Vol. III No. 13 7/1/2022
A Blast from the Past: Mounting Evidence
(Taken from the Annual Town Report, 1965 thank you to Conservation Commission member, and researcher par excellence, Tom LaBelle)
The Stockbridge Conservation Commission met for the first time in September 1962. In 1965, in the Annual Town Report, membership of the Conservation Commission was: J.F. Decker, Chairman, John (Jack) Fitzpatrick, Mary Flynn, John W. Hatch, Raymond Mercier, Dr. Eugene Talbot, and E. Gillette Wilcox. The Statement of Purpose read as follows:
The Conservation Commission in Stockbridge has laid the foundation for an intelligent program of conservation that would maintain the character and quality of the community. At the request of the Commission, Vaughn Gray did a map of the town indicating lands owned by the town
and by Laurel Hill to be used as a basis for study of specific areas of interest. These areas of concern are the Housatonic River, the highway approaches to the town, natural woodlands and
wetlands and historic landmarks. In recommending the retention of land areas owned by the town and the acquisition of open spaces on the approaches to the town, the commission has held joint meetings with the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and Conservation
Commissions in neighboring towns. During the coming year the Commission plans to make specific recommendations for land acquisition. These will be in accordance with the commission's basic philosophy that it is desirable in our expanding megalopolis (sic) today to plan wisely for the future. These ends can be realized by setting aside public lands for the
benefit of our expanding population and by maintaining the identity of the town by preventing unrestricted development of the approaches to Stockbridge.
There is mounting evidence that developing land rather than leaving open spaces causes tax increases. Many towns have had the experience of developing land to bring in added revenue and then appropriating many times that amount for municipal services. Open space will not only save money, but it will provide enjoyment, recreation and conservation for our own and future generations.
Photo: Lionel Delevingne