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Rivers & Coastal

A Unique And Mighty Regional Ecosystem

Photo: Old Saybrook Land Trust

Lower Connecticut River Land Trust Small Stewardship Grant (2023)

The Lower Connecticut River Land Trust, due to the generosity of GSB (Guilford Savings Bank), is offering a small grant opportunity to help fund stewardship related projects on our member and Land Trust Exchange member land trusts’ and community properties that are protected in perpetuity, accessible to the public, and have an existing management plan.

Awarded $750.00 to East Haddam Land Trust 
Forest Management for Ayers Preserve

Awarded $750.00 to The Town of Essex 
Tree Removal over Red Trail at Bushy Hill Preserve


The Land Trust’s Alliance, Standards and Practices have been adopted as the LCRLT guiding principles.



Land Trusts of the Lower Connecticut River Valley offer plenty of spaces to relax, exercise, and connect with nature.



Contribute your skills and interests to further conservation, environmental education, and help care for beautiful preserved properties.



Acquisition of land for conservation purposes is critical to protect our River Valley's great natural places.

The Mission of the Lower Connecticut River Land Trust is to conserve, study, steward, and promote the unique values and scientific significance, natural and working lands, and historic, ecologic, cultural, and scenic resources of the communities of the lower Connecticut River Valley Region.

Events and Information Sessions

Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC)

In case you missed it! The March 25, 2023 Annual Meeting held at Wesleyan University.

Click Here for More Info and presentations.

Wildlands, Woodlands, Farmlands, and Communities

Regional Conservation Partnership Network Gathering - 14th Annual,

Join Other RCP's from across New England and NY

November 9, 2023, UMass, Amherst

No cost to attend -

Click Here for More Info 

East Haddam Land Trust Completes Stewardship Grant

These photographs show work at the Ayers Preserve in East Haddam where, using the funds provided by LCLRT and Guilford Savings Bank, East Haddam Land Trust successfully caged 32 young oak saplings to protect them from deer browse and to promote their future growth. This project was completed July 21, 2023.  

The 6- acre Ayers Preserve is located on the banks of the 8 Mile River, in East Haddam, about .75 miles north of Route 82, on Hopyard road. It has 300' of frontage on the 8 Mile River.

The oaks were caged in large clearings that 5 volunteers from the land trust had created on the site of an old Christmas tree farm where the remaining spruce trees, some close to 100 feet tall, had been succumbing to pests and disease.  The promotion of native oak at this site will have significant environmental benefits for both climate resilience, native wildlife, and the 8 Mile River watershed. 


EHLT is grateful for the grant funding.

News & Announcements

Governor Lamont Announces $7.5 Million in State Grants To Preserve 1,013 Acres of Open Space and Renew Green Spaces in Urban Areas


3 of the Region's Land Trusts Awarded: 

Town: East Haddam
Project Name: The Saunders Property
Sponsor: East Haddam Land Trust
Grant: $198,250
Total Area: 68.88 acres

Town: East Hampton and Portland
Project Name: Meshomasic’s Rattlesnake Brook Preserve
Sponsor: Middlesex Land Trust, Inc.
Grant: $364,000
Total Area: 147.4 acres

Town: Killingworth
Project Name: Duffy/Greer Property
Sponsor: Killingworth Land Conservation Trust
Grant: $78,000
Total Area: 24 acres

Melvin Woody Lower Connecticut River Conservation Award

As the most ardent supporter of the Land Trust Exchange (LTE) since its inception and the guiding voice to the transformation and growth of the LCRLT from a conservation tool of the Lower Connecticut River Gateway Conservation Zone to a broader geography that encompasses the 17 communities of the RiverCOG region the annual award is named in Melvin Woody’s honor. Melvin has been a member of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission since 1973 and served as its Chair for many years. The Commission is responsible for protecting over 1,ooo acres within the Gateway Conservation Zone and supported many environmental studies and restoration projects.

2023 Recipient | Torrance Downes

Torrance dedicated his career to promoting and protecting the beauty, health and significance of the LCRR through his work with CT DEEP, the Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments (RiverCOG) and other affiliations. His efforts have resulted in the preservation of many acres of open space and will continue to do so through plans and regulations that he has helped to develop. Torrance's many roles have directly benefited Old Saybrook.

Torrance has always made himself available to lend his expertise to his community and has been involved in countless efforts to preserve and enhance the natural and historic qualities of not just Old Saybrook but the greater LCRR. As a long-time resident who raised his family in Old Saybrook, Torrance and the Downes crew have volunteered in many community service projects. We are grateful for his many contributions.

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