Conservation and historic preservation


Raspberry Farm, Hampton Falls, NH - Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman/


The National Trust for Historic Preservation has added a section to its website that focuses on the link between conservation and preservation. Visiting there for the first time yesterday, I was pleased to see that TPL Heritage Lands projects among the examples cited. 

When a place has significant cultural importance the historic preservation movement stands ready to protect it. Many of us are also members of land conservation organizations that work to protect places of profound natural, agricultural, or open space value. But what about special places that boast a range of values? These places – often defined as cultural landscapes – are more than the sum of their parts. Loss of one dimension diminishes our experience of the whole place. Yet these complex sites can present challenges for organizations and resources structured to address solely historic preservation or land protection. 

Among the historic landscapes and buildings profiled in these pages are: 

  • The 175-mile-long Journey Through Hallowed Ground heritage corridor, a historic route along which TPL has protected land, and which we featured in the fall 2006 issue of Land&People magazine
  • The New Hampshire homestead of statesman and famed orator Daniel Webster (1782-1852, protected by TPL and local preservation groups in 2007.
  • Walden Woods–the home turf of Henry David Thoreau–protected by TPL and the Walden Woods Project in 1990. (This interview about the project with Eagles lead singer and preservationist Don Henley is worth a read.)
  • Raspberry Farm, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, protected by TPL in cooperation with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance last year

There are lots of other projects profiled here–representing work by conservation and preservation groups nationwide. 

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2 Responses to “Conservation and historic preservation”

  1. Joe Says:

    Don’t think TPL protected all of Walden Woods. This is a common mistake TPLers make… claiming credit for an entire park when in reality the park has been around for decades and TPL was key to a (usually smaller) park addition.

    • Bill Poole Says:


      We try to be clear about our role in conservation projects. Here is our description of the project on our website:

      While Walden Pond has long been protected as a state park, much of the Walden Woods has remained in private hands. When these woods were threatened with condominium and office park development in the early 1990’s, TPL worked with the Walden Woods Project and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to permanently protect more than 85 acres, including Bear Garden Hill, where Thoreau took moonlit walks. In 1995, TPL helped acquire an historic home at the edge of Walden Woods as a library and research center for the Thoreau Institute, which promotes the writer’s work and legacy

      Thanks for your interest in LandNotes and TPL’s work.


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