Location: Cook Hill Road, Cheshire, CT
Acreage: 32.8 acres
Public Access: Yes - dawn to dusk year round.
Cook Hill Road - parking for 7 cars, informational bulletin board; portion of the fence is removable allowing access for vehicles (for property maintenance or in case of an emergency).
Brittany Court (west side) – park on street, walk in on marked ROW.
Description: The preserve is an important natural area in the Mill River Watershed. The meadows and emergent forests comprising Fresh Meadows are really two properties. CLT owns 32.8 acres that adjoins 10 acres owned by Elim Park which the Trust manages. The property offers a well defined network of trails for easy walking in a natural setting making this open space an ideal place for all age groups. The diverse property includes mowed meadow, forested ridge at north end, Mill River frontage, seasonal wetlands and a peat bog (former farm pond). A substantial private property owned by Edward Tufte borders on the east. His property features several sculptures of his creation. They offer an engaging symmetry between artform and nature befitting the peaceful setting.
Development can often come at a price. For Ed Tufte and other concerned citizens living around the proposed subdivision at Fresh Meadows its development was too high a price and so began their efforts to organize and raise money to purchase the property and donate it to the Cheshire Land Trust. The Cheshire Neighborhood Association, a group of 8 neighbors including Edward Tufte and Harvey Waller a builder, donated 10 acres in return for his being allowed to build the Brittany Court subdivision.
Deed, June 1985 (executed by Atty. Peter Cooper acting as Trust for the Cheshire Neighborhood Association). The land was given under the condition that it remain “in an open and natural state.”
Monitor: Bob Davis
The Trust also relies on information from neighbors and walkers that frequent the preserve. These are often the people who observe the preserve daily and can report on litter, signs of campfires, etc. The Trust tries to respond promptly to such reports and take appropriate action.
Management: mowing, planting, educational walks, bulletin board displays.
Meadows mowed every other year. Trails mowed several times a summer.
Fall 1985 The Cheshire Land Trust announced that it intended to work on Fresh Meadows in order to create:
The preserve is open to the general public not just to Cheshire residents. This policy reflects the purposes of the Trust as set forth in the its Certificate of Incorporation (Article 2a), “to engage in and otherwise promote for the benefit of the general public the preservation of natural resources of the State of Connecticut and the plant and animal life therein.”
WHIP Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program
The Cheshire Land Trust announced, in August of 1999, that it had been awarded funds from the NCRS (part of USDA)
This was a 5 year program with a total of $7500 (75% of $10,000) being reimbursed for paid labor and volunteer hours.