You will find peaceful solace in the westernmost town on Buzzards Bay. Westport’s landscapes, whether it is the many working farms producing food for the community, or the rich, diverse habitats found in meandering waterways or unfragmented forest, evoke memorable feelings.

Westport boasts more than 5,000 acres of permanently conserved land. These special places will exist forever because of the community and its many families who possessed the vision to preserve these properties for future generations.  

For more than 50 years, individuals and families have generously donated land to the Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT). Others have worked with WLCT and its various partners to preserve their land through a sale of land interest. Still others have supported the preservation of these special places through generous philanthropic gifts which are integral in saving land forever. These acres represent the lasting legacy of those who loved Westport’s unique character and will preserve it for future generations.

WCLT’s role and responsibility as a land trust is to care in perpetuity for the land in our care. We are honored to facilitate the legacy of the many special people in our community who helped make this happen! Today, WLCT is introducing The Legacy Circle so that families can continue to shape the future of our community and leave a lasting impact.

What is a legacy gift?

Sometimes called “planned giving,” a legacy gift is bequeathed after death, as a part of the deceased’s estate. It is a gift that, by definition, must be planned for in advance. Often, gifts of a percentage of retirement accounts, cash, stock, or land are larger than what a donor can give while they are alive. Some planned gifts come from longtime donors and some from donors we hardly know. Regardless of past involvement, these gifts leave a tangible reminder of the donor.

Legacy bequests are sustaining for WLCT. These gifts support land stewardship, the annual rotation of care for properties held by WLCT. Unrestricted gifts allow WLCT to act quickly to preserve land that might otherwise be developed. In these ways and more, planned gifts leave a lasting legacy of support and preservation.

WLCT honors planned giving donors by naming them in our Legacy Circle. If you have remembered WLCT in your estate plan, please let us know. We would be thrilled for the opportunity to say “Thank You!” and express the perpetual effect of your gift.

Over the years, WLCT has received legacy gifts that will now be recognized in our Legacy Circle. Just this past summer we received a generous gift from the estate of Ms. Carolyn Columbia Cody. Carolyn’s cousin, Richard Earle, told us, “Carolyn enjoyed the wide open spaces of Westport and the inspiration drawn from them. Preserving access to these places for all to enjoy is an important part of her legacy.”  

We continue to receive notice of others with similar stories, and hope to share more about their passion for Westport with you as the Legacy Circle grows. For more information on the Legacy Circle, please reach out to Executive Director, Ross Moran.