From the Executive Director:

As a land trust, we’re in the land preservation business. But we’re also in the people business. Land doesn’t preserve itself. People preserve land. None of our successes throughout the years would have been possible without people. People who donate land. People who generously donate money through annual membership contributions. People who volunteer their time as board members, trail stewards, blueberry pruners and committee members.

We love people. When you read this Fall newsletter I want you to see the people in these pages. Like the children who participated in our first ever Eco-Camp this summer, or the amazing adults who volunteered to teach them about birds, butterflies, ponds and rocks. Look at Cole Barker who is holding a frog in his little hands as if he’s holding up the world. He and his mom Paula have just volunteered to be trail stewards. See Barbara Belknap who is preserving her family’s land in Weston and her brother Bob who loved this land so much. Or Tracy Pennoyer from Weston, president of a foundation that is donating money to help us purchase this land. Or our many trail stewards including the Wagenbach’s our first trail steward family who signed up to be trail stewards to spend more time together as a family and teach their kids important life lessons. Or Walter Greene from Westport who is volunteering his time to develop a Legacy Gift Program for Aspetuck Land Trust to inspire others to give, or Van Dusenbury and Joe Schnierlein who are expanding our college internship program.

We have so many wonderful people involved in Aspetuck Land Trust and our properties and outreach efforts touch thousands of people every year. Thank you for believing in our mission and supporting the work. We literally can’t do it without you.

David Brant
Executive Director

THE NEXT GENERATION

Eco-Camp 2017

As part of our efforts to get more kids outside and engaged in nature, Aspetuck Land Trust developed an Ecology Camp for middle school students this summer at our Caryl and Edna Haskins Preserve on Green Acre Lane in Westport. The camp is part of a continuum of outdoor activities the Land Trust has created for pre-school through college age youth beginning with the Natural Playground and Family Trail at the Leonard Schine Preserve in Westport to the Jr. Ranger Program and high school and college internship program. For more information, see Children’s Activities at aspetucklandtrust.org

The Eco-Camp was a big hit among parents and kids! During the one week camp twelve remarkable middle school youth, four counselors and a camp director spent time outside with environmental experts in their fields learning about geology, pond ecology, butterflies, plants, birds, and other ecological systems. The camp was designed to go more in depth into ecological systems and inspire future scientists like Caryl and Edna Haskins who donated their amazing 22-acre estate on Green Acre Lane in Westport to Aspetuck Land Trust. “My child looked forward to going to camp each morning. She enjoyed making connections between nature, science, art and writing. The presenters you brought in were knowledgeable and professional. She is still talking about her experience at Eco Camp!”

We would like to offer Special thanks to the presenters and staff who helped us provide an amazing experience to an amazing group of middle schoolers. Without your donation of time and expertise we could not have done this!

Sarah Crosby and her team (Pete Fraboni and Kasey Tietz) from Earthplace, Milan Bull from The Connecticut Audubon Society, Professor Ernie Wiegand from Norwalk Community College, Naturalist Colleen Noyes, Frank Gallo, Christine Peyeigne (and her Mom, Betsy) of Christine’s Critters, Joe Puchalski, Victor DeMasi, and Jory Telster (our young birding expert).

Our wonderful camp staff: nurse Johanna Hughes, director Max Feldman, senior counselors Joe Battaglia and Madison Malin, Junior Counselor’s Zachary Katz and Jackson Hemphill. And our quiet supporters that donated much needed supplies, documentation, support, shelter and time: Bruce Brynga of Fresh Market in Westport, Dr. Jonathan Sollinger from Willows Pediatrics, Bill Gallo of Newtown Glass LLC, Lee Franzman with CT Office of Early Childhood, photographers Richard Frank and Stephen B. White, The Town of Westport and Touquette Hall Teen Center, Andrew Stewart, Alan Feldman, Emilia Hernandez and Celia Campbell-Mohn.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in Aspetuck Land Trust’s Eco-Camp next summer contact Alice Cooney at administration@aspetucklandtrust.org

Eco Camp sign built by Max Feldman and his dad Alan.

Camp director extraordinaire Max Feldman is third from right. Photo credit: Stephen B. White

Eco-Campers learn about birds. Photo credit: Stephen B. White

An Eco-Camp participant investigating life in the Haskins pond. Photo credit: Stephen B. White

Eco-Campers collecting and studying small insects. Photo credit: Stephen B. White

Eco-Campers learning about earth science from Norwalk Community College Geology Professor Ernie Wiegand. Photo credit: Richard Frank.

