By Jane Ross, Redding Land Trust on April 19, 2014
The full house rose to its feet and clapped resoundingly when the original founder of the Redding Land Trust and its current president, Mary Anne Guitar, was re-nominated for another term in office at the trust’s annual meeting at Highstead on April 6.
“It has been said that heroes are people who never get recognized in their lifetimes because they work for future generations,” said Laurie Heiss, trustee, in leading the chorus of thanks and admiration from others “for a visionary dedicated to open space in an era of development who was true to that vision for 50 years.”
Noting in her president’s report that the Redding Land Trust is on the cusp of its historic 50th anniversary year of land saving in 2015, Ms. Guitar reported that 1,735 acres of open space had been preserved to date by the land trust, quoting legendary conservationist Sam Hill, who said years ago, “I had no idea how successful it would be when I suggested it.”
Among the land gifts during the past year, Ms. Guitar reported one from longtime trust supporter Jack Stephenson, who gave 130 acres of land just across the border in Bethel, where the trust hopes to blaze trails and to find linkage to Putnam Park in Redding. Ms. Guitar also thanked Brian Mahoney for his continuing gift of acreage to a growing parcel of land off Ledgewood Road.
After the business meeting, the featured speaker was Redding native Brent Colley, who has long been an expert on Redding history, was creator of a website depicting its events and people, and was recently elected first selectman of Sharon.
Mr. Colley talked about how Redding has fared since the mid-20th Century and how the town has fought successfully to maintain its green and open spaces, helped in large part by the efforts of the Redding Land Trust.