Guilford Land Trust Protects 12 Acres on Bluff Head

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The Red eft, juvenile state of the eastern newt, can be seen in the area of the new purchase in the spring.

The Guilford Land Conservation Trust (GLCT) took another step toward preserving Totoket Mountain – the ridge that ends at Bluff Head – with the purchase in October of 12 acres in the northwest corner of Guilford, along the top of the ridge. The parcel had been one of GLCT’s highest priorities for years, as it was one of only a few on the basalt ridge that was privately owned. A section of the blue-blazed New England Trail passes over it, heading west from Bluff Head toward North Branford.

The purchase of the property for $40,000 was made possible by the generous support of GLCT members. GLCT is most grateful to the owner for choosing to sell the land for permanent conservation. The land trust began buying land on the mountain in the 1960s, and has now protected more than 700 acres in the area.

In the 1800s, this newly protected parcel was part of a larger 20-acre piece that likely was used as a “woods lot” for firewood. Historically, this part of the mountain was more connected economically to Northford – less than a quarter-mile away – and Wallingford – less than a mile away. This part of the mountain was also owned by brick companies in New Haven, which used trees to make charcoal for brick production. In the early and mid-1900s, much of the adjoining land was bought by the New Haven Water Company for watershed for North Guilford’s Menunkatuck Reservoir. The land just purchased by the GLCT, however, is outside that watershed – it drains to the west, into North Branford and Durham, so the water company had no need for it, and it has always been privately owned. This parcel, at top of the ridge, is mostly flat, wooded uplands. A corner of the property holds part of a very productive wetland that is filled with frog and salamander eggs in the spring.

Please click here to help contribute to the cost of this acquisition so GLCT is poised and ready for the next opportunity. Thank you for your generous support!

2015 Acquisition — Westwoods North

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We need your support today!

When we were working to preserve the Heart of Westwoods from 2012-2014, we indicated that that parcel was one of several privately owned Westwoods holdings which have been GLCT priorities for decades. We are very pleased to report that GLCT has secured a contract to buy another of these properties, 17.5 acres just north of our last Heart of Westwoods purchase. We’ve had the owners’ permission to maintain trails on this property for decades, so many of you have likely passed across this beautiful area on the White Circle or Red Triangle trails. It is quintessential Westwoods land, rugged, fascinating, and, with your help, protected.

Today we ask you to help us secure its permanent protection and to spread the word about this effort.

Unlike the last purchase, for which GLCT spread the payments out over 3 years, we must make the full $225,000 payment on or before March 27th. We need your generous support today.

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GLCT has been able to protect 3,000 acres in Guilford – including more than 650 in Westwoods – because supporters like you value open space and generously respond to save critical parcels. Thank you for helping to protect this spectacular forest.

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What to see

New Acquisition on the West River

Early Fall Morning

The children of Agnes L. Landon and John H. Landon recently agreed to donate 5.5 acres of salt marsh to the Guilford Land Conservation Trust in memory of their parents, long-time Guilford residents.

The parcel stretches from near Water Street to the West River, just north of the Amtrak rail line. The land trust already owns several properties adjoining or nearby the Landon parcel, and protecting this land will enable the land trust to maintain an undivided area of salt marsh that is vital for wildlife and also allows protection of one of Guilford’s classic vistas.

“This marsh is part of one of Guilford’s iconic views from Water Street to the West River, and we are grateful to the Landon family for their gift,” said Sarah S. Williams, president of the land trust.

The land trust was founded nearly fifty years ago in large part to protect threatened salt marshes, and this gift will help to further its original mission.

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Northwoods Acquisition

The Guilford Land Conservation Trust has completed the acquisition of an important addition to the protected open space in north Guilford known as Northwoods. The addition of 26 acres of forest on the east side of Route 77 includes a scenic ridge line above Rusconi Pond. The Northwoods corridor includes GLCT’s 141-acre Broomstick Ledges property and Bluff Head, as well as the James Valley Preserve, owned by the Town of Guilford with a conservation easement held by GLCT, and the town-owned Braemore Preserve, which connects with Madison’s Rockland Preserve. The new acquisition is just to the south of the New England Scenic Trail, a federally designated trail stretching from Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire to the Long Island Sound in Guilford. The Northwoods area has an outstanding network of hiking trails enjoyed by Guilford residents and visitors to the town. GLCT acquired the new 26-acre property through a public auction for $19,000. Although there are no immediate plans for trails on the property, the land may be accessed for passive recreation from the Broomstick Ledges or using an access easement granted to GLCT by the Quonnipaug Condo Association up the Association’s main driveway.