Thank you, Vineyard Conservation Society


To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to send a big thank-you to the Vineyard Conservation Society. In March, COVID-19 disrupted our world as we knew it, and so many of our lives were disrupted in ways we could not have imagined. I am grateful that I am one of the lucky people who has a home, a loving, supportive family, and a great job. This letter is not to complain about COVID-19, the president of the U.S., or police brutality. This is just a simple letter of gratitude.

Like most families, we were stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Like most people, I was trying to find ways for our family to stay active and positive. I found the Vineyard Conservation Society’s “Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard” pocket guide, published in 1996, and opened up a solution. Of course we have hiked many trails over the years, but I decided that we should branch out and do some we never have before, a challenge to get us out in nature and breathing fresh air.

These planned hikes kept us motivated, turned our not-so-positive dispositions to positive, opened up conversation, and did our family a world of good. For that I am grateful to VCS.

When Bunch of Grapes opened up, I went in and purchased the fifth edition of the “Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard,” last published in 2016. It was a significantly thicker guide. It was amazing to see the abundance of trails we have here on M.V. In fact, there were 24 trails in the first edition, and now there are 57 trails listed in the fifth edition, with a bonus of seven shorter walks. Wow. 

I’m sure there are overwhelming benefits for our environment that these trails provide, but I am not an expert in that field so I will leave that to the experts. I am in awe of the dedication the Vineyard Conservation Society has shown throughout the years to provide all of Martha’s Vineyard with these extensive trails for us to enjoy the natural beauty of this Island. In the guide it says, “As of 2010, 37 percent of the Island was protected by conservation restrictions or owned by public and private conservation organizations.” That statistic is amazing. With the growth on this Island, it gives me hope to know that the growth can only go so far. That our children and their children will have these trails to hike and enjoy is certainly something to be grateful for.


Melissa Lawry
West Tisbury