Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission
Home Page
Enjoying The Properties
Map To Properties
Interactive Map
Public Use of Land Bank Properties
Conservation Land Maps
Affordable Housing
Guided Walk Schedule
Annual Cross-Island Hike
Farming on Land Bank Properties
Landing at Trade Wind
Universal Access
Public Notices
Draft Management Plans
Management Plans
Requests For Proposals
Invitations to Bid
Employment Opportunities
Annual Report
Summer Use Reports
Processing A Transaction
Land Bank Law
Transfer Fee Regulations
Land Bank Forms
Processing by Mail
Talk To Us
Land Bank Commissioners
Land Bank Staff
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is there a lien on my property?
I paid a Land Bank fee, can I take a deduction on my tax return?
What happens to the lien if I want to refinance?
How do I obtain public records?

This is the official website of Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission


Progress report  The land bank continues management planning for its newest properties, the James Pond Preserve in West Tisbury and the Squibnocket Pond Reservation in Aquinnah (this latter property is co-owned with the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation).  Both properties continue to be closed at this time; the land bank’s goal is to open both to some level of public use in late 2022.

Permits — including a number of commonwealth permits — must be obtained before the properties can be opened.  The land bank will work diligently to obtain these permits but it is possible that commonwealth review will take longer than planned.  In the meantime, visitors are encouraged to visit the land bank’s many other preserves and reservations.

The land bank goat program still has free manure available for pick-up. If you are interested in picking up some manure, please send an email and we will work on setting up a time when someone is available to help load manure. Direct all inquiries to


Reminder:  drones are not permitted to be launched from land bank properties.


Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Home Page

Martha’s Vineyard Island has witnessed unprecedented change in the most recent decades. Farming declined; centuries-old pastures and fields were left to knot into vines and shrubs. The "freedom to roam" was curtailed as fences were erected across trails, beaches were gated off and hunting was restricted.

Few of these problems could be solved by planning boards and conservation commissions only; the Vineyard needed a new type of land agency. In the midst of an upspiraling building boom, island voters created the land bank in 1986 and charged it with reversing their losses.

Thirty-five years have now elapsed and nearly 3900 acres have been conserved. Although this sounds impressive , it is actually mighty small: just 7% of the land area on the island.  The commission’s revenue – generated by a 2% public surcharge on most real estate transfers occurring in the six towns – is modest compared to need, ensuring that islanders can expect the land bank to protect only a fraction of their community.

And this money must go far. Farmers, hikers, beachcombers, birders, hunters and many, many others are all constituents of the land bank and all deserve to have some land set aside for their special needs.

The land bank’s private-sector counterparts, fortunately, help out. These trusts' extraordinary work in creating wildlife sanctuaries across the Vineyard frees the land bank to pursue a more diverse mission, where some land bank properties are reserved for wildlife while others are used for agriculture, hunting and/or many other types of conservation use.

Balance is key in land bank property management. Environmental protection leads the list of land bank goals with public use encouraged where and when possible. Trails avoid sensitive areas, signs advise of special precautions visitors need take, and attendants are hired when necessary to oversee use.

The land bank is a rare breed. Neither a sanctuary program nor a park system, it is a middle ground where the highest virtues of conservation can be realized: public enjoyment of nature, where limits and restraint secure the natural world’s future and prosperity.

Visiting the Land Bank Properties

Land bank properties are, except during the hunting season, open daily to the general public from sunrise to sundown (see “Hunting Policy and Forms”). Trails are marked throughout and boundary markers indicate where public land ends and private land begins.

The land bank posts map signs at many properties’ trailheads and is installing others where needed. Handheld maps of each property, showing their trail networks and natural features, are available on this website.

Guided walks conducted by the land bank’s scientific and management staff are scheduled regularly in the off-season. The land bank also sponsors a day-long cross-island hike on National Trails Day, which is the first Saturday in June. Watch the island newspapers for details.

Talk to Us

The land bank welcomes public input on all subjects but especially on land acquisition priorities. The last item of business at all land bank commission meetings (which take place most every Monday at 3:00 pm) is public input; letters are also accepted. In addition, a public input session is scheduled biennially in the autumn.

Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission
167 Main Street
Post Office Box 2057
Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539


Maureen McManus Hill
Administrative Assistant

Zachary Jessee


Harrison Kisiel

Land Superintendent

Cynthia Magsam Krauss
Fiscal Officer

James Lengyel
Executive Director

Julie S. Russell