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Chester Land Trust receives state Freedom
Trail award for Judge Motley Preserve

Who We Are

Officials from the CT Freedom Trail award special plaques to the Chester Land Trust, owner of the Judge Motley Preserve, and to the current owners of her home on Cedar Lake Road in Chester on Sunday, Oct. 6.  From left to right: Jenny Kitsen, Trustee, Chester Land Trust; Dennis Coleman, home owner; Marta Daniels, Trustee, Chester Historical Society (seated); Todd Levine (at podium), Coordinator of the Freedom Trail; Liz Shapiro, CT Office of Arts and Historic Preservation; and far right: Constance Royster (niece of Motley) and Joel Motley II (son) shown during award ceremony, (Photo by Skip Hubbard)

• Mission Statement •

The Chester Land Trust is a volunteer non-profit organization established in 1987. Currently, the Land Trust has 87 gifted or donated preserve acres and an additional 6.7 purchased acres which is the Motley preserve.
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How Land ​is ​Acquired

​​​2019 CLT 

Carini Preserve

Scudder Preserve

Burr Brook Preserve

Duck Pond Preserve

Piquet Preserve

Wood Preserve

Chester Creek Preserve

Waterhouse Brook Preserve

Rayner Preserve

Gateway Preserve

Motley Preserve

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Rachel Carson

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Latest News

Preserving Open Spaces

On Sunday, Oct. 6, The Chester Land Trust was honored by the state of Connecticut for its Judge Constance Baker Motley Preserve, a 7-acre site on Cedar Lake Road, that was designated a “Heritage Site” on the CT Freedom Trail.  Along with the Preserve, Judge Motley’s former home across the road, now owned privately, was also included.

The public, friends, and family turned out to celebrate as CT Freedom Trail officials from the State’s Historic Preservation Office awarded official plaques to the Chester Land Trust and the homeowners for the 140th site in Connecticut on the Trail. The Motley family received one as well.  Placement on the Freedom Trail is a select designation for sites that celebrate extraordinary African Americans whose efforts expanded freedom and opportunity for all Americans. 

Judge Motley, who had a home in Chester for 40 years, was a legendary civil rights lawyer who helped dismantle segregation in the South, and later became a distinguished federal judge whose landmark decisions shaped American jurisprudence in many areas of American life. 

For more info on Judge Motley and the CLT’s Preserve, click here.

For a video of the Oct 6 ceremony, click here.

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Chester, Connecticut

US Fish & Wildlife - Water Chestnuts

Protecting irreplaceable forests, farmlands, wetlands and wildlife

for the purpose of enjoying our natural resources, open spaces 

and unique environment for present and future generations.


Chester Land Trust board member volunteers work in partnership with residents and Town officials to identify land that has conservation possibilities, and determine if and how the acquisition of such parcel could benefit both the Town residents and others in the community. ›› more