A boy and his frog. Photo credit: Stephen B. White

Call of the Wild Class Visits Trout Brook Valley

The Call of the Wild is a class at Fairfield Ludlowe High School taught by Aspetuck Land Trust trail steward and member Dave Nulf. The class is about the relationship between people and the natural world. Dave has great passion for nature and he challenges the students to deepen their awareness of and appreciation for the natural world and to improve their verbal and written expression as budding nature writers. Every year Dave takes his students on a hike in the Trout Brook Valley Preserve where they learn lessons about local ecology, practice close observation, and gain a better appreciation for the natural and human history in this area.

Fairfield Ludlowe High School students visit Trout Brook Valley as part of their “Call of the Wild” class taught by Dave Nulf (shown kneeling fourth from left).

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

PRESERVING LOCAL OPEN SPACE

Preserving local open space is one of the most important things Aspetuck Land Trust members do. Since 1966, Aspetuck Land Trust has protected 149 properties on 1,800+ acres in the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Redding, Wilton, and Bridgeport. And we have big plans to preserve more land.

Aspetuck Land Trust Purchasing 38-acre Belknap Property in Weston

We are excited to announce that we are purchasing the 38-acre Belknap property in Weston for $367,000. We have been talking to the Belknap family for years about their property and we thank them for working with the Aspetuck Land Trust to preserve this land which they could have sold to a developer.

The property has only been owned by two families, the Sturges and Belknap families, since it was land granted by the English monarchy. The property was purchased in 1927 by Chauncey Belknap who was looking for a get-away in Connecticut from New York City where he was a partner in the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler.

His daughter Barbara Belknap who was born in 1933 remembers the property fondly and recalls that her dad liked to walk in the woods and read. “The property was part of the original woodlot which went with the farm. It’s where the farmer would cut his wood for the long winter. I’m glad the property is being preserved so the public can enjoy it as we have. My brother Bob loved this land and wanted it protected. He would be especially happy that the property is being preserved by Aspetuck Land Trust.”

To purchase the property we received a $200,000 grant from the Audubon Connecticut In lieu Fee Program and $50,000 from the William C. Bullitt Foundation whose President Tracy Pennoyer lives in Weston and is an Aspetuck Land Trust member. We have a pending grant request with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program.

The Belknap acquisition will expand Aspetuck Land Trust’s existing 86-acre Honey Hill Preserve which spans the towns of Weston and Wilton and is a key parcel in Aspetuck Land Trust’s forest block assemblage project to conserve 410 acres in one of the last undeveloped interior forest blocks in Weston and Wilton, the “last frontier” of open space in our area.

The area is adjacent to protected lands owned by the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, Aspetuck Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and undeveloped municipal land owned by the towns of Wilton and Weston. Taken together, these lands encompass 2,652 acres of undeveloped open space. Just east of the assemblage project area is the Saugatuck Reservoir and Aspetuck Land Trust’s 1,009-acre Trout Brook Valley Preserve which is surrounded by 10 square miles of Centennial Watershed State Forest and Aquarion Water Company lands. The Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership (H2H) which seeks to advance large landscape level conservation projects between the Hudson and Housatonic Rivers in New York and Connecticut has identified these lands as a conservation priority area.

Aerial view of the 38-acre Belknap property being purchased by Aspetuck Land Trust.

Robert Belknap, son of Chauncey Belknap, walking on the land in Weston his father purchased in 1927.

Why it’s Important to Save Open Space

by Melissa Newman
Board Member, Aspetuck Land Trust

There is rapidly coming a time when we will be at the end of our options for open space in Fairfield County. Land is more likely to be built upon than left pristine, so the scraps of land that we preserve now will become more and more valuable as habitat for wildlife and places for reflection.

The Aspetuck Land Trust does try to focus on connectivity for that reason, but I am even fond of isolated pockets of open space in unexpected places. I really feel that the existence of such gems has given me so much through my lifetime.

There is a sense of ownership you can have as a young child, this patch of woods that is “yours,” regardless of whose name is on a map in some distant town hall. When I was 7 or 8 years old I knew the location of every tree, every hiding spot behind my house.

