Dear Members and Friends of the New Canaan Land Trust,
With the Summer Solstice upon us, we will celebrate the longest day of the year with an update of your Land Trust’s recent activities. First, mark your calendars for August 21st, when we will all experience a transcontinental total solar eclipse — a great reminder of the wondrous universe and the spectacular natural world surrounding us on our precious blue planet.
There are a number of important accomplishments to report upon. We have transitioned the Executive Director leadership to Aaron Lefland, another masters graduate from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. We heartily thank Mike Johnson for the splendid job he did for us as the first ED of the Land Trust. We wish him well, as he returns to the far West. Aaron has already started by leading our 4th annual Summer Stewardship program with 6 New Canaan students. Thereafter, the focus will turn to achieving national accreditation, by continuing to implement the best organizational and stewardship practices set out by the Land Trust Alliance.
We also thank our two NCHS Senior Interns, Quinn Hays and Hannah Gelnaw for their excellent efforts to upgrade our website, digital archives and our informational presentation. The results are already obvious on the website NewCanaanLandTrust.com.
In early May, we closed on our acquisition of the Silvermine Fowler Preserve, adding a critical 6.35 acre accessway to the adjoining 41-acre-Land Trust holding. Our heartfelt thanks to the many individual donors and organizations who helped make this possible. Work has already begun to restore the natural setting, adding a trail and a wetlands crossing to connect the parcels. We plan to open the Silvermine Still Pond Sanctuary in September. Importantly, this lengthy acquisition process has helped us gain momentum and engaged several new donors, who also see the benefits of preserving open space on their lands.
We thank Ditte Reifsnyder and Sally Hines for their service as Directors, and welcome two new Directors, Beth Sanford and John Uhlein, who will strengthen our Board in the coming years.
Founded in the Fall of 1967, the Land Trust approaches its 50th birthday with the same steadfast focus on conserving open space in our community that inspired the organization’s founders. Today, the Land Trust stewards 389 acres of woodlands, meadows, wetlands and ponds across 75 parcels in our Town. We all owe our founders a debt of gratitude for their foresight. Our strategy of “Community Conservation” and connectivity with nature continues apace. We thank you for your support!
With very best wishes,
Arthur Walton Berry
President, Board of the New Canaan Land Trust