In keeping with the Holiday Hike theme, the next hike will take place on Martin Luther King Day at 1 pm. We will hike one of the newer Redding Land Trust trails – this one is actually just over the Bethel line and is managed in cooperation with the Bethel Land Trust. This is a very manageable 2-mile loop with rolling hills, a pretty pond and is just past Putnam Park on the way to Bethel. Meet in the parking lot across from 73 Putnam Park Road in Bethel.
If there’s snow on the ground, please bring snow shoes, wear yak tracks or other footwear that will protect your feet and keep you from slipping. Poles are also recommended. Due to the growing number of hikers on our hiking series, we ask that dogs be kept on a short leash for the duration of these hikes. Only active snow or rain cancels.
Holiday Hikes a Hit
Starting with a hike on the day after Thanksgiving, the Redding Land Trust launched a series of holiday hikes to encourage town residents to explore some of the Land Trust’s many hiking trails.
First Annual Turkey Waddle
About 15 hikers joined for a hike along Jean’s trail from the Stormfield Racoon Way trail through to Wayside Lane and back along the link trail. With the recent wet weather, some of the stream crossings proved challenging, but it was a fun way to burn off some holiday calories and meet new hikers interested in exploring Redding’s Open spaces.
On December 26, a group met at the Redding Roadhouse parking lot, then carpooled to the beautiful Brinckerhoff Preserve, where the group experienced the full range of Redding’s terrain – from meadows, to wetlands, to rocky outcropping and a lovely small waterfall that usually only appears in the spring. The 2-hour loop hike brought about a dozen hikers together who enjoyed the chance to stretch their legs and have a cold beverage at the Roadhouse afterward. Many thanks to the Roadhouse for their hospitality.
Starting the New Year with a Hike
A last minute decision to hold a New Year’s Day Hike at Rock Lot and Scott Preserve drew a record number of hikers, with 26 enthusiastic folks joining us for a 3.75 mile hike along the Joan’s trail. The initial uphill climb got hearts pumping – and some of the more adventurous group followed the white trail up even further along a rocky outcropping that extended the hike to nearly 4 miles. Others took the easier blue cutoff and saved their energy for the remainder of the hike. There were a few tricky wet areas, but even our youngest hikers were able to navigate and make the trip with no complaints.
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At the end of 2018, the Redding Land Trust finalized arrangements with the owners of 110 Mountain Road to establish a conservation easement which protects more than 24 acres of open space, forest and wetlands areas and provides a wildlife corridor between the RLT’s Mountain Laurel Road property and town open space to the south. Because this is an easement, not an outright donation, there is no public access to this property.
This is the first easement established by the RLT under the Connecticut Land Conservation Council’s model conservation easement template, protecting the property’s conservation values and complying with IRS guidelines. The guidelines were first established in 2014 and revised in 2016.
“We are extremely grateful to Aaron Charney and Benjamin Hanani for this easement,” said Redding Land Trust Co-President Gordon Loery, who together with Co-President Silvia Erskine, led the easement process. “This is a generous donation and offers significant value to Redding and to the Land Trust’s conservation mission, preserving these wetlands and woodlands in perpetuity.”
If you are interested in establishing an easement or donating a property, please contact RLT Co-president Gordon Loery or Silvia Erskine no later than September 1 to ensure a smooth process that is completed in a timely manner.
Meet up with the Redding Land Trust for a holiday hike on Wednesday, December 26th. We’ll meet at the Redding Roadhouse at 1 p.m. — please park in the back of their parking lot so we don’t disturb their customers. Then we’ll carpool over to the Brinckerhoff Preserve (there is very limited parking near the preserve).
This easy-to-moderate three-mile loop is a great hike for the whole family! After the hike, at about 3 p.m., we’ll head back to the Redding Roadhouse for a little get-together of fellow hikers and Redding Land Trust friends.
How do you enjoy Redding’s open lands? An occasional walk in the woods? A nature scavenger hunt with the kids? A pleasant drive down a tree-lined road? A quiet contemplation spot? A pristine view from your house?
However you experience our community’s protected woodlands, waterways, meadows and vistas, the Redding Land Trust and our conservation partners rely on you to support our efforts. We deeply appreciate the support that town residents like you have provided to the land trust in our more than fifty years serving the community. You are a critical partner in our efforts, and we hope you are able to enjoy the fruits of those efforts in your own way. And we humbly ask that you support us this year with a tax-deductible donation.
Your contributions allow us to:
- Steward our 1,800+ acres of property, including clearing trails after storms and blazing new ones
- Mow meadows annually to support important wildlife habitats and preserve Redding’s beautiful vistas
- Work to control invasive species that are overtaking land in Redding
- Address encroachments on Redding Land Trust property and easements to fulfill land donors’ visions
- Assist those who wish to donate land and partner with other organizations to purchase critical parcels
- Share in the cost of an employee with the town, who is responsible for managing Redding’s open space lands
- Maintain our national accreditation, ensuring that our stewardship of your donations and our open lands is aligned with national best practices
- Support education programs and an annual scholarship for an ecologically minded high-school senior with the Mary Anne Guitar Scholarship for Environmental Education
Why does open space matter?
- The Redding Land Trust and the Redding Conservation Commission have long prioritized acquiring wetlands and property near watershed to protect the water that percolates into our wells, and to contribute to the clean water in nearby communities
- Open space provides important habitats for the diverse wildlife that calls Redding home — from birds to bees, foxes to turtles, as well as the plants and trees that are such a hallmark of our town
- It provides a peaceful environment for exercise, reflection and recreation for residents of all ages
- The outdoors is a classroom without walls where parents and educators can encourage understanding of our natural world and our place in it
Please consider making a donation and being a part of the stewardship of our Redding lands. We also encourage you to subscribe to our email newsletter, where you will receive regular updates on our properties, events and plans. Thank you for your support!
Silvia Erskine and Gordon Loery
Co-Presidents, Redding Land Trust Board of Trustees
Redding Land Trust is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; gifts are tax-deductible.
By Jane Ross, December 2018
Friends and admirers of the late Mary Anne Guitar, former six-term First Selectman and Redding Land Trust founder and long-time president, gathered at Town Hall on December 6 to celebrate the unveiling of Guitar’s photograph on the wall outside the Hearing Room. The covering curtains were pulled by her cousin Mary Guitar and good friend Laurie Hiess who paid tribute to one of Redding’s outstanding civic and conservation leaders.
Champagne and cake enlivened the gathering into the early evening hours. while in the late afternoon hearty souls had met at Guitar’s property to walk the four acres she left to the Land Trust and to plot a future important trail.
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