By Jane Ross, Redding Land Trust on October 25, 2014
Some 83 hikers, assisted by 30 Boy Scouts, climbed the gently rising trail to Redding Land Trust’s Great Ledge property last Saturday to enjoy the spectacular fall vista stretching with nary a house or steeple in sight all the way to Long Island Sound.
“You might guess you were in the Adirondacks and not the center of Fairfield County,” said Sean McNamara, who welcomed the crowd at the top on behalf of the land trust. He thanked town leaders — First Selectman Julia Pememberton, Selectman Leon Karvalis and Conservation Commission head David Pattee — who had joined the hikers at the summit, for the close partnership the trust has always enjoyed with the town of Redding — a community devoted to open space. The ledge property was purchased by the trust in 1988 with support from many donors.
Mr. McNamara, who organized the event, then thanked two members of the Trail Tenders, a group sponsored jointly by the trust and the town, Stuart Green and Kevin Tschudi. He also offered thanks to the Scouts of Troop 15 and especially Wyatt Hoover for building the new kiosk at the trail head.
David Brant, executive director of the Aspetuck Land Trust, then talked to those taking in the inspiring view about the important work that land trusts accomplish for their communities. They acquire land so that it may be preserved in its natural state forever, they act as stewards of the land protecting it from development, and they engage people in appreciating and exploring the treasurers of the land — a purpose perfectly fulfilled by Saturday’s event, he said.
Gathered in groups of friends and families, hikers enjoyed brown bag lunches prepared by the Redding Ridge Market while hearing from Mr. McNamara and Mr. Brant and taking photos of the viewscape. When asked if this was the first time they had visited the Great Ledge, more than half of the group raised their hands.
Mary Anne Guitar, Redding Land Trust president, who greeted hikers as they picked up their lunches before hitting the trail, said, “This is a wonderful event for the Redding Land Trust and a great way to launch the celebration of the trust’s 50th anniversary in 2015.”