Beneath a sea of umbrellas in the pouring rain, friends and family members gathered outside at BLT’s East Bay Road property in Osterville to honor Redmond “Red” Bansfield, BLT’s longtime Land Manager, who passed away in November 2017. In recognition of Red’s many years of service, BLT has renamed the property Bansfield Meadow, unveiling a sign that will remain at the site for passersby to see. The bad weather at the recent ceremony seemed oddly fitting since that rarely discouraged Red from doing what was necessary.
Red loved being out on the land. Over the years, he established a loyal corps of volunteers to help manage the growing inventory of BLT parcels. “Protecting land means more than simply leaving it alone,” he often said. The East Bay Road property, donated by Peter and Mary-Gaines Standish in 1996 after a fire destroyed a house on the land, exemplifies Red’s statement. After removing unwanted structures and clearing the property, the original management plan was to let the land return to its natural state; within a decade, however, invasive species began taking over, crowding out indigenous plants and making it hard for native plants, birds and insects to thrive. Under Red’s guidance, BLT began systematically removing the invasives. “The overarching management plan is to listen to the land as it speaks to us,” Red once explained. “As the harmful invasive plants are removed, a naturally occurring diverse habitat will arise and thrive.”
Joe Hawley, BLT Board President, called the property dedication an appropriate tribute to Red. “He was very important to BLT and played such a crucial role in land management, helping the organization move forward,” Joe said.
“Red was such a humble guy,” said BLT Executive Director Janet Milkman, “I wonder what he’d think about having his name on a sign. If he were here, I would tell him, ‘You did so much to protect land in perpetuity that this sign is for us to remember you in perpetuity.’ Red fell in love with the East Bay Road property. We’ll continue his work and honor his legacy.”