Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires

Berkshire Community Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) education nonprofit founded in 2015 by Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires – itself established in 1980 under the leadership of the late Bob Swann, founding president of the E.F. Schumacher Society (now Schumacher Center for a New Economics). Swann helped to conceptualize the community land trust drawing upon earlier examples of community land hold models including the Ujamaa Vijijini program in Tanzania, the Gramdan villages in India, and the Jewish National Fund in Israel. Swann pioneered the first community land trust in 1969 near Albany, Georgia with Slater King and other leaders of the civil rights movement seeking a way to achieve economic justice and secure access to land for African American farmers. He believed increasing local self-reliance, preventing land speculation, and encouraging full community participation are among the most critical means by which community land trusts bring housing, farming and business costs down, and make land use planning a community-based endeavor.

 

Collaborating members of Berkshire Community Land Trust

Stephan Green ­– Director

Arriving in the early 1970’s, when his car broke down on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Stephan worked as a carpenter for three years in Berkshire County. He gave up his carpentry tools to study architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. After working in NYC Stephan returned to the Berkshires in 1988 to establish Clark & Green. Initially focusing on residential design, Stephan expanded the office’s work to include a variety of commercial building types. Past projects include an award winning transformation of an historic building into the multiplex Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, the conversion of an athletic field house into the 32,000 square foot multi-use Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre complex in Lenox and the award winning Great Barrington Fire Station. Stephan is a longstanding member of the West Stockbridge Zoning Board of Appeals, serves as Chairman of the Design Advisory Committee of Great Barrington and is a Board Member of the Berkshire Community Land Trust.

Kathy Orlando – Director, Berkshire Community Land Trust | Executive Director, Sheffield Land Trust

Kathy Orlando is Executive Director for Land Protection for the Sheffield Land Trust, where she works to conserve the area’s rich agricultural, ecological, historic and cultural heritage. She brings over 20 years of experience in land conservation and nonprofit management. She also serves on the Board of the Community Land Trust in the S. Berkshires, is vice chair of the MA Land Trust Coalition and serves on a number of regional nonprofit boards. She received her JD from Pace Law School.

John Fülöp – Director

As head of an Architecture and Planning firm working throughout the East Coast as well as abroad, Mr. Fulop has designed a variety of projects that range from institutional and residential to commercial. Schools, Community Centers, Health Clubs, Single Family to Multi-Unit Residential, and Experimental Theaters are among some of the projects types.  During the course of his architectural career in New York, Mr. Fülöp also worked as a freelance photographer, film maker and multimedia artist and has exhibited his work in Soho Galleries as well as several Avant Grade Arts Festivals in NYC. While he still maintains a small satellite office in NYC, his professional focus for the past thirty odd years has been designing "Sustainable" projects from his Berkshires office.

Harry Conklin – Director

(bio forthcoming)

Bill Allen – Director, Leasing Member Representative on the Board

(bio forthcoming)

Robin Zeamer ­– Director, Leasing Member Representative on the Board

(bio forthcoming)

Joyce Scheffey – Director

(bio forthcoming)

 

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