What is a Land Trust?
Land trusts are nonprofit, community-based organizations dedicated to the permanent protection and stewardship of land for public benefit. They work closely with landowners to conserve land through acquisition, conservation easements or other interests in real property. Land trusts are supported through charitable donations and use funds for a variety of purposes in support of their mission. Once land has been protected, land trusts have an ongoing responsibility to care for the land, ensuring that easements are upheld and preserves well-managed.
Over 137 conservation organizations serve the communities of Connecticut, representing the third most land trusts of any state in the country. Collectively protecting and managing property with significant natural, cultural and scenic resources, these groups run the spectrum from small, all-volunteer outfits to large organizations with professional staff. They include groups with a local or regional focus as well as those with a statewide vision for natural resource protection.
NEW for 2018 - Updated Land Trust Map
CLCC's updated statewide land trust map, which includes Regional Conservation Partnerships, is now available in draft form. Click HERE to access and download the file. Thanks to CLCC Steering Committee member Margot Burns, Environmental Planner, RiverCOG, for her work in creating the map.
Local Land Trusts
To find a land trust in a particular town, click HERE.
In addition to the local trusts featured on the map, Connecticut has many organizations with broader or more targeted service areas.
Regional and Multi-Town Land Trusts
- Aspetuck Land Trust
- Avalonia land Conservancy, Inc.
- Eastern Connecticut Forest Landowners Association/Wolf Den Land Trust
- Eversource Land Trust
- Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust, Inc.
- Great Meadows Conservation Trust
- Heritage Land Preservation Trust
- Joshua's Tract Conservation & Historic Trust
- Kongscut Land Trust, Inc.
- Lower Connecticut River Land Trust
- McLean Game Refuge
- Middlesex Land Trust
- Northern Connecticut Land Trust
- Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy
- Roxbury Land Trust
- Waterford Land Trust, Inc.
- Wintonbury Land Trust
- Wyndham Land Trust
Statewide Land Trusts and other conservation organizations that own land or interests in land for conservation purposes, or help to facilitate land conservation transactions:
- Audubon Connecticut - Connecticut Chapter of the National Audubon Society with a mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.
- Connecticut Audubon Society - nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve Connecticut's environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state's bird populations and their habitats.
- Connecticut Farmland Trust - nonprofit organization dedicated to permanently protecting farmland throughout Connecticut.
- Connecticut Forest and Park Association - nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving working forests, agricultural land and the CT Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System.
- Dogwood Park Association
- Friends of Oswegatchie Nature Preserve
- Friends of the Shetucket River Valley
- Hartford Audubon Society
- Highstead Foundation
- Housatonic Valley Association - nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting land and water in the Housatonic River Valley (CT, MA, NY).
- Mattabeseck Audubon Society
- The Nature Conservancy - international nonprofit land conservation organization whose Connecticut Chapter manages various programs and preserves throughout the state.
- Regional Water Authority
- Sleeping Giant Park Association
- The Trust for Public Land - national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for parks, community gardens, historic sites and natural areas.