BEAT Wildlife Tracking Club Examines Fox & Coyote Scat at Toole Wildlife Preserve
Canada Geese at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary
The Lenox Land Trust relies upon close collaboration with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, other area land trusts, the Town of Lenox and others in its efforts to explore the potential preservation of additional high-value conservation lands, design and install public access trails, and maintain already preserved lands for the benefit of wildlife and passive recreation access. See Land Use sub-page of the Preservation link of this website for an itemization and map of conserved land in the Town of Lenox.
South Dakota and Florida, was an accomplished arborist and later, specialized in Japanese horticulture, garden design and construction. This 111 acre grant of land by the Toole family, under the stewardship of the Lenox Land trust, provides for public access and preservation of these lands, in honor of our brother's love and devotion to the natural world. It is given in perpetuity for this and all generations to come." Brian Toole died in 1996 at the age of 47.
Additional information appeared in two articles in the Berkshire Eagle - on October 3, 2014 by Clarence Fanto - "Land off Pittsfield Road will be dedicated Saturday to conserving wildlife" and on October 11, 2014 by Gene Chague - "Many acres conserved by Toole family."
Some of the old woods road and trails on the property have become submerged as a result of beaver activity or are overgrown. However, volunteers from the Lenox Land Trust have been collaborating with the Toole family to help develop plans to restore a trail system that is sensitive to wildlife habitat protection, as there are several endangered species on the property. Once access trails have been redeveloped, related publicity inviting public access to the restored trails will be generated.
In the interim, the vistas of Lenox Mountain and bird life can be viewed from several shoreline locations with seasonal benches behind the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Yankee Inn, off Pittsfield Road (Routes 7 and 20).
Toole Wildlife Preserve
At a dedication ceremony on October 4, 2014, 111 acres of pristine undeveloped Lenox land including several beaver ponds were placed under a permanent conservation restriction, to preserve and provide public access for passive recreation activities. The Toole family generously preserved this land in memory of L.F.X. "Brian" Toole.
As the plaque on the property states, "Born in Lee, Massachusetts, the fourth of nine children, Brian Toole dedicated his life to land conservation and beautification. Following college and military service, he worked for the National Park Service in
Other Lands Preserved by the Lenox Land Trust
The Lenox Land Trust has preserved three other properties, though these are not public access parcels:
Spector Property - The Lenox Land Trust announced in March 2012 the conservation of 30 acres of open space through a grant by Jesse and Patty Spector. The parcel has frontage on Hubbard Street in Lenox (Assessor's Map, 113, lot 27), and encompasses a diverse and wild habitat that is part of an area previously designated by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs as an "area representing high priority for protection" (BioMap, EOEA, 2001). By granting the conservation restriction to the stewardship of the Lenox Land Trust, the Spectors have effectively restricted development of the land for perpetuity, ensuring that the local environment will continue to benefit from the unique natural resources that have been preserved and the scenic beauty of the area.
At the dedication, Land Trust president Kevin Sprague said, "The Town of Lenox is facing significant development pressures on all fronts. Although there is universal agreement that the greatest single economic resource of the town is its well-preserved rural beauty and diverse landscape, there are many who would destroy that beauty for their own short-term benefit. The willingness of people like Jesse and Patty to step forward and commit to saving the landscape is an altruistic act that will benefit all of us over the long term."
Lenox Gateway, LLC Property - Lenox Land Trust holds a conservation restriction on this 9.36 acre parcel, just south of the Arcadian Shop.
Rodbell Property - A 5.70 acre parcel on the Lenox/Richmond border was donated in 2005 by the Rodbell family to the Lenox Land Trust. A similar adjacent parcel was donated to the Richmond Land Trust. While this property is not yet preserved (no CR), that is the future intent.
Toole Wildlife Preserve - Pond A
Click HERE to view 8 minute aerial drone tour of Toole Wildlife Preserve, showing Yokun Brook, extensive wetlands, and 5 ponds behind the Hampton Inn & Suites & the Yankee Inn.