Covid restrictions still interfered in the Chester Land Trust’s public outreach activities this past report cycle. However we continue to make progress and accomplishments with the mission and goals of the Land Trust. As Covid restrictions recede, we can move forward to reestablishing public education and outreach opportunities. The Chester Land Trust currently owns 94 acres of open space land in Chester, and have another 18 acres secured in Conservation Easements.
New Preserve Land Donations
…..We received 2 small land donations on Lakeview Avenue in 2021 just above Cedar lake. In August of 2021, the Greco family donated 2 contiguous small parcels, totaling approximately 1/2 acre on the north side of Lakeview Ave. In October 2021 Choice Bovine Restoration Co. LLC also donated 2 contiguous small parcels on the south side of Lakeview totaling approximately 1/2 acre, located directly across from the Greco donation. Both parcels consist of upland hardwoods and some wetlands, these contiguous parcels contain a significant wildlife corridor with added protection of wetlands which feed Burr Brook a short distance away.
…..In March of 2022, the land trust received a donation of approximately 1/2 acre of land located near the intersection of Goose Hill Road and Kings Highway, from Nate and Geraldine Jacobson. This parcel, and an adjacent parcel, once held the buildings of a very early Chester industry called “The Old Tannery”. Established in the early 1800’s until about 1900, the tanning of hides to make leather goods was conducted here. The foundation stones and the water trough foundation support stones are still visible today.
…..In June of 2022, the land trust received a donation of 2 acres of land, located just west of the intersection of Routes 148 and 145 on the south side of Route 148. This parcel was donated by the Melillo family, coordinated by Ann Brint of Wallingford. The parcel consists of hardwoods, mixed vegetation, and wetlands. Burr Brook traverses through the middle of this parcel. It is a significant wildlife habitat, and greatly contributes to a wildlife corridor as directly across the street is a large significant block of the Cockaponset State Forest. Two hundred feet to the east is the Chester land Trust’s “Burr Brook preserve”, consisting of 1.63 acres, bringing nearly 4 acres of protected open space now owned by the Land trust in this immediate area.
The Chester Land Trust established and coordinated the 2nd annual Town-Wide cleanup day in honor of Earth Day on April 23rd, 2022. Approximately 50 dedicated volunteers came out to help, and the volunteers spread out around the town scouring the streets and woods for trash and litter. A minimum of 51 large bags of litter, 5 tires, car parts, various metal, and a refrigerator compressor were collected from the Chester streets. A extraordinarily successful event!
Chester Land Trust Membership
The current membership now exceeds over 100 dedicated members who support the mission and goals in open space preservation now and for future generations here in the great town of Chester. We are very fortunate to have many loyal memberships and friends.
Chester Land Trust Board of Directors
The 2022 Board of Trustees consist of:
The Officers: President Bill Myers, Vice President Jenny Kitsen, Treasurer Patrick Russell-Walsh, Co-secretaries Steve Cline and Pete Yuhasz.
Other Trustees: Deb Dembo, Marie-Ann Heft, Michael Cressman, Eli Glascoff, Fran Curto.
Monitoring and Maintenance of Preserves
The Land Trust currently owns 14 separate Preserves encompassing 18 land parcels of protected land in Chester, totaling 94 acres. In addition, we protect and monitor 3 Conservation Easements, totaling 18 acres. Many of the preserves are left in their natural state for a multitude of benefits for wildlife, water, and the land. Please visit the website for a complete listing of all the land trust preserves (chesterlandtrust.org). Several of the preserves have been improved for public enjoyment, notably the George Carini Preserve and the Constance Baker Motley Preserve. Each preserve has responsible stewards checking and inspecting the property yearly for many reasons, including public safety, invasive species, and encroachment issues.
Carini Preserve – A large comfortable sitting bench was donated to the land trust in the spring, and placed at the Carini Preserve on Water street. The bench was placed as to provide a scenic view of the Great Brook which passes directly by this preserve.
Piquet Preserve – After several years the land trust Brush-Hogged (mowed) the 8-acre Piquet Preserve on South Wig Hill Road in April of 2022 to keep the emerging vegetation from taking over the open 8-acre preserve. A rented Skid Steer and a 6 foot brush hog mower was used in nearly a 10-hour cutting operation. This 8-acre preserve was donated to the Land Trust in the year 2000 by Elise Piquet, whom passed away this year.
Constance Baker Motley Preserve – Continuous maintenance of the Little Rock Nine hiking trail and the gardens, picnic area, and parking area make this preserve a highly visited historic preserve which is named and listed on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.
Submitted August 25, 2022
President Chester Land Trust
Chester Land Trust Annual Report
7/1/21 to 6/30/22
THE CHESTER LAND TRUST