Shelton Land Trust to dedicate new open space parcel

The Shelton Land Trust will hold a dedication ceremony this weekend for an open space parcel on the Shelton-Trumbull border.

The 3.4-acre property will be known as the Bushinsky Arboretum and be open to the public for nature walks. It is off Shelton Road (which becomes Bridgeport Avenue) near the intersection with Huntington Street/Huntington Road. Most of the open space property is in Shelton but some is in Trumbull.

In 2007, Edward Bushinsky died. He had been predeceased by his wife Charlotte Corcoran Bushinsky. They left a home on Shelton Road with 3.4 acres and two ponds, as well as their life savings. Their property is at one of the key entrances to Shelton, near the Route 8 interchange (Exit 11).

Estate went to three charities

Having no children, they bequeathed their estate to their favorite charities — the Shelton Land Trust, Valley Boys & Girls Club, and Shelton High School for a scholarship fund. The land trust was to receive their 1950s home for its headquarters along with a small stipend from their estate to maintain it.

The problem was that the Shelton Land Trust could neither afford, nor desired, the obligations involved in maintaining a vintage residential home as a headquarters.

Thus an innovative agreement was worked out in the Shelton Probate Court, in conjunction with the State Attorney General’s office, to modify the estate’s provisions within the spirit of the Bushinskys’ desires. The land trust agreed to forgo its share of the estate in favor of the Boys & Girls Club and Shelton High Scholarship Fund, and in return the estate would remove the house and allow the parcel to become an open space pocket park.

Transaction now being finalized

Joe Welsh, Shelton Land Trust president, said the agreement has been over five years in the making but the transaction will soon be completed.

“The community will benefit from this new pocket park with two ponds, several plant species, and a nature trail to help mark one of the key entranceways to our wonderful city,” Welsh said. “The old house has been removed and new landscaping installed.”

A sign identifying the Bushinsky Arboretum has just been put up, and the public will be welcome to take strolls on the land during daylight hours.