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Dear Members and Friends of the New Canaan Land Trust,

Today’s summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and with it, a change in season from spring to summer. Change is also occurring within NCLT, as Art Berry steps down from his role as President of the Board. While I am delighted to accept our Board’s nomination as NCLT’s newest President, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on Art’s incredible tenure as our leader.

Under Art’s leadership, NCLT added nearly 10 acres to its network of protected open space, including the much-loved Silvermine-Fowler Preserve. During his tenure, NCLT also launched new community engagement initiatives, developed new programs and community events, and increased the capacity and impact of our flagship Summer Steward Internship. We would be remis if we didn’t mention Art’s dedication to sound land stewardship, including the restoration of multiple stone walls, construction of the GreenLink trail, and ecological management of our meadows.

Art also oversaw many organizational advances, including our successful bid for accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance, the creations of our neweststrategic plan, and a complete rebranding of our marketing and promotional materials. We have come a long way since Art took the reins, and are pleased that he will stay involved with NCLT as our Treasurer. We are also thrilled that Art’s leadership has been recognized by our First Selectmen, who has proclaimed today as “Art Berry Day” in the Town of New Canaan.

Today’s solstice is also considered a time of growth. For centuries, it has represented the halfway point between planting and harvesting, and is an excellent time consider the wonderful things that lie ahead.

Next week marks the start of our Summer Steward Internshipprogram, which will see 10 stewards working across our properties to maintain trails and improve habitats as they learn about the environment and their natural surroundings. We also have a number of new programs and events, some of which are detailed below as part of our “Learn Your Land” series.

With the launch of New Canaan’s Pollinator Pathway, we also have a wonderful opportunity to begin transforming New Canaan into a corridor for butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and more. The Land Trust will champion the efforts of our community as it joins many of our neighbors at work planting “demonstration pollinator gardens” on public open spaces, and encouraging homeowners to plant native species and eliminate the use of pesticides.

With the summer upon us, we hope that you will take advantage of our network of open space by frequenting our trails, joining us at events and programs, or by simply taking time to observe nature and its beauty.

Sincerely,

Tom Cronin
Board President
New Canaan Land Trust