Connecticut has one of the highest concentration of land trusts in the United States. It is a dual-edged distinction. This high concentration is a testament to the dedication of many men and woman who helped found the land trust movement and dedicated considerable time to protecting our vital resources. This commitment is as strong as ever with the many volunteers who continue the legacy.
It is also exceedingly difficult. The increase in regulations, the need for greater stewardship and oversight of the properties that have been saved and the imperative to be sure that the lands protected in perpetuity will indeed be passed on to the next generation all contribute to putting increased pressure on land trusts. Many are seeking creative solutions. The Land Trust of Danbury is among them.
Recently, The Land Trust of Danbury convened a coalition of area land trusts to discuss what options there might be in working together, particularly in the area of shared services. The discussion led to an opportunity to participate in the LTA ‘Circuit Rider Program’ funded by CLCC (Connecticut Land Conservation Council) and the LTA (Land Trust Alliance) through the generosity of a donor committed to working with area land trusts. It is an initiative that helps land trusts assess their capacity and strengthens them as model land trusts.
According to Kevin Case, Northeast Director of the Land Trust Alliance:
“The Circuit Rider program allows land trusts an opportunity to minimize the risks of holding land and stewarding easements while maximizing the rewards of being the face and voice for land conservation in the community.”
The towns involved are Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Ridgefield. It is the first of what is hoped to be other initiatives as they continue to work together