The woods were where you went to explore, to cry, to make art, to party with your friends (don’t deny it). It was relatively safe, and it helped you contextualize yourself in nature.

The woods were where you went to explore, to cry, to make art, to party with your friends (don’t deny it). It was relatively safe, and it helped you contextualize yourself in nature.

Miraculously, pretty much everyone was on board with the protection of the Newman Poses Preserve. When my sister and I visited Gordon Joseloff, former Westport First Selectman, to suggest it, he was very receptive, and things seemed to just flow from there.

My father had once lamented to me that he had not done more to protect it during his lifetime, so it felt like an appropriate tribute to him and, just as importantly, to Lillian Poses, who kept the land pristine for so long.

It has become an almost overly popular place for people and pets to walk, but most people seem pretty respectful of the Aspetuck Land Trust’s requests to preserve vernal ponds and puddles by staying away from them, especially in the spring, when frogs and salamanders lay eggs along the edges.

The balance between encouraging exploration, but at the same time understanding that we are visitors in a delicate ecosystem is a difficult one, but that is the dual mandate of Aspetuck Land Trust, and I think we do a pretty good job.

I feel bad for children who don’t have the opportunity to experience wild and open spaces. I think that every empty lot can and should be able to provide a place to explore nature. To watch plants struggle to reclaim any exposed patch of dirt or crack in the concrete is a testament to the power of focus and possibility.

Our inability to suppress the grasses and vines that insist on their right to flourish wherever they can should be a humbling reminder to all of us that we exist in a natural world, and that we all need a little untended green in our lives.

Article reprinted with permission of the Easton Courier, HAN Network.

Melissa ‘Lissy’ Newman at the Newman Poses Nature Preserve in Westport.

TAKING CARE OF THE LAND

Aspetuck Land Trust member donations support the improvement of wildlife habitats and the maintenance of our properties and trailed nature preserves. Here are some of the great projects we worked on over the past year because of the generous support of Aspetuck Land Trust members.

New Pollinator Meadows

Aspetuck Land Trust planted two new pollinator meadows totaling 2.5 acres in the Trout Brook Valley orchard to provide more diverse plant habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. This project was supported by a grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. We would like to thank Gary Haines at Aquarion Water Company for donating their tractor and Brillion seeder.

Tractor pulling the Brillion seeder in the new pollinator meadow in the Trout Brook Valley orchard.

The newly seeded pollinator meadows in the Trout Brook Valley orchard are beautiful. This meadow is south of the blueberry patch. The meadows provide more diverse plant habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

Protecting Ash Trees from the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer

Aspetuck Land Trust is participating in a project with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to introduce parasitoids or stingless wasps at Aspetuck Land Trust’s 1,009 acre Trout Brook Valley Preserve to reduce invasive emerald ash borer population.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) infests and kills North American ash species. The adult beetle has a shiny emerald green body with a coppery red or purple abdomen.

Signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves. Most trees die within 2 to 4 years of becoming infested. The emerald ash borer is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in Michigan in 2002.

Scientists at the The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station introduced parasitic stingless wasps at Aspetuck Land Trust’s 1,009 acre Trout Brook Valley Preserve to reduce the invasive emerald ash borer insect population. Thanks to Weston Tree Warden Bill Lomas for introducing us to this program. Photo credit: Jacquie Littlejohn.

Ospreys Have New Home

We installed two new osprey platforms in Westport at the 3.2-acre Taylortown Salt Marsh Preserve in downtown Westport (corner of Wilton Rd. and Kings Hwy. North) and at the 6.7-acre Allen Salt Marsh Preserve off Grove Point Road. The Allen Salt Marsh platform shown here has been claimed by a pair of nesting ospreys that took up residence this spring.

A nesting osprey pair moved in to the new osprey platform we recently installed at the Allen Salt Marsh Preserve in Westport off Grove Point Road. The osperys quickly took up residence this spring. Thanks to Aspetuck Land Trust board member Heather Williams for initiating this project.

Netting Installed in Blueberry Patch

This summer Aseptuck Land Trust members were sent the lock combination to access the blueberry patch. This worked out nicely and we had very few problems. Thank you to all of our wonderful members for making this run so smoothly. You may have noticed we installed netting over a portion of the patch to protect the bushes from being eaten by the birds. We had a tremendous crop of blueberries this summer which we hope many of you enjoyed! Thank you to the 70 people who sponsored a blueberry bush this year. You are helping the blueberry patch to grow so future generations can enjoy picking them.

