CLT Works For Healthy Lands, Healthy People

CLT Works For Healthy Lands, Healthy People

The Cheshire Land Trust’s singular mission is protecting important historic and ecological properties in Cheshire. It is a mission that also requires active participation from its members and the surrounding community.

That means not only working with entities such as Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture to help keep Ives Farm as a working, productive farm, but also maintaining and improving other properties in its preservation portfolio for the benefit of all.

Each year, Quinnipiac University students participate in what is known as “The Big Event,” a day of community service for around 130 colleges around the country. This year, a group of volunteers came to Cheshire to help the CLT manage its newest property.

The work took place at a newly-acquired 3.7-acre parcel of land along Sperry Road.

“Dead trees and invasive plants were removed, making the land more attractive and environmentally healthy. With the help of numerous donors, the land was recently purchased by the Land Trust to protect the wetlands and upland forest from any development,” the CLT said in a statement.

“A small stream comes off an adjacent ridge, flows through this land and eventually passes through our Fresh Meadows Preserve before entering the Mill River,” said Jeff Nelson, the CLT steward in charge of the work party. “Some of the students were surprised to learn that the watershed that they were working on charged the Mill River which, in turn, flows by their campus in Hamden. They were a hardworking, enthusiastic crew!”

The acquisition brings the CLT’s total holdings to 633 acres, spread over 30 properties. While not all are accessible by the public, each segment serves an important role in Cheshire’s environmental health, per the CLT.

Providing for the health of Ives Farm by removing invasive plants and fallen trees in order to keep the trail network in good shape is also an ongoing task, according to CLT President Bill Stanley.

“We’re trying to get the property in the best possible shape,” Stanley said, adding that the CLT has brought in an invasive plant specialist to help control species such as Japanese Barberry, which can quickly pose a threat to the health of native flora if left unchecked.

The Cheshire community is invited to see the results of that work in person on Saturday, June 3, when the CLT will host a Connecticut Trails Day event at Ives Farm.

Trails Day, a yearly initiative of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA), also happens to be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

“Protecting public access to the outdoors is what we are all about, and Trails Day is the biggest way we encourage people to get outside each year with over 200 events taking place statewide during the first weekend in June,” stated Eric Hammerling, executive director of the CFPA.

“Connecticut’s forests, parks, trails, and other special places are integral to our state’s identity and economy,” added Hammerling, “Our primary goal is to raise awareness and get as many people as possible out on trails to enjoy and appreciate what we have. When people connect to the land and have fun, they are often interested in getting involved to help keep special places open, well-maintained, and available for everyone to enjoy. This year will be special for our 30th.”

Participants can register for the June 3 Ives Farm event, scheduled to last from 9 to 10:30 a.m., by visiting and searching for events in Cheshire. The trails at Ives Farm are open to the public at other times as well.


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