Agricultural Society announces fund raising drive


The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society has announced the start of a “low-key” fundraising drive, in an effort to retire the approximately $800,000 debt used to buy eight acres of land adjacent to the society’s West Tisbury property, according to a letter sent by the society to its members.

The Ag Society bought the land in a three-way deal, under which the Martha’s Vineyard Museum sold a 10-acre tract sandwiched between the Polly Hill Arboretum and the Agricultural Society.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum first bought the land as the site for a new museum headquarters, but the museum’s directors later decided to buy and develop the old Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven instead.

In its letter, the Agricultural Society asked members and friends to contribute to the effort to retire the debt, to help maintain the society’s current facilities and programs that encourage local agriculture.

“We have no immediate plans to use the land, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Abigail Higgins, a society trustee, said. “We wanted to protect the land and make it available for the society’s future.”

Write or call the Agricultural Society at P.O. Box 73, West Tisbury, MA 02575-0073 or 508-693-3638.