51 years ago a group of Cheshire people cared enough about their community, about the environment -- about those physical qualities that make Cheshire special-- that they got together to form the Cheshire Land Trust. They appreciated the town for its setting – farm pastures and croplands, forest and meadow -- and realized that every year some of these were gone. The new Land Trust set down goals and actions, including land acquisition for the purpose of protection, for recreation and enjoyment and to educate residents. From the beginning the land trust believed in balance when it comes to growth, but with an eye to thoughtful planning.
In the late 70s, Cheshire Land Trust led the way to have the town acquire Roaring Brook Falls, now a highly popular town-owned park that brings visitors from all over the state. Also in the 1970s, when there was no Inland Wetlands commission or town oversight; wetlands were routinely “gifted” to the land trust. The land trust continues to protect vast acres of important wetland systems throughout the town. We now understand wetlands for their additional value as sensitive ecosystems, essential habitat for wildlife and pollinators.
We also know, as well, that conserving open space is more than recreation or enjoying the outdoors; It is perhaps the most meaningful thing that towns can do.
As a private conservation non-profit, not affiliated with town government, we now protect some 600 acres of farmland, forest, meadow, and the wildlife and plants within.
In the past three years, the land trust has worked on a variety of environmental, educational and recreational projects. Moving forward, our work with the Mill River Watershed Association will continue as we strive to improve water quality and access to the Mill River. The Mill River originates here in town and is a source of drinking water for thousands of CT residents. And in light of the decimation of Monarch butterflies and other insect populations, the Cheshire Land Trust is excited to begin work on our Pollinator Pathway native plant oasis on the Canal trail by Lock 12.
Open Space today is more important than ever before. Cheshire Land Trust is grateful to those of you who are passionate about our patch of green here on the planet. Thank you for your support!
Thanks to CLT members Gary Richards, Katie B. and Joy for your help!