Our Community Conservation Champion (CCC) program relies on you, neighbors of the Land Trust, to help us become better stewards of the land. With over 70 properties and more than 600 near neighbors, we can’t be everywhere at once. When there is something that needs attention, be it a tree across the trail or illegal dumping, you can let us know and we can figure out how to move forward.
Sharing with us what you see while you walk, hike, or just drive by the Land Trust properties will help us better serve the community and become better stewards of the Land for everyone’s benefit.
Whether you grew up near a property or have recently moved to New Canaan, I don’t doubt that you have or will find a way to see that the Land Trust is a truly special resource for all in the community.
Below, Dianne and Jim Colgan share their thoughts and memories of raising a family in a home that bordered a New Canaan Land Trust property, the Colhoun Meadow near Davenport Ridge and Ponus Ridge Roads.
Thoughts on the Colhoun property…
We moved from Stamford to New Canaan in 1986. As we looked at property in New Canaan the Colhoun Meadow land preserve adjacent to this house was a huge factor in our purchase of it. Having open land bordering the west of this house (often with beautiful sunsets) was very enticing and during our 30 years of living here has been a real plus to our enjoyment of it. The thought of having several homes built on that land…rather than having it preserved for all to use…makes us so thankful for the land trust.
We would be appreciative for this land even if we had never actually ventured on it. This land has provided more than just beautiful open space, particularly for our children and grandchildren. It is known that ready access to nature improves thinking skills, imagination and mental health of children. Our children all readily express that they have been so fortunate to have had the time and space and freedom to experience nature so close at hand.
One of my daughters reminisces of times during her middle school years…
“Laura and I used to spend hours exploring the woods. We had read Bridge to Terabithia and the two of us created our own magical land, with a river crossing, castle, and a sacred ceremonial spot. I have wonderful memories of bringing literature to life in our backyard without a care in the world.”
The preserve has also had a great influence on my youngest son, as he recalls…
“Growing up, my sisters would take me on adventures in the preserve, with elaborate stories to go along. There was skunk cabbage land, a blue whale made of rock, and a royal throne. The imagination spurred by this preserved land contributed to a life-long love of the wilderness. In my young adult life, I worked as a wilderness guide, sharing this love of the wild with others.”
Recently he has taken his nieces on elaborate adventures in the fields and woods perpetuating the love and adventure of the undeveloped land.
In the spring, the din of the ‘peepers’ is a much-anticipated sign that spring is close at hand. Birds returning, nesting and successfully bringing a new family through the perils of nature, the first fawn sighting of the year…sometimes twins, and the emergence of new growth on the trees and in the fields are all noticed and loved.
On summer evenings, we frequently have dinner outside and linger there as our eyes are scan the field and woods beyond. For us, hawks with their piercing call are frequent and exhilarating, the striking goldfinch have their unique undulating flight across the field, and young deer frolicking in the early evening testing their new skills are great fun to watch.
Fall and winter bring their own recurring events and in all seasons, there are changes from the previous year. Nature is never stagnant and we so appreciate having the opportunity to experience this on a frequent basis. If this land were developed…how much we would lose! No longer the adventures in the woods, the freedom to be in the fields, the intimate knowledge of nature.
The New Canaan Land Trust is vital in preserving our open land for all to enjoy. We support and admire their dedication, hard work and knowledgeable management. Most of all we are thankful for those who have stepped up and volunteered many hours, donated those important dollars, spread the word among friends and neighbors all for the good of open spaces and the enduring beauty of New Canaan.
-Dianne and Jim Colgan
The Land Trust is grateful to have such thoughtful neighbors, and we encourage others who have had similar experiences as Land Trust neighbors to share their stories with us.