With the recording of an agreement and declaration of trust last week, the Vineyard Open Land Foundation, first proposed in the Gazette of April 17, became a reality.
The agreement and declaration were signed by 12 original trustees: Jerome B. Wiesner, Mary P. Wakeman, Anne P. Hale, Herbert E. Tucker Jr., Robert E. Simon Jr., Edward J. Logue, Hans F. Loeser, William M. Honey, Henry Beetle Hough, Kevin Lynch, James F. Alley and Joseph G. Kraetzer. The eventual board will number not more than 21.
The purposes of the foundation are set forth as follows:
“To assist in and to promote the preservation of the natural beauty and rural character of the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.
“To minimize land development along the highways and byways and along the shores of sea and ponds by preserving open places on the Vineyard for recreation and/or conservation.
“(i) by acquiring control of strategic tracts of land, by dedicating all or part thereof to the public use for recreation and conservation, and/or by developing such tracts, in whole or in part, pursuant to plans well-designed to preserve the character thereof to the greatest extent feasible and practicable, and by disposing of some or all of such tracts in any manner whatsoever consistent with the aforestated objectives, subject to such conditions and/or restrictions, if any, as may be deemed appropriate in the circumstances;
“(ii) by working with and otherwise assisting individuals and other organizations, public or private, in their efforts to preserve the rural character of the Vineyard;
“(iii) by promoting sound conservational practices on the Vineyard so as to suitably preserve and enhance its unique natural beauty;
“(iv) by expanding funds for research in the public interest in the areas of conservation, land use and land use planning;
“(v) by publishing reports on such research and otherwise informing the public as to the means and techniques for accomplishing, or for facilitating the accomplishment of, the objectives of preserving open places on the Vineyard for recreation and conservation of land, cliffs, sea shores, beaches, dunes, ponds, forestry, wildlife and the like; and
“(vi) by doing such other things and performing such other acts as shall tent to preserve the character and enhance the natural beauty of and maintain to the greatest extent feasible and practicable the quality of life on, the Vineyard.”
Preliminary conferences and discussions have emphasized the fact that the foundation will work with existing business and professional interests of the Vineyard, and within the frame of reference now familiar here. The foundation will be concerned with the interests of small land-owners and the needs of those who wish to own modest homes, no less than with land management on a larger scale.
In furtherance of its purposes, the foundation may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise either real, personal or mixed property from any person, trust, or corporation, and may hold, administer, or dispose of any such property. It is stipulated, however, that no transaction shall affect the tax exempt status of the foundation nor its charitable and educational purposes.
There is to be a board of not fewer than 50 overseers of the foundation, and this board is to elect trustees as well as advising and making recommendations to the trustees as to all matters affecting the trust. The overseers are to include the trustees.

To Serve Five-Year Terms

In the first instance, the oversees will be appointed by the trustees prior to the final annual meeting, and subsequently elected by their own board. Each overseer is to serve for a five-year term, although initial terms may be designated as less than five years if deemed desirable in order to provide for the expiration of the terms of approximately one-fifth of the board each year. Overseers may be reelected for five year terms.
It is provided that at least three-fourths of the overseers shall be legal residents or owners of real property on the Vineyard.
The overseers are to have annual meetings on the Island, and there may be special meetings on the Island, and there may be special meetings. A quorum is to consist of a third of the board.
The trustees will have general supervision of the affairs of the trust, and will manage and control its property, establishing regulations and delegating specific duties to committees. Trustees are to serve for three year terms, though the original trustees are named for staggered terms so that approximately a third will come up for election each year. Trustees will receive no compensation nor commissions.
The officers of the trust will consist of a chairman, a treasurer and a secretary, to be elected by the trustees from their board.
The agreement describes in detail the powers of the trustees which are designed to implement the purposes of the foundation. All principal and income will be held in trust, and “no part of the net earnings shall inure or be payable to/or for the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, and no substantial part of the activities of this trust shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, or the participation in, or intervention in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”