Berkshire Community Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) education nonprofit founded in 2015 by Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires to serve all of Berkshire County with programs that increase public awareness of the interconnectedness of land values, social diversity, food security and economic opportunity. We hope to acquire new land for community use and support the development of new community land trusts. A community land trust is a democratic system for managing shared ownership of land. We manage community land to ensure permanent access, control, affordability and stewardship of the land for homes, farms and businesses, now and for future generations.
Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires manages 49 acres of community-owned land leased to 22 households, Indian Line Farm and the Schumacher Center Library. Berkshire Community Land Trust focuses on building capacity for community stewardship and acquiring land for workforce housing, farms and farmer housing, and community supported industry. The two organizations are closely affiliated, sharing office infrastructure, resources and board members.
Our approach to shared ownership of the land is through a place-based, open, democratic, member organization, which elects a board of trustees from the membership. The board manages the organization, the community-owned land, the leasing of the land to community members, and the acquisition of new land. Member participation is what makes our organization a democracy. We need the active participation of an enlightened community to be successful.