Prof. Brian Donahue to speak TONIGHT

The Citizens for Lexington Conservation Annual Meeting will be held tonight at 7pm in Cary Memorial Hall. This is an event that you don’t want to miss…

Professor Brian Donahue

The featured speaker will be Professor Brian Donahue, of Brandeis University, with a talk entitled, “The Future of Farming and Forests in New England”. His book, Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town, tells the story of the early years of Land’s Sake farm in Weston, placing it in the context of the general history of farming and forestry in the area. The book was a great inspiration to to many of us when LexFarm was first forming.

Here is the text from the CLC announcement with more details:
The Citizens for Lexington Conservation (CLC) is pleased to invite the public to its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 at 7PM in Cary Memorial Hall . The speaker at this year’s meeting will be Brian Donahue, Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University, with a talk titled, “The Future of Farming and Forests in New England”.

Professor Donahue is a Weston resident and is the author of “Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town”(1999). He also wrote “The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord which won the 2004 Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History, the 2005 Saloutos Prize from the Agricultural History Society and the 2004 Best Book Prize from the New England Historical Association. Donahue teaches courses on environmental issues, environmental history and sustainable farming and forestry. He holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the Brandeis program in the History of American Civilization. He co-founded and for 12 years directed Land’s Sake, a nonprofit community farm in Weston, Mass., and was director of education at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas.

According to Prof. Donahue, Massachusetts has been losing forests to development since the 1970s at a faster rate than it gains unused agricultural land. Donahue suggests that between one-quarter and one-half of the land in every township ought to be ‘commons,’ either publicly held or privately-owned but subject to conservation easements.

Although he is certainly in favor of private farms as a part of every local economy, he further suggests that every town should have one community farm occupying and managing a portion of its public land, its activities demonstrating the essential connections between ecology, economics, education, and aesthetics, the four guiding principles of Land’s Sake. Supporting and emerging from the commons will be “a new common agrarianism within suburbanizing places,” the conviction that it is not only in wilderness-as Thoreau declared-but in the interaction between wilderness and civilization that lies the preservation of the world.

This presentation will be of great interest to everyone in Lexington. Members and non-members are all invited to attend this fascinating talk, which will be cosponsored by the Lexington Conservation Stewards. There will be a brief business meeting at the start of the evening and an opportunity to learn more about CLC. . Admission is free.

For more information, go to