Land Bank Cross-Island Hike Blazes Trails, Fosters Friendship

They were 48 and one dog strong Saturday morning, gathered at Katama Point, the start of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank’s annual cross-Island hike. The route would take them through 20 miles of land bank trails, ancient byways, paved roads and some private properties from Katama to Lambert’s Cove Beach.

Land Bank Purchases Large Tract of Flat Point Farm

The pastoral sheep pastures and hayfields at Flat Point Farm will be placed into conservation after the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced plans to purchase a large piece of the West Tisbury farm.

The land bank is set to purchase 12.9 acres of land and an agricultural preservation restriction on an additional 25 acres of abutting pastures for $3.45 million from the Fischer family, who has owned the property since 1939, land bank director James Lengyel said this week.

Flat Market, Low Land Bank Revenues Lead to Fewer Purchases

And although money is coming in, executive director James Lengyel said the lank bank is not in the position to be acquiring new properties, with a still slumping real estate market. Last week, the land bank reported revenue of $0. Mr. Lengyel said a week without revenue is infrequent for the land bank, though it has happened before. The last time, he said, was within the last year.

Land Bank Path Maintenance Status Quo, Not New Strategy

A trail-widening project by the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank on its properties has sparked strong reaction from a small group of bikers and horseback riders, who took their concerns to the land bank this week.

Laura Bryan, an off-road biker who lives on Chappaquiddick, said she and her friend Michael Berwind were biking through Pennywise Preserve last week when they came upon a land bank crew working with a brush cutter and a freshly-cleared trail.

Quiet Mission, Public Lands

The low-key green and white signposts that mark properties owned by the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank so often belie the grandeur of what lies at the end of a short trail. Think Aquinnah Headlands, Poucha Pond, Waskosim’s Rock, to name just a few.

So the property purchase announced by the land bank last week sounded, well, underwhelming: just under twelve acres of nondescript wooded land off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road.

Land Bank Buys Edgartown Woodlands

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank announced this week that it has purchased nearly 12 acres in the rural wooded perimeters of Edgartown, completing a long-planned project to protect the westerly entrance to town as largely undeveloped land — both the fields and woodland.

The land bank paid $900,000 for 11.8 acres. The seller was Philip J. Norton Jr. The purchase will boost the total size of the land bank’s Ben Toms Preserve to nearly 30 acres, with some 2,000 feet of frontage on the West Tisbury Road.

Town, Land Bank Purchase Will Protect Manter Well

A joint purchase last month by the town of Tisbury and the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank completes a decades-old aquifer protection plan around the Manter well.

The town and the land bank paid $400,000 for 9.5 acres off Old Holmes Hole Road, with the town putting in $300,000 and the land bank $100,000. The transaction took place on August 24.

One of the listed sellers was Ron Monterosso, acting as a trustee for Redmont Realty Trust, which owned a fractional interest in the property. The sale was handled through a trustee appointed by the Dukes County Probate Court.

Land Bank Turns to Public for Views

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank wants your ideas on how to spend some $10 million of accumulated revenue. Plus, commissioners at the land bank are game for fielding questions on policies that govern the almost 2,000 acres of public lands it owns.

Land Bank Revenues Decline for a Second Consecutive Year

Revenues fell $1 million at the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank in the fiscal year just ended, reflecting a distinct new cooling in the overheated real estate sales market that has made an indelible mark on both the economy and the culture of the Island in recent years.

The land bank fiscal year ends on June 30 (because the date fell over the weekend this year, the land bank closed the books on Friday, June 28).

Chappaquiddick's Space Fund, Land Bank Buy Island Trail Link

Chappaquiddick's Space Fund, Land Bank Buy Island Trail Link

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

With the national economy stuck in neutral and nonprofit groups scrambling to compete for a shrinking pool of donor dollars, a quiet movement on the tiny island of Chappaquiddick is gaining momentum among landowners to buy open space in their own backyards.

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