Our Legacy


Since 1898, ELM has been a cornerstone of the environmental community in Massachusetts, influencing the policy process to drive lasting change.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the organization successfully petitioned the legislature to purchase more than 300,000 acres of state forests, leading to the establishment of the Massachusetts state park system and setting an example that inspired the creation of state forests nationwide. In the 1950s, ELM successfully worked for the establishment of town conservation commissions. With the emergence of environmental health concerns in the 1970s and 80s, ELM became a strong advocate for the Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Act and was instrumental in advocating for sufficient funds to enable its implementation. As environmental priorities shifted throughout the years, one thing never changed: Since 1898, ELM has remained a force to be reckoned with on Beacon Hill, building the political power of environmental advocacy in Massachusetts.

More recently, ELM was a key leader in the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, the 2016 Energy Diversity Act, the 2021 Roadmap Bill, and the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2050.

Today, ELM is continuing to build on this legacy of impact, focusing on advocacy designed to equitably achieve carbon neutrality in ways that protect the public health and natural resources of the Commonwealth.