Blueberry netting volunteers. From left: Aspetuck Land Trust Board Member and “blueberry czar” Tom Johnson, intern Delilah Fairclough-Stewart, intern Justin Widomski, Stewardship Manager Lou Bacchiochi, Land Management Committee volunteer Joe Schnierlein.

Turn This Pest Into Pesto!

by Dalma Heyn, Aspetuck Land Trust Trail Steward and pesto lover.

Invasive Garlic Mustard plants make great pesto but it isn’t all good. The plant was introduced to North America as a culinary herb in the 1860s and is an invasive species across much of the continent. It is toxic or unpalatable to many native herbivores, as well as to some native butterflies and moths.

Europe has generously bequeathed us many delights: Mousse au Chocolat and Gazpacho for starters. Oh, and Champagne. But it has also sent to our shores a not-so-delightful leafy terror, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a plant that looks innocent but can whirl through the ground of entire states in less time than you can say “invasive.” Across the Midwest, where it is vicious, lie acres of decimated local flowers, shrubs and trees, unearthed in its wake as if hit by a tornado.

The problem isn’t so much its roots as its seeds. Each twig has dozens, so a plant has hundreds and, when caught in your shoes, pant cuffs, and dog paws, spread like viruses. Then they spawn new shrubs with thousands more seeds, and on and on they go, endangering everything local and lovely. (Removing the exotic shrub is an art, and the technique of gently twisting the roots out, and doing so at an angle without breaking them, takes some doing).

Once out of the ground, though, it can taste delicious. One recipe we like is a lovely variety of Pesto. This recipe is adapted From Pest to Pesto, a book published by the Kalamazoo Nature Center to promote greater awareness of the invasive plant.

GARLIC MUSTARD PESTO
3 cups garlic mustard greens, chopped and packed. (Pick greens from an unsprayed area and wash thoroughly.)
6 ounces pine nuts or walnuts
1 teaspoon garlic mustard root, sliced
4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
6 ounces virgin olive oil
8 cups cooked penne pasta
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated Salt to taste
Toss mustard greens, pine nuts, root and chives into food processor.
Add olive oil slowly while blending.
Serve with cooked penne pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Serves 6 to 8

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Land doesn’t preserve itself. People preserve land. This is something Aspetuck Land Trust members know first-hand. Below are some highlights of how people have been involved with Aspetuck Land Trust over the past year.

2017 Summer Interns

This summer Aspetuck Land Trust hosted 21 interns from Staples, Weston and Ludlowe High Schools and local colleges. These hard working interns planted 900 bare root seedlings, mulched blueberry bushes, dug post holes, built boardwalks, armored trails, rebuilt stone walls, removed invasive plants, designed a new website and made videos.

Next year, we have plans to expand our college internship program with Connecticut College and the University of Connecticut. We currently have one intern from UConn who is mapping culverts on Georgetown Road in Weston to assess the feasibility of building a wildlife passage under the road so wildlife can safely cross.

A barrier to hosting college interns for Aspetuck Land Trust is housing. We are limited to providing summer internships only to those college students who live locally. If you would like to make it possible for the Land Trust to host more university interns who don’t live locally you can donate to the Aspetuck Land Trust Intern Housing Fund. The cost to house an intern for 13 weeks at the Sacred Heart University dorms is $2,600. Fairfield University dorms cost $4,485 for 13 weeks. If you would like to help, please contact Aseptuck Land Trust executive director David Brant at (203) 331-1906 or dbrant@aspetucklandtrust.org.

This summer Aspetuck Land Trust hosted 21 interns from Staples, Weston and Ludlowe High Schools and local colleges. These hard working interns planted 900 bare root seedlings, mulched blueberry bushes, dug post holes, built boardwalks, armored trails, rebuilt stone walls, removed invasive plants, designed a new website and made videos.

Interns enjoying an end of the summer BBQ with Intern supervisor and Aspetuck Land Trust Stewardship Manager, Lou Bacchiochi (in white hat holding tongs). Interns pictured from left: Delilah Faircloth Stewart (Connecticut College), Lucas Reichhelm, Rory Steele, Drew Weisberg, Jonathan Wu, Gabriel Holm, Josh Kingston, Justin and Ryan Widomski.

