Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation Organization Background
Founded in 1986, the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) recognizes that while many things in our community have changed over the past 30 years, what has not is the organization’s dedication to preserving working landscapes, supporting sustainable community initiatives and encouraging responsible development. WRLF partners with private landowners on land protection projects using a variety of methods, including Conservation Easements, direct gifts, and the sale of partial or full interests in land to state agencies or other conservation groups. WRLF is committed to enabling community access to its lands and to that end maintains and improves many miles of publically-accessible recreational trails throughout the community.
In fulfillment of its educational mission, WRLF provides hands-on environmental education for children and adults and year-round cultural and natural history programs for schools and visitors. Of importance, as well, are the community events it organizes. Many of these activities take place at Sheep Hill, the organization’s campus on the site of a former farm. The barns and outbuildings, dating from the 1820s, are still in active use with nature displays and exhibits of farm life from those early days to the present. Sheep Hill also offers its own hiking trails, a children’s nature cabin, and a pond rich with aquatic life (and at the moment one very persistent beaver), as well as stunning, panoramic views of the mountains ringing the top of its steep meadows. Workshops, lectures and seasonal outings are offered to adults, children, and, most especially, families. WRLF regularly collaborates on programs and activities with local organizations and schools, as well as with area artists, farmers and restaurants.
Williamstown is the quintessential New England college town nestled in a valley formed by the Berkshire Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconics of New York. Williamstown has a perfect mix of rural and urban qualities. It’s small, it’s safe, it’s clean, with no lines or traffic jams, plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, abundant locally-grown organic food, and a true sense of community. Unlike other rural locations, Williamstown offers many of the cultural opportunities of a large city but without the crowds and the cost. Nationally-ranked Williams College shares access to classes, lectures, concerts, and athletics with the community. The Clark Art Institute is a renowned museum with a stunning permanent collection and world- class visiting exhibitions.
Berkshire County is a cultural magnet. Summer brings music, dance and theater festivals (think Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, Shakespeare & Company, and the Williamstown Theater Festival, among many others). When the summer visitors leave and the students return, fall foliage dazzles, and the college and museums cater to the locals. Employment with the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is a prime opportunity to join and be involved with this very special community.