From The President’s Desk

When you think of nature-lovers in the great outdoors, you might envision a solitary pursuit – a Thoreau philosophizing by the shore of Walden Pond, or a lone hiker working his or her way along the Appalachian Trail. But in reality, outdoor activities are just as often enjoyed with others. Our CT Trails Day hike is an excellent example, as is the upcoming Cider Run 5K. I hope you’ll read more about both events in this issue of The Conservator.

Similarly, land conservation is a group effort. Certainly the WLT couldn’t manage our properties or our finances, or run our programming or communications, without the volunteers on our board. More broadly, you may be interested to know that although we are one of a number of surrounding towns, each with its own land trust, that patchwork is in fact an interwoven fabric. Our shared land conservation mission is the common thread prompting us to work alongside and along with each other to preserve forests, waterways, and agricultural land not just in Warren, but throughout Litchfield County and beyond.

On the one hand, we readily partner with other local land trusts when the occasion presents itself. For example, when the Kent Land Trust sought to acquire the old Camp Francis Girl Scout property (now the East Kent Hamlet Preserve), one third of which is in Warren, we helped promote and fund the project. We hope to lead a group exploration of the preserve in the coming months. We communicate regularly with members of the Steep Rock and Weantinogue boards and staff, as well as with members of the Lake Waramaug Task Force and Lake Waramaug Association boards, and feel confident that they would turn to us or we to them in the event of a shared concern.

We also participate in a number of conservation consortia. These include “SALT” (Small Area Land Trusts) – a forum for land trust representatives from Warren, Kent, Washington, New Milford, Roxbury, and Cornwall, among others, to discuss topics from fundraising and membership to invasives management in the local context. Similarly the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative, housed under the auspices of the Housatonic Valley Association, joins area conservation organizations in support of projects that transcend town boundaries. The CT Land Conservation Commission and the national Land Trust Alliance provide assistance and information on a larger scale. The former conducts a series of helpful workshops, seminars and roundtables on subjects from outdoor programming to property inspection, and the latter’s resources with regard to the accreditation process are invaluable. Both organizations provide updates on conservation related legislative activities. For more information about these organizations, see our website.

Our board members feel strongly – and we think our supporters agree – that the Warren Land Trust is the first and best resource for land conservation in Warren. We know our town: its landscape, its history, its community. But we are grateful to have a network of equally committed local and regional conservation organizations with which to partner and share best practices and experiences. They, along with friends and supporters like yourselves, help our organization better serve Warren and its community.


Rebecca Neary

Hilary Adorno