Local Family Becomes Trail Stewards

Does your family need more Vitamin N (nature)? Does your family suffer from “nature deficit disorder”? Are you looking for a community service project you could undertake as a family? The Wagenbach family has the answer. This exemplary family adopted the Wagner Preserve in Weston in 2016. Parents Steve and Victoria Wagenbach and their children Colin (12), Grant (11) and Russell (8) serve as Trail Stewards to this magnificent property. Not only do they monitor the trails for Aspetuck Land Trust but they have learned about indigenous plants and animals and how to identify and eradicate invasive species and build boardwalks together. And most importantly, they have learned perseverance and the gratitude that comes from community service. According to Dad Steve, “It’s been a good way for the family to just spend some time together and practice being a team, creating memories, taking pride in a job well done. That’s been an important piece for us.”

Eight-year old Russell recently showed us what his family accomplished as Trail Stewards. He identified bridges that need to be replaced. He showed us where his family came last winter and cut invasive vines out of the tress. He showed us where they found a stag skull and antlers. He found frogs hopping around the pond. He cleared some brush from the trail. He also went home with a pocket full of litter that he picked up during a walk. His enthusiasm for his work and pride in his many accomplishments in helping to keep the preserve running overflowed as he skipped along the rocks.

Imagine how your family could grow and learn together by adopting an Aspetuck Land Trust Preserve.

For more information about how you as an individual or your family can be Trail Stewards at an Aspetuck Land Trust Nature Preserve, contact Land Trust board member and Land Management Committee Vice President Celia Campbell Mohn ccampbellmohn@gmail.com

The Wagenbach family

Leave a Legacy

by Walter Greene,
Aspetuck Land Trust Trail Steward and Membership Committee Volunteer

Most Aspetuck Land Trust members will say they have a special place where they like to go in one of our land preserves. A place where they go to recharge their mind, body and soul. A place where they go with others to share their joy of open space.

Often, we go to those places without thinking about how they came to be. In many cases those spaces exist through the generosity of those who came before us…people who loved the land and wanted it saved so it could be enjoyed by all.

As each of us embrace the beauty of the Aspetuck Land Trust land that surrounds us, some may want to join those that came before us and stand on their shoulders to create a legacy. A legacy that will help perpetuate the saving of open space through a gift to the Aspetuck Land Trust.

Gifts to Aspetuck Land Trust can come in many forms such as:

  • Land gifts that we receive today
  • Financial/marketable asset gifts that we receive today so that we can save land today
  • Bequest gifts where the Aspetuck Land Trust is a beneficiary in one’s will where the gift will help future generations

Over the next few months we will be further developing our efforts and communications around these major gifting opportunities. We would like you to think about how you might be able to play a major role in helping the Aspetuck Land Trust save more land today and tomorrow…so when future generations ask the question, “why and how does this wonderful space exist?” they will know that it was because of you.

For immediate queries on any of the above gifting opportunities please reach out to David Brant at (203) 331-1906 or dbrant@aspetucklandtrust.org

My Summer at Aspetuck Land Trust

By Josh Kingston

Hi to all the outdoors lovers, the bikers, the hikers, the fishers, and all of the hardcore wilderness geeks. I graduated from Staples High School this spring and I had an experience working with Aspetuck Land Trust this summer as my senior internship that was unforgettable. Let me start off by saying that not only was Aspetuck Land Trust not my first choice for my senior internship but it wasn’t even on my radar until one of the internship counselors made me aware of it. I had found that I had no transportation to my second choice job as a counselor at Camp Jewell YMCA and that the position for my first choice had been filled before I even applied and the same for my 3rd choice. Needless to say, getting an internship seemed hopeless at this point for me. Then, I was introduced to Aspetuck Land Trust who had already reached their intern capacity limit at the time that I volunteered for it. Generously the Land Trust allowed me to join and the rest is history, which I will explain.

