The Shakers wish to promote good land stewardship, conservation, and preservation by establishing a wildlife preserve and year-round recreational trails upon 1,200 acres of their land to showcase its varied cultural and ecological significance. Education, awareness, and recreation will be developed hand-in-hand with equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Since 1783, the Shakers have prized the beauty, harmony, and tranquility of the natural world around them. For generations spanning centuries, this has helped the Shakers define and understand their faith and calling. This is Chosen Land.
The Shakers’ support the conservation of resources. Their farm and its open spaces remain virtually unchanged since the establishment of the Shaker Community, and the forest lands have only ever been used for selective harvesting to ensure proper regeneration for the future.
As forerunners of the movement to open private lands for public access decades ago, the Shakers developed a limited trail network and outdoor programs to celebrate and share the uniqueness of Shaker Village, its habitats, geology, and diverse wildlife.
An historic conservation easement struck in 2007 with New England Forestry Foundation ensures that Shaker Village remains in perpetuity a place where people can come to experience and enjoy the unspoiled, intact outdoors. While this easement provides public access to Shaker lands, the next phase of purposeful programs will guide appropriate use.
New, extensive, year-round trail networks and recreational programs will shift the patrons of Chosen Land and assist with monitoring, protecting, and enforcing the standards of good stewardship and conservation while displacing intentional misuse.
Families, residents and non-residents, local students, and municipal parks and recreation programs will use these trails free-of-charge, supporting new relationships, partnerships, and opportunities between Shaker Village and the surrounding communities.