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Passion Makes Vision a Reality for Many Communities

September 15, 2011 | Valley Community Land Trust | Northampton, MA
Passion Makes Vision a Reality for Many Communities

Photo by Laura Mason


Contact: Megan McDonough
413-218-0683 |

Together on the Land Tour Visits
Distressed Urban Properties


NORTHAMPTON, MA -- The third annual Together on the Land Tour visited distressed urban properties being rehabilitated in Holyoke, a resident owned manufactured housing park in Ware, a successful co-housing development in Northampton, an organic farm in Granby tackling farm affordability and green community-built housing in Amherst.

What do these places have in common? A vision and the passion to make that vision a reality.

The hard work of the pioneers at each tour stop was self evident. In Ware, residents of a manufactured housing park came together to raise $1.1 million to buy their park from their landlord so that profits from rents could be invested in their community, not sent out of state. The property was purchased in 2010 due to the efforts of the volunteer resident board of directors and the technical assistance of the Cooperative Development Institute. Oakwood has been transformed to the Quabbin Sunrise Cooperative.

That same passion that encourages the residents at Quabbin Sunrise to work for free on behalf of their community, was evident at each tour stop. The farmers at Red Fire Farm have built a successful organic vegetable farm in Granby, but want their passion for farming to take root for the long-term. They are purchasing additional farm land in Montague with the assistance of Mount Grace Land Trust so that they don't have to rely as much on year-to-year leases on fields in Granby. And permanent farm affordability restrictions will ensure the next farmer has the chance to do the same.

The tour was an opportunity to learn more about the challenges of living communally, establishing whole farm affordability, creating cooperatives and building homes with volunteer labor and much more. A program from the tour with resources is available online at


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