Harvard - Benjamins first, Environment second

Unlike Yale's thriving forests, Harvard continues to sell off its forest properties in the Northeast. The Harvard Forest in Petersham (near the Quabbin Reservoir) is in active use, but how many forests can one university use?

In 1981, Harvard sold the 3,600 acre Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, NY (60 miles north of New York City and 200 miles from Boston) to William Golden, a New York investment banker and philanthropist who attended Harvard Business School for a year before leaving to work on Wall Street. Fortunately, Golden then transferred ownership of the forest to a non-profit organization to permanently preserve the forest in its natural state.

Now, 99 acres of Harvard-owned forest are potentially for sale 30 miles north of Boston in Hamilton, MA. According to the Globe, The Trustees of Reservations "are already talking about selling some of the forest - potentially to developers - to help offset the cost of the purchase."

Harvard has talked a lot about how environmentally sensitive and sustainable they are and how "green" their Allston development will be, so why can't they make a deal in Hamilton to preserve all of this forest? Couldn't Harvard afford to donate the land to the Trustees, Mass Audobon, or a similar group just as the land was donated to Harvard eighty years ago? As Puff Daddy would say, it seems to be "all about the Benjamins", which does seem odd for a $35 billion institution with such an oft-stated commitment to preserving the environment for future generations.

Preservationists, alumni fear Harvard may sell forest in Hamilton - The Boston Globe

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:24 PM