Richard Fiske, Ravenswood Properties
The Strathmore Preserve became the Cheshire Land Trust's second property in August 1971, about eight months after CLT's first acquisition. It is a "neighborhood"-scale property for CLT: a mid-sized parcel nestled between several residential streets.This wetland preserve can be seen along the west side of Oak Avenue when driving between Cornwall Avenue and Ives Row, about 1/4-mile north of the Oak/Cornwall intersection, and directly across Oak Avenue from Foxwood Court. The wetland is likely a kettle hole, formed by a melting ice block during the last ice age. Several of these are scattered around Cheshire - another is at Bartlem Park, next to the playground. When the property was acquired by CLT, Connecticut did not yet have strong regulations protecting wetlands (the Inland Wetland Act was passed in 1973)CLT records from the 1980s mention that the Strathmore Preserve’s wetland was, at that time, almost entirely covered with highbush blueberry except for a small open pond on the west side. Much of the property is still a scrub-shrub wetland in 2016. The wetland portion of the property is surrounded by mostly mature hardwood trees. The area is too wet for human use during most of the year, but is a home for numerous birds and small mammals. The property was gifted to the CLT by Ravenswood Properties in 1971. The deed stipulates that it “is to be used solely as a wild bird sanctuary and not for any public use”.
When received , there were no strong regulations protecting wetlands (Inland Wetland Act 1973).