The work was rewarding but more than that it was actually legitimately character building. It was the type of work that could unite those with common goals who would never hang out with each other or talk to each other outside after internship hours and this was inspiring to say the least. Yes, it was manual labor and at times it seemed monotonous and physically taxing: planting trees, mulching plants, pulling vines and uprooting invasive plant species. But it was above all rewarding and helped me or maybe even forced me for the better to appreciate nature conservation on a deeper level. I’m very biased when it comes to woodlands, wildlife, and everything outdoors in general because I grew up in a small town in Vermont for 14 years about 20 minutes away from Killington, Pico and Okemo ski resorts. It would be hard not to recommend volunteering for the Land Trust or at least finding out what they are about and becoming a member because the people actually care a lot about their land and that means they are willing to do just about everything necessary to keep it in a state of adequacy. The territories associated with the Trust brought me the closest that I’ve ever been to the rural paradise of Vermont since I moved to CT. This upcoming fall, I’m planning to start a path to studying and majoring in physics in college.

Summer intern Josh Kingston (on left) fertilizing blueberry bushes.

Blueberry Pruners Have More Fun

Every early spring, our beloved volunteers come out to prune nearly 1,000 blueberry bushes. We have coffee and donuts and sometimes a few flurries but everyone has a great time. If you would like to get involved we’d love to hear from you. To be a part of our blueberry crew contact David at dbrant@aspetucklandtrust.org.

Educational Hikes

Our guided educational hikes for adults and children are a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. Learn about bees, hawks, birds, butterflies, geology and natural history, vernal pools, trees, invasive and indigenous plants, salt marshes and much more!

Visit aspetucklandtrust.org to see our list of upcoming hikes. Thanks to board member Jacquie Littlejohn for organizing these amazing hikes.

Blueberry bush volunteer pruners.

Photo credit Stephen B. White

Haskins Lecture on November 15

“Environmental Protection in the Trump Era. What’s Next?”

The guest speaker for this edition of the Aspetuck Land Trust’s Haskins Lecture Series is Daniel C. Esty, Yale University Law School Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy and Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy at Yale. Professor Esty was also Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014.

The Haskins Lecture Series honors noted scientists Caryl and Edna Haskins who bequeathed their Westport estate on Green Acre Lane to the Aspetuck Land Trust in 2002 creating the 16- acre nature preserve named after them. Caryl and Edna Haskins were both noted for their pioneering work in ant biology. They had no children and travelled the world attending conferences and collecting plant specimens. Caryl was former President of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, a board member of the Smithsonian, and a trustee of the National Geographic Society. He wrote scientific books about ants and about the Amazon River. Caryl also founded Haskins Laboratories which is now affiliated with Yale University, from which he graduated in 1930. He earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 1935.

The lecture is being held on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pequot Library located at 720 Pequot Avenue in Southport. Doors will open at 6:30.

Admission to the event is free to members of Aspetuck Land Trust and to students with school identification. A suggested donation of $5 per person for others is requested. Seating is limited. RSVP promptly to Alice at RSVP@AspetuckLandTrust.org or (203) 260-4737. Dessert Reception to follow.

Many environmentalists have expressed alarm over White House plans to roll back environmental protection policies and slash funding for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by $2.4 billion. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection risks losing $6 million in federal support that goes directly to water and wildlife protection.

“President Trump’s decision to back away from the Paris Climate Change Agreement and to pull back from the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and other environmental commitments has been seen by many observers as bad news. And it is. But not quite as bad news as many fear, and there may be a silver lining in the dark clouds ahead,” according to Professor Esty.

Haskins Lecture speaker Daniel Esty.

Edna Haskins

Caryl Parker Haskins

Aspetuck Land Trust Receives Environmental Champion Award

On Saturday, June 3, Aquarion Water Company presented Aspetuck Land Trust with the Aquarion Environmental Champion Award at a ceremony held at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Aspetuck Land Trust won in the Non-Profit category which recognizes volunteer projects that have significantly contributed to the improvement of environmental quality through the protection, conservation, restoration and stewardship of Connecticut’s water, air, soils, and plant and wildlife habitats.

Aspetuck Land Trust board members and staff are congratulated by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at the Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards ceremony. From left: Aspetuck Land Trust board member Jacquie Littlejohn (Weston), Aspetuck Land Trust executive director David Brant, board member Nancy Moon (Fairfield), Senator Richard Blumenthal, board member Don Hyman (Fairfield).

Become a Land Trust Supporter

Your tax-deductible support makes a difference in our towns. Become a proud member of Aspetuck Land Trust today by sending in your membership donation in the enclosed envelope. Or visit our website to make a donation by credit card on our secure website. You’ll receive our trail map and membership decal. Spread the word. Go for a hike. Ride a bike. Support your local farmer. Be kind. Be more green.