Fund Spotlight: Mount Grace Stewardship Legal Defense Fund

In light of Earth Day this year, we wanted to highlight one of The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts' (CFNCM) funds that is helping protect significant natural and scenic resources in the North Central Massachusetts community: the Mount Grace Stewardship Legal Defense Fund.

Since it was founded in 1986, the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol has protected more than 33,000 acres of land in north central and western Massachusetts through a variety of traditional and innovative programs, from purchasing conservation land to coordinating large-scale multi-owner conservation initiatives.

In June of 2018, the Mount Grace Board and Executive Director met with Community Foundation’s VP of Development and Donor Services, Linda Mack, to go over the options available to them at the Community Foundation. They soon realized that partnering with the Community Foundation made sense. The benefits of the partnering include the following: the fee paid by Mount Grace returns back to our community; the pooling of resources with other North Central Massachusetts community members creates greater purchasing power, and the nonprofit expertise available at the foundation resonates with the values of Mount Grace Land Trust. 

Specifically, the Community Foundation administers and invests the funds of the Mount Grace Stewardship Legal Defense Fund. This agency endowed fund provides financial resources for legal defense in the case that conservation restrictions (CR’s) held by Mount Grace are violated. CR’s are legal agreements made with landowners mandating that land cannot be developed in certain ways. They remain in place forever regardless of ownership, and Mount Grace is responsible for upholding their terms. Mount Grace holds approximately 80 CR’s protecting more than 6,000 acres.

While violations of CR’s are rare, it is imperative that Mount Grace has resources to ensure that protected land remains protected. Mount Grace is also required to have such a fund to maintain its accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance. In administering the fund, the Community Foundation is helping protect significant land in the 23 towns served by Mount Grace.

“We are thrilled to have Mount Grace Land Trust partner with us and to join our other environmental funds that support the protection of North Central Massachusetts’ beautiful and natural landscape for generations to come,” says Mack.

About the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts


The Foundation supports the community by giving grants and distributions in the areas of health and human services, education, environment, animal welfare and arts and culture. We are a nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping donors establish permanent endowment funds---benefiting the community forever and creating a lasting legacy for our fundholders. For more information contact Linda Mack, V.P. of Development and Donor Services. 978-345-8383 ext. 321.


649 John Fitch Hwy
Fitchburg, MA 01420


Phone: 978-345-8383
Fax: 978-345-1459
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