Preservation in Perpetuity. An example of this concept is the recent Shelton Land Conservation Trust, Inc. acquisition of 4 acres to add their 370 acre inventory. The property located in the Means Brook Greenway was identified as a target for acquisition back in 1998 when the Land Trust’s then President, Mary Beth Banks, first approached the landowners knowing of its importance to the watershed and greenway corridor and recognizing the need to protect it from development.
Development proposals for the parcel over time have ranged from a catering facility to a gas station and convenience store.
A deal to acquire the land could never be reached until earlier this year when the owners contacted the Land Trust. The property is located along Leavenworth Road (Route 110) and borders three properties that have been protected over the years with conservation easements, Aquarion Water Company Land, Jones Family Farm, and Stockmal Woods. The four acres is also in close proximity to the Land Trust’s Nicholdale Farm and George Willis Woods. The property also borders the Means Brook which is the main tributary feeding Aquarion’s Means Brook Reservoir.
In keeping up with the approach to conservation and preservation, a creative partnership with Aquarion Water Company and Jones Family Farms has enabled the property to be protected with a joint acquisition by the Land Trust and Aquarion followed by a lease-back to Jones Family Farm for farming use and forest management. When referring to past land acquisitions, Land Trust
President of Shelton Land Conservation Trust, Joseph Welsh stated, “Nothing is better than acquiring a piece of property that comes with a farmer, they are some of the best land stewards you will ever meet.”
Welsh said the same applies to Aquarion Water Company.
“The level of care they take to protect the watershed areas knowing that as long as mankind inhabits the earth there will always be a need for quality drinking water to sustain life as we know it,” said Welsh, who is also an employee of Aquarion.
Following up with the acquisition, the Land Trust will be working with Trout Unlimited Nutmeg Chapter, and Far Mill River Association, to carve out a public fishing access area along the Means Brook. The Land Trust expressed its appreciation to those who made this acquisition possible, including donations made to its Land Acquisition Fund from the Marjorie Richie Estate, and a generous contribution from Aquarion Water Company. The Trust also expressed its
appreciation to the Jones family who have agreed to take on the management and protection of the parcel.
The Land Trust is not new to the partnership concept. All of the components of its jewel property, the nearby Nicholdale Farm, have been acquired in partnerships that have included: Iroquois Gas Transmission Company; Aquarion Water Company; the City of Shelton; Jones Family Farms; and the National Fish and Wildlife Agency. Today Nicholdale is one of the City’s most popular parcels for hikers, birdwatchers, and local scouts who use the campsite.
To learn more aboutThe Trust visit www.sheltonlandtrust.org or like us on Facebook.