“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Preserving this property in perpetuity provides another layer of protection to our pristine wetlands and will counter fragmentation and sensitive habitat loss,” said Hartland Land Trust President Fred Jones about the land trust’s newest acquisition.
On December 15, 2020, Hartland Land Trust closed on a 52-acre parcel purchased with funds awarded through the Audubon CT In Lieu Fee (ILF) Program. This property containing extensive forest wetlands is bisected by an upper perennial watercourse that drains into the West Branch of the Upper Farmington National Wild & Scenic River. This acquisition, combined with a bordering 65-acre parcel purchased through a prior ILF grant, now forms what will be known as “The Mill District Nature Preserve”. Furthermore, also adjoining the new preserve are HLT’s Bassett-Kell Preserve, Audubon Connecticut’s Pasquariello Wildlife Sanctuary and a portion of the upper Tunxis State Forest block. President Fred Jones says “The response from the community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Preserving this property in perpetuity provides another layer of protection to our pristine wetlands and will counter fragmentation and sensitive habitat loss.”
HLT engaged the services of field biologist Harry White to develop the Conservation Management Plan for the preserve. This comprehensive plan will be the blueprint for the stewardship of the property going forward.
The law firm of Robinson & Cole provided pro bono legal services for this acquisition. Additional financial support was provided through the Farmington River Coordinating Committee’s (FRCC) land protection grant program. HLT thanks Robinson & Cole and FRCC for their continued support of HLT’s conservation efforts.
Our board would like to acknowledge past HLT president and former Hartland resident Mark Ziarnik whose vision, skillful proposal writing and guidance through the ILF acquisition process enabled this project to come to fruition.