The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank was established by law in 1986 to acquire land and interests in land on Martha's Vineyard. The land may be acquired for any of the following purposes: protection of water supplies, aquifer recharge areas, farms, beaches, dunes, pond frontages and their adjoining backlands, agriculture, forests, marshes and other wetlands, scenic vistas, nature or wildlife preserves, trails (including easements for trails) and passive recreational usages.
All Martha's Vineyard property sale transactions and subsequent transfers are subject to a 2% Land Bank fee which is charged to the buyer at closing. Homes occupied by first-time homebuyers are exempt on the first $400,000 of the purchase price, subject to a five-year residency requirement. Fees paid to the Land Bank are added to the cost basis of the property and can be used to reduce the amount of capital gain if and when the property is later sold.
Properties owned by the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank are open daily to the general public from sunrise to sundown, except during hunting season. Trails are marked throughout the properties and boundary markers indicate where public land ends and private land begins. The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank posts map signs at many properties' trailheads and is installing others as necessary. Handheld maps of each property, showing trail networks, are available on the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank website: