​                                                                                                                    Copyright 2013. Richmond Land Trust. All Rights Reserved.

New Views

Mass Audobon's Tracy Brook Sanctuary

Ruth Bass

Richmond's 250th Anniversary

C. Hilton Boynton was a professor in the agriculture department at the University of New Hampshire, and the couple’s permanent home was for many years in Durham, N.H., with the second home in Richmond. In later years, they became full-time Richmond residents.

The annual town pie-nic, sponsored by RLT, Richmond Civic Association and Richmond Historical Society, has been held twice on Boynton land off Osceola Road.  The view was spectacular both times – once on a perfect summer day and once under a tent during a downpour.  The first time celebrated Alma Boynton’s 90th birthday. She died in February 2016 at the age of 103.

The land trust also has a bench in memory of artist Nancy Hull at the intersection of Reservoir and East roads. That spot overlooks meadows of the former Malnati farm and the much-painted, much-photographed “ice house,” one of Hull’s favorite views. Another RLT bench is at Hollow Fields on Perry’s Peak Road and honors Ron and Judith Shaw who donated some of their land to Berkshire Natural Resources Council, with the RLT holding the conservation restriction on the property.

​Micah Mudge and Ichabod Wood settled in the valley known then as Mount Ephraim five years before the area was incorporated. They never met during their first winter, although they were only three miles apart.​On June 21, 1765, after more people arrived, the territory that also included most of what is now Lenox was recorded as Richmont. Fast forward to June 21, 2015, when we celebrated Founders Day at Camp Russell on Richmond Pond. The town's 250th Anniversary Committee hosted the celebration and is coordinating yearlong events sponsored by various community organizations. The Founders Day celebration kicked off with the annual Run-to-the-Beach race in the morning, followed by an afternoon and evening full of activities at Camp Russell, including a catered buffet dinner and a spectacular fireworks display over Richmond Pond. 

A new chance to sit and rest at a scenic site has been established by the Richmond Land Trust at the corner of East and Sleepy Hollow roads. The latest bench, the third donated by the RLT, stands on a diagonal looking west across the Boynton property, a perfect place to watch a Berkshire sunset.

The Boyntons restored the one-time Fairfield property years ago and started raising fruits and vegetables on the land, which extends from Osceola Road to Swamp Road.  Some 80 acres of the Boynton property has been placed under an RLT conservation restriction, which means it cannot be developed. Part of the land is in the cathedral of trees on Swamp Road.

Ruth Bass

Beavers build a dam and a lodge and settle into their new place.  Sometimes people would like to wish awaythe beavers, but the great blue heron has, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, benefited from the recovery of beaver populations. The industrious mammal has created a patchwork of the very swamps that herons like.

Proof of the friendship is the beaver pond beside Swamp Road near the Pittsfield/Richmond line. The beaver lodge is huge, water surrounds a stand of dead trees, and the trees are topped with the stick nests built by a colony of great blue herons. Naturalist David Sibley describes the ideal heron nesting place as tall trees surrounded by water – and that’s what the herons enjoy at what is now Mass Audubon’s Tracy Brook Sanctuary.  As of early April, at least 19 were in residence.


A small turnout provides space for a couple of cars, and people with binoculars are often stopped there to watch America’s largest heron standing tall in a nest. While the herons are skilled fishermen, Cornell’s summary says they also hunt in fields for frogs and small mammals. Their diet may include reptiles, insects and other birds.

They look enormous and cast quite a shadow when they fly overhead, but they weigh only five or six pounds. They lay two to six eggs, which hatch in 26 to 29 days, and roadside watchers will then notice extra heads popping up in the nests. Cornell ornithologists say the pairs are monogamous for a season and choose new mates each year.Type your paragraph here.

RLT Board Cleans Up

​Discovery of an old dump site on Richmond Land Trust property led to a clean-up hour on Saturday, May 28, 2016. A half dozen members of the RLT board used plastic tubs and a garden cart to haul rusted metal, broken glass and other tiems to the pickup truck provided by Richard Ortner at the roadside.

The propery formerly belonged to James Mihalke and its acquisition is part of RLT's effott to preserve the  "cathedral" of trees that has marked Swamp Road for many years. The items removed were taken to the bulky recycling day at the Richmond Town Garage. Ranging from the remnants of an old sewing machine to a number of rotted enamelware cooking pots, the junk obviously been in the woods for some time, probably a regular duming site for a long-ago farm family.

​As part of its commitment to preservation, RLT has established a subcommittee that regularly walks the lands it owns and the ones where property owners have set up a conservation restriction (CT). Acceptance of a CR guarantees that the property will not be developed.


Richmond, Massachusetts 01254

Richmond Land Trust