Merging our two land trusts together created a stronger and more diverse organization than standing alone. What the Land Trust of Danbury cannot offer, the New Fairfield Land Trust can and vice versa. We have found an important balance between properties that are solely acquired for conservation purposes with limited access and properties that allow patrons to enter freely. We felt that each land trust brought to the table different pieces of the puzzle, that now merged, cohesively fit together. The New Fairfield Land Trust has a number of preserves and trails that offer beautiful scenery and a great hike, while some of the Land Trust of Danbury properties include two farms and acreage that although beautiful, does not offer access to the public.
The Land Trust of Danbury was incorporated in 1971 by a group of concerned residents. It assumed Danbury’s original name, Swampfield, when first incorporated, later changing its name to The Land Trust of Danbury to better reflect its geographic scope. Over the years, TLTOD has preserved approximately 226 acres. In addition, TLTOD has led many educational programs including bird, wildflower and other nature walks catering to urban and suburban populations, various presentations to the public, professionals, and government officials, restoration efforts including invasive species removal, conservation easement stewardship, and more. TLTOD served a predominantly urban population (96% urban), located in Fairfield County. Its fee and easement holdings are located within Danbury, preserving corridors of green space and wildlife havens in an area where little open space is left.
The New Fairfield Land Trust was formed in 1997 to protect and preserve open space in New Fairfield. Since that time they have helped to protect over 290 acres, including 2 conservation easements. NFLT was an all-volunteer, community and town supported land trust which over the years built a strong foundation serving the residents of New Fairfield. Some of the services and programs provided to the community included educational functions for citizens, students and scouts, environmental research, hiking, birding, cross country skiing, bicycling and hosting community events on properties. The NFLT has preserved approximately 290 acres since they first began the land trust, with their “starter” preserve coming as a direct donation from the Town of New Fairfield signifying the trust and grassroots support NFLT had from its town.