The DNRT Center at Helfand Farm, located at 318 Chase Road, provides DNRT with a permanent, efficient, and functional home to further its mission. The property was bequeathed to DNRT in 2013 by the Helfand family, who had owned it since 1912 and wanted to see it preserved for future generations. With its existing infrastructure and location near the geographic center of Dartmouth, it made the perfect location for DNRT’s new headquarters.
With guidance from the Dartmouth Historical Commission and support from the Dartmouth Community Preservation Committee, DNRT rehabilitated the early 19th Century farmhouse and incorporated it into the new office. The Center includes a 42-seat conference room where DNRT can host educational programs in support of land preservation and management. DNRT incorporated highly efficient insulation and rooftop solar panels to minimize its carbon footprint. Furthermore, a new barn, constructed next to an historic silo on the farm, supports DNRT’s growing land management responsibilities. Thanks to the generosity of more than 200 donors to our Pathways Campaign; the tireless efforts of our Facilities Planning Committee, Building Committee, and Pathways Campaign Committee; and the excellent work of contractor Lars Olson and architect Will Saltonstall, DNRT moved into the facility in July 2016.
History of the farm
For nearly 200 years, the farm at 318 Chase Road has been home to generations of farmers, carpenters, tradesmen, seagoing whalers, dairymen, and prominent citizens of Dartmouth. The farm was occupied by the Barker and Potter families and their relatives through the 19th Century… and after 1912 by Sam, William, and Henry Helfand, their children, grandchildren, and cousins. In 1996 the family generously placed the Helfand Farm in a trust for DNRT to insure that its serene and fertile fields would remain forever in agriculture. DNRT received title to the farm from the Helfand Family in 2013 and later decided to move its headquarters to this property. Approximately 25 acres of the 37-acre property is rich farmland and used by the non-profit Helfand Farm Community Gardens (which offers garden plots for rent) and local farmers. More history of the property can be found on this pdf (note: large 16MB file).