Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.


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Read 2017 W&W Report


Study: Climate (Not Humans) Shaped Early Forests of New England

A new study in the journal Nature Sustainability co-authored by David Foster, board president of Highstead, overturns long-held interpretations of the role humans played in shaping the American landscape before European colonization.

The findings give new insight into the rationale and approaches for managing some of the most biodiverse landscapes in the eastern U.S. Read the study here.

Photo on right by Wyatt Oswald. Undergraduate researcher Maru Orbay-Cerrato collecting a sediment core from Green Pond, central Massachusetts.

Research Documents Changes in Highstead Forests

Long-term research documents dramatic, novel changes – particularly among nonnative species – that have taken place in Highstead’s maple-ash forest over an 11-year period, compared to relatively small changes that have occurred in Highstead’s oak forest. Highstead Senior Ecologist Ed Faison, along with Board Chair David Foster and other colleagues published a scientific article in the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society documenting the long-term forest changes. The paper is also among the first to document a long-term decline in garlic mustard in northeastern US forests. Read article here.

Apply now for Highstead's Strategic Communications Position

Highstead seeks an accomplished change-agent to create a communications program to boldly propel its land conservation, science, and stewardship programs, and to inspire people to advance the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative. Creative self-starters with an extensive communications background and strong conservation ethic are encouraged to apply.

The Strategic Communications Director will be part of the senior leadership team and will help lead, develop, and implement a collaborative effort to advance a comprehensive outreach and communications strategy for Highstead, Wildlands and Woodlands, and its many collaborators. Click here for details.

Wood Buildings Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Trees are some of our best allies in solving the climate crisis. A recent op-ed in the New York Times co-authored by David Foster, Highstead board president makes the case for transitioning our cities from concrete and steel to wood.

Engineered wood products have a lower carbon footprint than traditional building materials. Combined with efforts to protect forests from conversion to development and to improve forest management, building with wood can help win the fight against climate change. 

Read the OpEd here.


Illustration: Henry McCausland