The Conservation Reserve Fund (CRF) was created by the voters of Essex in 2018 to further the permanent protection of land in Essex for the public good, particularly those parcels or parts of parcels that prevent sprawl or contain valuable natural or recreational resources.
The Essex Selectboard, upon the recommendation of the Conservation and Trails Committee, decides when to award money from the CRF in accordance with the Conservation Reserve Fund Policy. To apply for funding, contact Town Planner Darren Schibler and/or attend a Conservation and Trails Committee meeting. They will assist you in developing a proposal that meets the policy guidelines and submitting an application form.
The priorities and mechanisms for use of the CRF are laid out in the CRF Policy created by the Essex Selectboard based on input from the Conservation and Trails Committee and a survey of Essex residents at 2016 Town Meeting. Starting in 2023, the Conservation and Trails Committee should update this survey to update the priorities for use of the fund.
The CRF is primarily funded through a $15,000 line item in the annual municipal operating budget; however, individuals and organizations can make tax-deductible donations to the fund. Contact Town Planner Darren Schibler to inquire about donations.