Request Documents from the LandBank

Making a Request for Public Records in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Public Records Law (Law), found at Chapter 66, Section 10 of the Massachusetts General Laws, applies to records made or received by a Massachusetts agency or municipality. Unless the requested records fall under an exemption to the Law, the responsive documents must be made available to a requester. A list of exemptions may be found at Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Beginning January 1, 2017, the updated Public Records Law requires every agency and municipality to designate a Records Access Officer (RAO) to assist requesters in obtaining public records. Requests for public records may be made to the RAO.

The Division of Public Records is not a warehouse for government records.The only records kept in the Division are those that are essential to the business operations of the Division. A requester must, therefore, seek records directly from the entity that created or received them.

While requests for records may be made verbally, in person, it is preferable to make the request in writing to reduce confusion. A copy of the written request is required to file an appeal with the Supervisor of Records.

Anyone may request records directly from RAO. The Law does not require any specific format for making a public records request, but the sample below may be helpful. It is recommended that your request contain the following information:

Date request mailed

[Records Access Officer
Name of Municipality or Agency
Address of Municipality or Agency
City, State, Zip Code]

Re: Massachusetts Public Records Request

Dear _______:

This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10). I am requesting that I be provided a copy of the following records:

[Please include a detailed description of the information you are seeking.]

I recognize that you may charge reasonable costs for copies, as well as for personnel time needed to comply with this request.

The Public Records Law requires you to provide me with a written response within 10 business days. If you cannot comply with my request, you are statutorily required to provide an explanation in writing.


Your Name
Contact Information (address, email, telephone)

If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Records. See the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Division’s website, Appealing a Denial of Access to Public Records in Massachusetts for more information. You may also seek judicial review by commencing a civil action in superior court under G.L. c. 66, §10A(c).

For additional information about making a request or filing an appeal, see 950 CMR 32.08 (1) or refer to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Division publication, A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law (PDF).

Land Management Plan

See the full management plan here

Executive Summary

Trade Wind Fields Preserve is home to one of two grass-strip airfields still in operation on Martha’s Vineyard. The Preserve co1nprises four natural communities: a pitch pine woodland, mixed-oak woodland, mixed-oak/pine woodland and sandplain grassland. It is a popular spot for dog walkers and their canine friends; in addition, approximately 90 pilots use the active grass-strip airfield. As many as 200 take-offs and landings occur in a typical year. Five Massachusetts state-listed plants – sandplain blue-eyed grass, bushy rockrose, grass-leaved ladies’ tresses, butterfly weed and purple needle grass – and one state listed wildlife species – purple tiger beetle — were observed on the Preserve.

The 71.9 acres of Trade Wind Fields Preserve ate located along County Road in Oak Bluffs. Conse1vation land in close proximity to Trade Wind Fields Preserve include Farm Pond Preserve (MVLB), Pecoy Point Ptese1ve (MVLBC), Waban Park (Town of Oak Bluffs, TOOB), Viera Park (TOOB), Ocean Pad, (TOOB) and Farm Neck Golf Club (open to public for a fee). The land bank purchased the property on 16 June 1989 from Joseph A. Eosco, Trustee of Trade Wind T1ust, for $2,750,000.

Plans for Trade Wind Fields Prese1ve include relocation of an existing 20-vehicle trailhead; maintenance of a private restricted landing area, including runway and taxiway, and 1.9 miles of existing trails; and restoration of existing 20 vehicle trailhead to sandplain grassland. The portion of the trail from the trailhead to the runway­ taxiway intersection will be universally accessible.

Trade Wind Fields Preserve will provide public access for birding, hiking, bicycling, airplane landing and take-off and other uses. No hunting will be permitted on the Preserve due to the close proximity to houses. Use of the Preserve is expected to be great. No property attendant will be posted on this property. However, random visits by summer property attendants and staff will be conducted when needed to inform visitors of property regulations. An airport services coordinator will manage the grass-strip airport on this property.

All planning goals, objectives and strategies are outlined in detail in the final section of this management plan. To be implemented, this plan must be presented at a public hearing and approved by the land bank’s Oak Bluffs town advisory  board,  the  Martha’s  Vineyard  land  bank  commission  and  the  commonwealth  executive  office  of environmental affairs.

Tradewinds Recommendations

Trade Wind Preserve Users’ Recommendations to the

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission

Video of the Landbank Meeting 8/26/2018

Trade Wind Preserve Users’ Recommendations to the

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission

August 1, 2018

Dear Commissioners, Executive Director, and Staff;

At last Monday’s meeting (7/23/18), it was agreed that we should submit a proposal outlining our recommendations. While we believe removing the fence is still the best solution, we also feel working with you to make mutually agreeable modifications would go a long way to restoring trust and respect.


1. Move the new trail by County Road further from the road back to the original trail

2. Designate 2 crossover paths and install 3 gates to facilitate these two crossovers

3. Open up the Harthaven end of the Runway by removing the fence, allowing an alternative to the mandated wooded path up the side of the Runway path

4. Remove the fence starting from the exit of the woods on the Harthaven side to the steel pipe after the big tree.


The current trail setup changes the users’ experience by adding unnecessary distance and time. It also creates a challenging terrain. At the same time, it eliminates the vast vistas of the Taxiway and sandplain grassland. This configuration constitutes a significant change to the original proposal for a fence submitted July 16, 2017. Julie’s wire fence on the map that accompanied her letter. (Appendix Map B)

Additionally, a 2 person-wide path which has little or no impact on the vast acres of sandplain grassland. This would address the usability issues created by the new fence. These are the original paths that have been there for decades.

By removing the new fence on the edge of the forest, parallel to the Runway on the Harthaven side, you would be creating a larger, more natural, forested buffer between the Runway and Farm Neck Golf Course. No endangered plants are cited in this area.

Directing walkers through the forest trail is not friendly to users, especially seniors, the elderly and the physically challenged. In addition, many women who use Trade Wind Preserve are uncomfortable walking alone in the forested trail that comes out on the County Road side. The Harthaven Runway side does not contain identified endangered species.

Finally, Friends of Tradewinds agrees to set up a self-policing committee to help attain all of our mutual goals. We propose that the Land Bank agrees to meet with the Friends of Tradewinds to mutually assess the progress in January, 2019.

Thank you,

Phil Cordella

Friends of Tradewinds

Map A

Map B