What motivated you to work with WLCT to protect your families land?
The two parcels that we recently protected by CR (conservation restriction) were originally part of a 100-acre property that extended from Old Harbor to River Road. The land had been in our extended family since the early 1900’s, and during the 1980’s and 1990’s our parents Burt and Pat Bryan gave two parcels totaling over 40 acres that comprise the Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge to WLCT.
With the family looking ahead to options for intergenerational transfer, by protecting most of the land with CR that included a public access trail we were able to reconnect our property with the Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge, thereby conserving a large block of forest in a landscape that is becoming increasingly developed. We felt it was the right thing to do from a conservation viewpoint, and the next generation, which now owns some of the protected land, was also supportive of the decision. WLCT was the logical partner because our family had worked with WLCT before and it has a strong track record of protecting important land across town.
How long has your family been connected to Westport?
Our mother’s side of the family has been in southeastern Massachusetts since the early 1600’s. Our grandparents were from Fall River and summered here until moving to Westport year ‘round in the 1930’s. Our family moved to Westport full time in 1960, and our brother Burt, who is a volunteer on the WLCT Tuesday Trail Team, now lives in the family home. Although some of us live elsewhere now, we all come back to Westport several times per year. It’s a special place where the land, water and weather become part of who you are.