Colchester Land Trust Acquisitions
The Gateway property is an 18 acre parcel on Bull Hill Road in Colchester bordered by the Salmon River State Forest and the Airline Trail State Park greenway. This forested property, with its tumbling brooks and waterfalls, lies in the heart of our Salmon River corridor making it a high priority for the CLT. The parcel was purchased from Chet Reneson on July 11, 2007. The trust submitted and was awarded a State of Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Grant in the amount of $95,000. The Bafflin Foundation, located in Providence, RI also awarded a grant for $20,000 toward the purchase. In addition, a $10,000 challenge grant was successfully matched and numerous private donations made the preservation of this beautiful property possible and the CLT's purchase was quickly followed by a purchase of an adjoining 14 acres by the State of CT DEEP, for a total preservation of 32 acres.
Bulkeley Hill Preserve
The Bulkeley Hill property is a 130-acre preserve, 15-acres of which were originally deeded to the CLT by the developer of a proposed 115-acre, 44-lot subdivision. The donation was a town-mandated open space set-aside for the first phase of development, which was never built. In August, 2016, CLT was able to negotiate a bargain sale for the remaining 115-acres with the lender who was left holding the property after the original developer failed to make payment on his loan. Two thirds of this property hold critical headwaters of the Eightmile River with the remaining third flowing into the Salmon River watershed. The preserve provides a scenic view to travelers on Bulkeley Hill Road. It supports a variety of wildlife with its 23-acre wetland system that includes a small pond, intermittent streams, and vernal pools. Once part of the Bulkeley farm, this property contains many stone walls, and a large sugarbush, tapped for the first time in March 2014. There are several existing trails on the property, available to the public for passive recreation such as hiking, birding, or showshoeing, and may be accessed via an old logging trail on Bulkely Hill Road. CLT is grateful to The Conservation Fund for providing a low interest 30-month loan allowing the aquisition of this beautiful property and we are relying on community support to help in the repayment. Please visit our Donate page if you can help.
Whispering Winds Property
The Whispering Winds property is a 25 acre preserve that was deeded to the Colchester Land Trust by the developer of the Whispering Winds subdivision on Usher Swamp Road as a town-mandated subdivision set-aside. This lovely wooded property lies in the headwaters of the federally designated, "Wild and Scenic" Eightmile River and abuts land owned and managed for open space by the East Haddam Fish and Game Club. It is accessible via an old car path at the end of Usher Swamp road.
The Palakewitz property is a 62 acre conservation easement generously donated to the CLT on December 27th, 2007 by the owner, Toney Palakawitz. The land lies in the heart of the Salmon River Watershed and is bordered
to the south by River Road and by working farm land to the north by Rt. 2, providing this 4 lane highway with
scenic views. The property is bordered to the west by the Salmon River State forest (one narrow private property lies between
the forest and the easement) and to the east by a large privately held property. The property contains
vernal pools, wildlife trails, stone walls, prime soils, diverse forest and connectivity to other open space.
McDonald Road Property
The McDonald Road Property is a 4 acre building lot donated to the Colchester Land Trust by Mr. David Drew for its monetary, rather than conservation, value. To this end, the property has served the CLT well as we have been able to use it as collateral in obtaining loans for the acquisition of other properties whose conservation value will be preserved in perpetuity.
CLT Partnership Projects
Ruby II Property Donation
In 2009, the CLT joined forces with the Town of Colchester by donating $42,000 toward the purchase of an important 31-acre parcel of land bordering the town's own 117-acre Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands Preserve bringing the total size of the preserve to 148 acres. This preserve holds two short, marked trails, two ponds, a grassy picnic area, and a marsh viewing area.
Other Protected Lands in Colchester
Cato Corner Farm
White Oaks Farm
Meadow Brook Wildlife Management Area
Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area
Airline Trail State Greenway
Day Pond State Park
Salmon River State Forest
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