Today’s Summer Solstice provides another opportunity for me to thank everyone for their very generous support of the Land Trust over the past few months, and to provide an update on our recent activities and our plans for the months ahead.
While it is difficult to prioritize some of these endeavors, certainly having our Executive Director, Aaron Lefland, at the helm for his second year is a source of pride, satisfaction and optimism for our continued progress in a number of ongoing projects.
For the fourth year, we have New Canaan High School students participating in our Summer Steward Internship Program to learn about the importance of land stewardship and the varied flora and fauna of our open lands and our woods. These new understandings will serve them in good stead for years to come. As the program has grown, we have engaged Madeline Gould as our Summer Program Coordinator and doubled our program enrollment by offering two sessions of the internship.
The opening of the GreenLink Trail, running between the Nature Center’s back boundary and the Northeast corner of Irwin Park, appears to be a fine success! All indications are that this trail is lending itself to enthusiastic walkers, runners, family groups strolling, cross country teams practicing, and photographers (especially with the northern migration just completed). All in all, our strong expectations for this project have been exceeded. As we continue to lengthen our horizons for where we might go down the road (or trail) it is hoped that this type of recreational opportunity can be replicated in other parts of town in the future.
Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Boy Scouts of America Court of Honor for Troop 70 in New Canaan, where two scouts were awarded their Eagle Scout designations, the highest honor and recognition in scouting. These two young men built walkways and a bridge on behalf of the Land Trust, including obtaining the necessary permitting from the Town. The Land Trust continues to maintain a strong relationship with Boy and Girl Scout troops, and I was grateful to be able to attend the ceremony and see these two young men reach the pinnacle of scouting.
Finally, our National Accreditation Process is proceeding on schedule, with an upcoming meeting next month for a final review by the accreditation commission. We are patiently awaiting this meeting as we hope to become a fully accredited land trust by the end of the year.
Please get out and enjoy one of the eight properties that have been opened up over the last few years. You will be amazed how this time can help your thinking, attitude, and enthusiasm.
With kindest regards,
Art Berry,