THE CHESTER LAND TRUST
6 October 2019
Chester Land Trust receives state Freedom
Trail award for Judge Motley Preserve
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.
3 April 2019
Removal of Osprey Nest
The osprey nest that was situated in Chester Creek close to the cemetery and close to trees was not occupied for over many years until there was a greater influx of osprey to the area. For the past 4 or 5 years, a family would arrive, a nest would be built, the babies (there is no name for young osprey) would be born and within a week they would be snatched or killed by predators such as owls and/or others waiting to prey on the new family.
We conferred with a person, knowledgeable of osprey and their habitat who has also worked with the Audubon group for years. He made us aware that this was a very unsafe area for the nest and would only result in the same tragic activity year after year. The nest, which was also in poor condition, was removed last week prior to any 2019 osprey setting up a new home. However, if you take a walk down Grote Road or Dock Road ( across the bridge from Moravellas) you will see the new nest that we installed last year and the 2019 occupants have arrived and are safe and sound. There is a “husband’s” perch and the area is open and clear of trees. We have also built another nest and will install that next year prior to March in another safe location. Thank you to all, so good to know we have people watching over our feathered friends.
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)