Each year, our Fund the Land Appeal celebrates leadership in preserving nature in our community. Our 2020 appeal honored the memory of Danbury conservationists, Philip and Monique Weidel. In 2021, we honor the decades of land and trail stewardship by our Land Management Chair, Mike Cunningham, and his team. Mike (shown hiking here) moved to Danbury in 1974. After years of running, hiking and exploring our local trails, he joined the Land Trust of Danbury, was invited to join its board, and has served on it for about 10 years in various roles.
Mike served on the team that completed the merger of the Danbury and New Fairfield Land Trusts to form CVRLT, and currently chairs our Land Management (LM) Committee. The LM team maintains and monitors CVRLT’s properties. They clear and blaze trails, clean up storm damage, beautify and protect preserves from invasive species, and work with our local Boy Scouts to build informational kiosks. Our thanks to Mike and LM team members Rich Hlavenka, Shane Cosentino, Gary Mummert, David Campbell, and Cheryl Russ for all they do! We are very grateful!
Mike is also Chairman of the Ives Trail & Greenway Regional Association, which built and now maintains the 20-mile-long Ives Trail that begins in Ridgefield, runs through Danbury and Bethel, and ends in Redding. The Association worked with town officials, conservation commissions, and land trusts to grow from a concept in 2002, to a 20-mile trail linking four towns in 2018.
The Ives Trail passes through five CVRLT preserves, including Weidel Preserve (shown here being enjoyed by our LM team member, David Campbell). Our thanks to Mike and the Association for a trail offering access to our preserves, ponds, mountains, views, and our connection to nature!
Support the stewardship of our preserves with your Fund the Land gift! Your support makes all our work possible. We are a 501(c)(3) organization so all donations are tax deductible, and we acknowledge leadership gifts on our website, too! Donate now at: https://candlewoodvalleyrlt.org/donate-now.