcester County Development Corporation, the Farmer’s Market expands its capacity.
2010
  • Land acquisition continues with the purchase of 6 acre Parcel M next to the Tufts Brunch Wildlife Sanctuary for $5,000 and the 68 acre Hiland Park property in Dudley for $20,000.
  • With the assistance of a grant from the Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor, Leovich Landing was improved with a gravel parking area and a boat launch.
  • DCLT begins its annual Farmer’s Market during the months of June through September.
  • Dedications are held for the new SinVSpunk trail at the Tufts Branch Wildlife Sanctuary and the Grout plaque at the Keekamoochaug Wildlife Sanctuary
2009
  • In partnership with the French River Connection, acquired 4.2 acres known as “Leovich Landing” in Oxford for $63,000. This property provides direct paddling access to the French River and is a trailhead for the future French River Greenway.
  • Installed sign and created trail at Keekamoochaug Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Continued expansion of trails and completion of boardwalk on Tufts Branch Wildlife Sanctuary
  • DCLT begins its annual Plant Sale during the month of June
2008
  • Acquired 81.3 acres in Tufts Branch Valley in Dudley for $250,000 to create its first major nature sanctuary.
  • Awarded $7,000 grant for baseline inventory of the Tufts Branch Valley Wildlife Sanctuary from the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition “Empowering Local Land Trusts” grants program
  • Hosted a Last Green Valley “Walktober” event on invasive plants.
  • Created a parking area and trail access for the Tufts Branch Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and contracted for the installation of a 415’ of boardwalk along wetland areas.
  • Sponsored lectures on “Bluebirds” and “Organic Wine Tasting”
2007
  • Acquired 2.4 acre donated property north of Peter Pond in Dudley from the Tavormina family
  • Sponsored lecture on “The Future of Agriculture in Massachusetts” by Rich Hubbard
2004 to 2006
  • Acquired three donated properties in Dudley (4.7 acres from Barbara Morse; 6.6 acres from Prescott and Florabeth Grout and 1.7 acres from Ellis Batemen)
  • Sponsored nature walk with naturalist Tom Ryzewski and butterfly lecture by Jerry Schneider
  • Awarded a grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to finance an awareness/membership mailing to all Dudley households
  • Obtained 501c-3 non profit designation from the Internal Revenue Service
Dudley Conservation Land Trust
PO Box 14
Dudley, MA 01571
(508) 949-0250
DCLTrust@aol.com