Chester, Connecticut

In 2019, The Chester Land Trust continued forward with our dedicated mission of protecting irreplaceable forests, farmlands, wetlands and wildlife for the purpose of enjoying our natural resources, open spaces, and the unique environment for present and future generations, here in Chester. We are so fortunate to have a supportive membership, and friends from the community that generously support our cause for the environment. We are always hopeful that everyone will respect, protect, and admire our open spaces here in Chester. The recently completed Town of Chester 10 year required Conservation Plan of Conservation and Development, concluded that open space, recreation, and environmental concerns are a high priority for Chester residents.

The 2019 Board of Trustees consisted of officers: Priscilla Robinson, President, Steve Cline,Vice President, Amy Pullin, Treasurer, and Peter Yuhasz, Secretary. Other members of the dedicated CLT board were Jenny Kitsen Senior Advisor, Fran Curto, Deb Dembo, Marie Anne Heft, Gail Norling, and Bill Myers. We were very fortunate to have all these dedicated trustees volunteer to perform in these roles.

Monitoring and maintenance of our 14 properties continues to be a leading and important task, especially at the Carini and Scudder Preserves in the center of town. Invasive Japanese Knotweed continues to spread on the Carini preserve and our volunteers perform at their best to cut and remove as much as possible. Also at the Carini Preserve, the Great Brook has significant stone and gravel that has washed down in the Fall flood of 2018 impeding the natural flow of the brook, adjacent the Carini Preserve. Town officials are aware of this, and are addressing the issue with future remediation efforts.

Another accomplishment in 2019 was that the CLT became a member of the newly established Lower CT River Land Trust. A new non-profit organization created as a regional Land Trust to share resources, conservation skills and seek grants to help local Land trusts in the CT River Valley.

In September 2018 the CLT completed and submitted an application to be considered by the Connecticut Freedom Trail for the Judge Constance Baker Motley Preserve at 100 Cedar Lake Road. On November 14, 2018 the Connecticut Freedom Trail approved the application. A committee comprised of CLT members was formed to prepare the dedication and ceremony for the Motley Preserve in 2019. The committee met over many months preparing the intricate and difficult details of this event. On Sunday October 6th, 2019, at 2 pm, well over 100 people attended the formal dedication by the Freedom Trail officials, followed by a reception, and a house tour by the new owners, The Colemans. The home across the street from the preserve is the home where the Motleys lived and owned for 40 years from 1965 to 2005. The former Motley home, and the CLT Motley Preserve both received a Freedom Trail Flag and bronze metal plaque in honor of Constance Baker Motleys extraordinary achievements in Civil rights advancement across the nation. The event was a wonderful and great success !

The Chester Land Trusts Annual 2019 meeting was held on December 5th, at the Chester Town hall meeting room, featuring Guest Speaker Kelsey Wentling, the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) new steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy. The topic was trash occurring in the river and watershed. Our second speaker, Sandy Sandstrom took the group on a photo journey through Chester. The group enjoyed trying to identify objects and landmarks in and around the village. The speakers were fantastic, and the event was well attended by land trust members, friends, supporters, and it was a great overall success!

In 2019, and also in 2020, we will continue on our mission to update and improve the CLT, including the web-site, social media, and improve communications with our amazing supportive members and residents.  

Submitted February 15th, 2020
Bill Myers
Chester Land Trust, President.

The 2019 Chester Land Trust Annual Report