By: Jane Ross
Almost 100 supporters crowded the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Redding Land Trust on Sunday, April 2, at the Community Center to hear of the Trust’s progress over the last year and to enjoy the featured program on “Saving Land – Saving History. A special treat was a video greeting from Trust conservation leader and founding member, former President and current Chairman Mary Anne Guitar.
Co-President Silvia Erskine, reporting on the achievements of the 2016 year, noted the re-accreditation of the Redding Land Trust by the national accrediting authority, the Land Trust Alliance – no small feat for an all-volunteer organization. She also highlighted that, thanks to cooperation with the Town and Aquarion, the Land Trust was able to purchase and preserve a choice 30-acre property at the heart of Redding. Co-President Gordon Loery, who sits on the Finance Committee, reported a change in the Trust’s endowment manager while Treasurer Sean McNamara reviewed the fiscal health of the RLT and noted the availability of the Trust’s 2016 Financial Statements to the public.
Memorial plaques were presented to three outstanding supporters of the Redding Land Trust: Rosamond Mikkelsen who gave the RLT its first gift in 1966 of 4 acres and was a constant lifetime benefactor; Joan Ensor , a RLT leader who served as President for ten years during her long tenure as a Trustee and who helped create Redding’s envied system of trails; (A RLT-sponsored Joan D. Ensor Trail Hike will be at 9 a.m. on May 13 at Scott Preserve); and, Bob Rosenman whose generosity helped save Crossfield at the bottom of Cross Highway and other unspoiled adjacent lands for posterity. (A RLT-sponsored butterfly count walk led by expert Victor DeMasi will take place on Crossfield at 10 a.m. on July 1.) The plaques will be posted on appropriate, accessible trees.
Three long-time, admired Redding historians – Newtown expert Dan Cruson, Redding history webmaster and current Sharon First Selectman Brent Colley, and Redding Historical Society leader Charles Couch - headlined the video program presentation of landscapes and maps of properties which played a significant role in the Town’s 250-year history and which are now owned by the Land Trust, They focused on the Long Lots, the John Read estate and land which is now New Pond Farm where the RLT holds an easement.
Assembled and introduced by RLT Trustee Kevin Tschudi, the video was also explained by Trustees Sherry Karraker, Laurie Heiss, Sean McNamara and Mary Ann Carman who narrated the stories of other lands – Karraker’s Field, Gallows Hill and Warrup’s Farm, another easement holding and the site of the Land Trust’s “A Night to Remember,” a special evening of cocktails, tour and dinner from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on August 26. Reservations are being accepted now at email@example.com
With a show of appreciation for a great learning experience on how Redding came to be the unique community of natural open space that it is today, RLT supporters then enjoyed refreshments and socializing with neighbors and friends.
The video presentation of “Saving Land – Saving History” may be viewed on the website of Bob Moran at Redding79.org.