2019 Soiree by the Stream

Thank you to all our amazing supporters for making our 2019 summer party a huge success. We appreciate the generosity of our sponsors, donors, and attendees!

Annual Meeting recap

Here’s an as-brief-as-possible recap of some of what we shared at our Annual Meeting in April!

New logo (and soon, the Book of Trails online)
Redding Land Trust now has a new logo! We feel it aptly represents all that we hold important in our work — and most importantly, Redding's personality and charm. Scroll down this email to take a look. Our new logo is one of several exciting updates — stay tuned for our new website AND the online Book of Trails!

Redding Land Trust's Hidden Treasures
From Poliak Pond, where we had last summer's Party by the Pond, to Mahony's acres and in between, the Redding Land Trust is honored to preserve and conserve over 2,000 acres in our community. At our Annual Meeting we presented the Hidden Treasures that many may not know about, along with information on these properties, land donors, and trails. 

If you missed our Annual Meeting (we get it, the weather was beautiful that day!), you can join us on the evening of Thursday, May 9th, at the Mark Twain Library for a reprise of our Hidden Treasures talk, which describes a few of our beautiful properties you may not know about. And on Saturday morning, May 11th, we'll be leading a walk at Poliak Pond in conjunction with the library. See below for information on registering.

Presenting the Col. Alfred McCormack Conservation Preserve
Redding Land Trust is excited to announce that we recently received our largest land donation to date! The McCormack family generously donated 238 acres of beautiful woodlands, meadow, and wetlands adjacent to the Saugatuck in Redding and Danbury, and we are thrilled to steward this property. These acres' main entrance is at George Hull Hill Road at the intersection of Picketts Ridge. We will soon be blazing trails and installing a kiosk with information on hiking this property, and it will also be in our new Book of Trails.

The Hiking Project App
Along with our soon-to-be-debuted online Book of Trails, we've also uploaded the trails to REI's Hiking Project website and app to provide an easy way for hikers to plan and view hikes. Click here to visit Redding's Hiking Project website, learn more about the app, and share your photos and notes on the hikes!

Questions?
You can also watch a video of the Annual Meeting by clicking here. And while we wanted to keep this recap brief, we're always available to answer questions about our work or other details from the meeting. Feel free to reach out to info@reddingctlandtrust.org.

Presidents Day Hike

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In keeping with the Holiday Hike theme, the next hike will take place on Presidents’ Day at 1 pm. We will meet at the John Read Middle School parking lot and aim for a 2.5-3 mile hike. 

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. Active snow or rain or bitter temperatures cancel.

Cub Scouts Clean up Dan Beard Trail

Cub Scout Den 3/Pack 118 show off the trash they recovered from the Dan Beard Trail.

Cub Scout Den 3/Pack 118 show off the trash they recovered from the Dan Beard Trail.

An intrepid team of cub scouts from Den 3, Pack 118, led by Carl Ericson spent several hours on Saturday, February 9 clearing trash and debris from the Redding Land Trust parcel that includes the Dan Beard Trail.

“Our thanks go out to Carl and Pack 118. Volunteers play such an important part in preserving our open spaces around Redding,” said Bruce Given, RLT Trustee. “From trail tenders to scouts, to hikers who pick up after others, we rely on their willingness to help.”

The trail, which the pack plans to adopt, is named after one-time Redding resident Dan Beard, illustrator of several Mark Twain books and founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone, which later merged with the Boy Scouts of America.

New Years Day Hike

We started off the New Year with a hike at the beautiful Scott’s Preserve. Learn more about available hiking trails in this scenic area by checking it out in the Book of Trails

2018 Annual Appeal

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November 2018

Dear Neighbor,

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!

With gratitude,

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.

Portrait of Mary Ann Guitar Installed at Redding Town Hall

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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.

New Conservation Easement Secured

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 us at info@reddingctlandtrust.org

First Annual Turkey Waddle: Friday, November 23, 11 AM

Burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories with a stroll along Jean's Trail (off Racoon Way in the Stormfield preserve). Meet at 11:00 AM. Parking is at 313 Redding Road - turn down the gravel driveway directly across from Lee Lane and follow to end. Please note that this is a private residence and public parking for hikes in this area is typically on Fox Run Road.

It's an easy to moderate family-friendly hike through woods and around a dammed pond. Snow or rain cancels - bundle up for the chilly temps. Hiking boots recommended.

Questions or RSVP info@reddingctlandtrust.org.

RLT Trail Highlight: The Great Ledge

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Looking for a way to share the beauty of fall in Redding with friends and family? Take a visit to the Great Ledge - one of the Redding Land Trust’s earliest acquisitions - and a trail that leads to one of the most spectacular views in Redding. It’s a fun trail for families and novices, and takes about 1 hour to complete.

There is parking space for five cars at the Tudor Road end of Dayton Road, across from the trail head.

The trail begins a little way down the first driveway on the left coming from Tudor Road, and begins with a walk over some wood walkways. Follow the white blazes through the woods and over a stone wall, where you come to an intersection and have to choose left or right. The Book of Trails suggests going left for the most dramatic views, so we did, and it did not disappoint. It's a pretty walk, with mild elevation and dramatic views over the reservoir. There are two spots for a clear view and someone built a nice bench to sit and enjoy the view. This would be a nice spot to bring a lunch on a beautiful day. Continue along the trail, following the white blazes toward the right (there is an intersection with another trail through Devil's Den, with a white blaze, but continue toward the right).

You can extend your walk by crossing Dayton to the trail that begins on the same side as the parking area. Follow the white blazes across the stone wall, then follow the blue blazes along the hilly, wetlands trail that ends next to the reservoir, with a lovely water view. This additional section takes about 15 minutes each way. The hills are a bit more challenging than the trail to the great ledge, but it offers a different view of the reservoir.

2018 Butterfly Walk

Kids and kids-at-heart alike love our butterfly walk, featuring noted local butterfly expert Victor DeMasi and his team of experienced spotters.  Participants meandered around the meadow, searching for their favorite winged creatures. Every year Redding Land Trust mows this meadow annually to attract beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and birds, and it’s always exciting to see what special species make an appearance!