2008 Excellence in Conservation Awards

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Outstanding Land Acquisition Effort

Norwalk Land Trust

For its recent acquisitions which complete a contiguous open space of over 16 acres, all bordering Farm Creek, an estuary of Long Island Sound, near the center of the Rowayton district of Norwalk. The Farm Creek site is a critical piece of open land and supports plants and wildlife that have been displaced by residential development. It is a nursery and food source for many waterfowl and animal life. The marsh serves to filter water and contributes to the health of the Connecticut coastline of Long Island Sound. This was truly a final chance to save an important tidal estuary.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Exemplary Fundraising or Outreach Project

Essex Land Trust

For a major public outreach campaign to raise the visibility of the land trust in Essex and clarify its mission and value to the community by;

  • Simplifying the name of the organization to “Essex Land Trust.”;
  • Designing a new logo and tag line and using the logo on ELT items for members and volunteers;
  • Creating colorful posters for each ELT event;
  • Designing and putting up new, uniform signs at every ELT property, and designing a new trail guide;
  • Designing a new membership brochure which clarifies the benefits of membership and contains restructured membership levels, and mailing a new color newsletter 3-4 times a year;

The dues restructuring and outreach campaign have resulted, in the first full year, in a doubling of dues income and a 15% increase in membership.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Successful Collaboration

Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust

After five-and-a-half years of countless hours of research, writing, work and negotiations, 124 acres of farm and forest land in New Milford, CT are permanently conserved thanks to the successful collaboration of many, including the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, the Town of New Milford, the CT Farmland Trust, the CT Department of Environmental Protection, the Trust for Public Land, the Hunt Hill Farm Trust, and Ruth Henderson.

The 132-acre Hunt Hill farm, owned by Ruth Henderson and the late Skitch Henderson, is located in town’s Northville section and has been farmed since the 1700’s.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Excellence in Stewardship

Avalonia Land Conservancy

For their significant, collaborative, stewardship campaign, the Phragmites Control Project, at Poquetanuck Cove which is a two mile long tidal cove located between the towns of Ledyard and Preston. Part of the Long Island Sound estuary, the Cove is the largest and highest quality brackish meadow and cattail marsh on the Thames River and is home to multiple species of plants and animals listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern in Connecticut.

ALC was the applicant for funding from multiple sources for a multi-season floristic survey of the Cove and a multi-year herbicide/mulching project to eliminate the Phragmites.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Outstanding Land Acquisition Effort
Award of Special Merit

Land Trust of West Haven

For completing, on September 8, 2007, after more than forty years of public debate and controversy about the fate of that part of its shoreline formerly occupied by the Savin Rock Amusement Park, a Conservation Easement Agreement with the City of West Haven covering more than thirty-nine acres of pristine open space in an urban area bordering Long Island Sound including the historical remains of the original Savin Rock itself (landing place of the occupying British forces during the Revolutionary War) and the adjacent, iconic Bradley Point peninsula. The Land Trust of West Haven, Inc will preserve the open shoreline area for the general public's passive use and for the protection of its scenic, conservation value for all time.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Exemplary Fundraising or Outreach Project
Award of Special Merit

Granby Land Trust

For its regular, high quality communications including:

  • Periodic hikes, lectures and "Preserve our Properties" events;
  • Periodic e-mail bulletins of upcoming activities or other pertinent information;
  • Monthly articles in The Granby Drummer, a newspaper published by Citizens for a Better Granby, Inc., which goes to all residents;
  • The Granby Land Trust web page, www.GranbyLandTrust.org; and
  • The annual Granby Land Trust Newsletter.

The Land Trust is widely considered in Granby to be an organization on the move. To date, it has preserved about 2,000 acres, with 1,200 acres owned outright and about 800 acres protected by conservation easements.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Excellence in Stewardship
Award of Special Merit

Southbury Land Trust

For completing the second year of a program which matches its stewardship needs with local Eagle Scout candidates’ requirements. The land trust’s Stewardship committee has coordinated seven eagle projects (more than 1,100 volunteer hours) in the past year yielding a footbridge, an apple orchard rehabilitation, boundary determination, sign posting, renovation of preserve parking and two new trails.

These outreach projects educate a brand new audience about land trusts. It draws in many levels and ages of scouts as well as their leaders, parents, siblings and friends – many families have become members, make donations and volunteer their time. As always, with kids’ achievements, publicity opportunities abound and the conservation message is spread even further.

Excellence in Land Conservation Award
Successful Collaboration
Award of Special Merit

Connecticut Farmland Trust

For working, in 2007, in collaboration with the CT Farm Bureau on a mailing to approximately 3,000 farmers to provide information about the federal tax incentive for donated agricultural conservation easements. The information was also distributed via CFT’s newsletter and website, in person at public forums and meetings with landowners, and to landowners seeking technical assistance.

In total, the information was distributed to more than 7,000 people. As a result, three of the farms the Connecticut Farmland Trust protected in 2007 took advantage of the federal tax incentive.