You have many options for conserving your land. Greenbelt's land conservation staff can help you determine which is the right fit for you, your family, and your financial situation.

Land conservation options include:

Land conservation options can also offer you potentially significant tax benefits.

Let our Land Conservation Staff Assist You Christopher LaPointe Director of Land Conservation (978) 768-7241 ext. 18 Vanessa Johnson Assistant Director of Land Conservation (978) 768-7241 ext. 16

Selling or Donating Your Land

Deeding your land to Greenbelt is the simplest way to conserve your land. Under certain circumstances, Greenbelt buys land at a bargain price or even at its full fair market value.

Deeding your land to Greenbelt can help you:

  • Avoid the capital gains taxes associated with selling highly appreciated property.
  • Eliminate property taxes & reduce estate tax burdens.
  • Avoid Chapter 61 rollback taxes.
  • Qualify for a federal income tax deduction & up to a $75,000 state tax credit.

Creating a Family Legacy

Learn how the Morris family benefitted from selling their land to Greenbelt, creating Greenbelt’s Hans Morris Reservation

Conservation Restriction

The ownership of your land carries with it different rights, including the right to build, subdivide, farm, hunt, cut trees, and the like. A conservation restriction (CR) (called a conservation easement in states other than Massachusetts) is a voluntary legal agreement that extinguishes some or all of the development rights in your land forever, but retains other rights of your choosing, such as farming, forestry and recreation – all while you maintain ownership of your land.

CRs are flexible tools that can be placed on all or only designated parts of your land, allowing you to reserve house lots to provide future financial value or housing options for your family.

A conservation restriction:

  • Is tailored to your unique circumstances and to your individual property.
  • Allows you and future landowners to continue using your land for activities such as farming, building farm structures, wood-cutting, gardening, walking, boating, etc.
  • Runs with the land - forever.

Conveying a CR to Greenbelt can help you:

  • Reduce property & estate tax burdens.
  • Qualify for a federal income tax deduction & up to a $75,000 state tax credit.

Protecting Cherished Land

Learn how the Clapp family preserved their land with a conservation restriction.

Charitable Sale

Many landowners can’t afford to donate their land or a conservation restriction. You can sell your land or a conservation restriction at a price below its market value, which is called a charitable sale. The difference between the appraised market value and the sale price is considered a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

A charitable sale offers you:

  • Income.
  • A federal income tax deduction & up to a $75,000 state tax credit.
  • Savings on capital gains taxes.

Preserving the Family Farm

Learn how the Morehouse Family preserved their family farm through a charitable sale of a conservation restriction to Greenbelt.

Sale at Full Fair Market Value

For high-priority parcels it is sometimes possible for Greenbelt or our conservation partners to purchase land or conservation restrictions at their full fair market value.

Bequest, Reserved Life Estate & GreenTrade


Donating your land or a conservation restriction through your will is another way to ensure your land's permanent protection & reduce estate taxes.

Gifting your land to Greenbelt through your will entitles you to retain full use of your land during your lifetime, while offering you the assurance that it will be cared for in the future by our skilled land managers.

A CR granted within a certain timeframe by your heirs can generate a bonus 40% reduction in inheritance taxes.

Reserved Life Estate

Transferring your land to Greenbelt while you retain the exclusive lifetime use & occupancy of your property is called a Reserved Life Estate.

  • Reserved Life Estate offers you the same estate tax benefits as a bequest.
  • Transferring your property during your lifetime allows you to benefit from charitable federal income tax deductions and up to a $75,000 tax credit.


Greenbelt gratefully accepts gifts of any "non-conservation" real estate asset either during your lifetime or in your will for the explicit purpose of allowing Greenbelt to sell the property to support our land conservation programs.

Examples of GreenTrade gifts: Residence, condominium, vacation home, apartment, vacant lot.

Learn more about our GreenTrade Program