Conference 2018 Wrap-Up

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2018 Our Biggest and Best Yet!

Approximately 500 conservationists from across Connecticut and beyond joined us at Wesleyan University for the 2018 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference.

These attendees represented more than 83 land trusts, more than 20 conservation commissions, and at least 45 other conservation organizations on both the state and national level.

The Welcome Address and Call to Action

CLCC Executive Director Amy B. Paterson kicked off the day with a short welcome address and call to action.  An excerpt is as follows:

…of course, CLCC would…not be where we are today without all of you. Whether together at one of your board meetings, or a Regional Summit, or an Advancement Initiative roundtable, or a lobby day, or a celebration of a new preserve, I am always amazed at your energy, passion, and tireless dedication to strengthening your organization and its conservation work, and connecting more people to the land.

As I have said many times, but can never say enough: It is your desire to succeed that has made CLCC successful. It is truly an honor for us at CLCC to work with you each and every day.

Excellence in Conservation Awards Ceremony

The CLCC Excellence in Conservation Awards are presented annually at the Conference, recognizing organizations and individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the ongoing success of land conservation in our state.

Full descriptions of all award recipients may be found here »

Presented by the Chair of CLCC’s Board of Directors, Catherine Rawson (Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust), the 2018 CLCC Excellence in Conservation Organization Award went to the Connecticut Forest & Park Association for their statewide leadership in land protection and management, environmental education, and public policy since its establishment in 1895. Also a land trust, CFPA protects over 2,000 acres of land across the state, conserving working forests and corridors along the 825-mile Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. Serving as CLCC’s fiscal sponsor from 2010 – 2017, CFPA generously provided our organization with structure, support, expertise and guidance, and has been an essential partner in CLCC’s path to independence as a 501(c)(3).

Following the organizational award presentations, two individuals were honored with the Katchen Coley Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. Named in honor and memory of longtime CLCC Steering Committee member Katchen Coley (1924-2013), the 2018 award was presented to Margery Josephson for her extensive dedication to various conservation organizations including serving as President of the Naromi Land Trust and to Gail Sangree for her decades of conservation work with the Watertown Land Trust.

The awards ceremony wrapped up with presentation of the Land Conservation Lifetime Achievement Award to Margaret Miner. Margaret Miner is Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of CT, Co-chair of the CT Water Planning Council Advisory Group, a member of the State Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board, and a former Executive Director of the Roxbury Land Trust. While Margaret’s reputation as the go-to advocate for “all things water” precedes her, she has also worked tirelessly and persistently to protect public lands. As Margaret always says, ““There is no better protection for the state’s waters than natural open space adjacent to and around a water body. “

Read more about our outstanding 2018 award winners here »

The Keynote Address

Conservation, Meet Development: The Role of Land Protection in Building Resilient Communities

The Chair of CLCC’s Board of Directors, Catherine Rawson, had the distinct pleasure of introducing David Vallee as the 2018 keynote speaker. David is Hydrologist-in-Charge of the NOAA/NWS/Northeast River Forecast Center.

Mr. Vallee’s compelling address discussed the role that land trusts can play in supporting community vitality.

…In view of predictive models of climate change, coordinated land use planning is more important now than ever before. And yet, conservation and development are typically discussed in either/or terms, rather than complementary considerations. Land Trusts can play an important role in supporting community vitality, by strategically preserving and utilizing land it in a way that enhances water storage during high flow events, while also serving to improve local habitats, maintain farmland and extend recreational opportunities throughout the year…

He challenged us to look for opportunities for our organizations to engage in land use planning in innovative ways. Mr. Vallee’s talk was followed by a Q&A with members of our audience.

Workshops & Roundtables

The 2018 Conference curriculum featured 52 workshops, lead by over 80 faculty members, comprised of national and state experts, federal and state officials, and Connecticut land trust volunteers and staff.

Detailed descriptions of each of the workshops and faculty bios may be found in the Conference program here »

There were also five legislators from the Connecticut General Assembly that joined us. We were so honored to have them join us and thank them for their leadership in protecting and defending our environment.

Thank you 2018 Conference Sponsors

We strive to keep the event as affordable as possible and we could not do it without the strong support of our Sponsors.  A huge thanks to all of our sponsors, including our 2018 Conference Patron, Eversource Energy, whose generosity enabled us to provide scholarships to seven students.

Thirty-five land trusts joined us this year as sponsors, including leadership level support from Aspetuck Land Trust, Middlesex Land Trust, and Winchester Land Trust.

Additional leadership support was provided by Accounts PlusAquarion Water CompanyAudubon ConnecticutCommunity Foundation of Eastern ConnecticutConnecticut Forest & Park AssociationConservation Consulting GroupCooper, Whitney, & Francois Attorneys at LawDanosky & AssociatesFarm Credit EastGEI Consultants, Inc.Housatonic Valley Association/Litchfield Hills Greenprint CollaborativeManes Consulting, LLCSolid Ground ConsultingThe Conservation Fund, Land Conservation Loan ProgramThe Nature Conservancy; and The Trust for Public Land.

Please see a full list of our 2018 Sponsors here »

Conference Planning Committee and Volunteers

Thank you to members of our outstanding volunteer Conference Planning Committee, many of whom also served as event day volunteers:  David Brown, Margot Burns, Drew Iacovazzi, Connie Manes, Elisabeth Moore, Shirley Nichols, Catherine Rawson, Christopher Shephard, Sarah Shrewsbury, Chuck Toal, and Humphrey Tyler.

Special thanks goes to Kate Frank, Cristina Gastador Hayden, John Mark, Patty Meglio for print materials and web design; Terri Peters for additional administrative support; and David Brown for his amazing “whatever you need – whatever it takes – I’m here to help” support throughout the day. Program cover photograph courtesy of Stan Malcolm Photo. Tech production by David Emond.

Additional volunteers who pitched in to make the day a success included Hunter Brawley, Jeffrey Cameron, Sarah Case, Emma Ziff, Allison Raymond, Madisyn Sadecki, Taylor Manning, Ann Courcy, Tom Finnegan, John Mark, Rick Newton, Mike Santese, Bob Simmons, and Nancy P. Tyler.

2018 Conference Photos

Photos taken from the 2018 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference can be found on our Facebook page. Feel free to tag yourselves in any photos!

The 2018 Conference was a great day! Thanks so much for being a part of it all!

OUR NEXT: Connecticut Land Conservation Conference

We're planning our next conference and we value your input.

Please contact CLCC Executive Director Amy B. Paterson at or at (860) 614-8537, or Operations Manager Cristina Hayden at, if you have ideas for 2021 and/or would like to be part of our 2021 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference Planning Committee.

Previous Conferences

Interested in reading about past conferences? Check out past years' conference wrap-ups…