Protect the Land
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." -Aldo Leopold
Love your land?
Leave a lasting legacy with a donation of land.
Please talk to Cheshire Land Trust about the conservation options you can consider, many of which have tax benefits. Here are a few options:
This legal document protects the property, limiting development type and scope, and allows the landowner to retain ownership. Landowners retain title to their property; they may continue to use it and are also able to sell it or pass it on to heirs. The easement runs with the land, which means it carries on with any sale of the property.
Resale of Land
A conservation easement may also be the answer if you want to sell your land, but want to limit development.
When you sell land at a price less than fair market value, it’s called a bargain sale and it is more likely that a land trust would be able to purchase it. If the land trust and seller can negotiate a price suitable to both parties, there are benefits to both as well.
Option to Purchase
A land trust may see conservation value in your land and while they may want to purchase the property, immediate funds may not be available. An option to purchase gives the land trust time to raise the money within a specified period of time.
Right of First Refusal
If you want to conserve your land in the future, why not plan with a land trust to grant them the right of first refusal. By doing so, you allow the land trust a chance to match any offers you may receive and it allows the land trust the first opportunity to purchase the property.
Donation of Land for Conservation
If you love your land, there is no greater gift, no greater legacy, than the donation of land. The land trust can help you to find an option the suits your intentions.
Trade Land properties are donated to land trusts to be sold, with or without easements. Proceeds benefit the land trust. The donation can be outright or devised through a will. Some land trusts may grant a retained life estate if the property is a personal residence or farm. The proceeds from a trade land can also be used to fund a charitable remainder trust, an irrevocable trust which pays income to one or more beneficiaries — often, the donor or the donor and the donor’s spouse — for life or for a term of up to 20 years. When the trust ends, the remaining assets go to the land trust. Trade land donations often have tax benefits.
Charitable Gift Annuities
The Land Trust Alliance has more information on how you can leave a lasting legacy to your land trust in your town.
When a parcel of land comes to the Cheshire Land Trust, the bottom line is that once given, we then have an obligation. It’s a promise to conserve and steward the land in our care.
This is where monitors and stewards come into play. Each one is a volunteer and each one is extremely valuable to land trusts.
Monitors: Assigned to a specific parcel of land, a monitor acts as the eyes and ears of the land trust.
They walk the property at least once a year, checking on boundary markers (have they moved, are they missing, etc.).
They also walk the property making notes along the way on items of concern, such as illegal dumping, a fallen tree on a trail or erosion problems. The monitor writes a report, and sends it to the land trust board.
Stewards: These volunteers may also double as a monitor of a property, but stewards are essentially the” go-to people” to make things right when something needs doing at the property.
A Steward’s Bag of Tricks
The skills stewards carry with them vary from person to person and property to property.
Stewards may work alone, or work in groups as small as two or as large as a dozen for a scheduled workday or a big project.
All skills are welcome. Here are just a few items stewards might volunteer to handle:
Cut back invasive shrubs
Remove fallen branches
Pick up trash
Mow and trim
Cut and clear downed trees
Build trails / bridges
Put up new trail signs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a land trust?
A land trust is a non-profit organization that works to conserve land.
What is the Cheshire Land Trust?
We are a private group of like-minded volunteers who love the beauty of Cheshire’s natural environment; value its resources and believe open space is a necessity for people and wildlife.
Is Cheshire Land Trust part of the town of Cheshire Open Space?
No. We are a private non-profit, do not receive tax monies, and are not affiliated with the town. We do have the same mission and often work on hikes on CLT or town owned open space, or to cooperate on special projects. The “Q-River Trail” is the latest success. The effort of federal, state and local organizations reintroduced water enthusiasts to a viable recreational option for kayaking and canoeing from the Rt 322 launch at the Cheshire-Southington line to Hanover Pond in Meriden.
What are wetlands?
Wetlands are sensitive ecosystems and extremely important for the role they play in filtering sediments and breaking down pollution flowing downstream to rivers, bays and oceans. Wetlands help to clean our drinking water, acts as storage sponges in time of drought and buffers communities from the impact of severe flooding. Wetlands also provide food--- think cranberry bogs, fish and rice. Water, food and shelter are found in wetlands for birds, fish, otters and black bear.