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Roxbury Land Trust Acquires Gateway to Historic Mine Hill Preserve

In November the Roxbury Land Trust acquired an historic building at the gateway to its 360-acre Mine Hill Preserve, a National Historic Landmark.

Built in the late 1800s, this historic building was once a general store and post office in a bustling boom town called Chalybes that grew up at the base of iron ore mines that employed hundreds of immigrant workers at their short-lived height between 1865 and 1872. It is part of a complex of historic buildings at Roxbury Station just off Route 67 that were recently acquired by Washington resident Elliott Davis and will be restored and transformed into the Mine Hill Distillery to make craft spirits.

"The Roxbury Land Trust is very excited about continuing the historic preservation of this area of Roxbury, securing the gateway to our Mine Hill Preserve and, pending review by the Zoning Commission, moving our offices here." said Brian Duda, the President of the Board of Directors. "We're also helping to preserve Roxbury's heritage, which is an important part of our mission," he continued. "This will be the entrance to Mine Hill Preserve , which is one of the true gems in our network of preserves and really where the Roxbury Land Trust got its start in raising funds to preserve the town's open space and natural resources."

Highlights from 2015

  • RLT thanked Matt Root and Steven Schinke for their service as directors, and welcomed Julie Steers and Michael Fleisher to the Board of Directors.

  • Booth Free School Grade 5 watering and planting native plants to stabilize the stream bed of Jack’s Brook on the Tierney Preserve. This was a project of Trout Unlimited with a grant from CT DEEP. More grades from Booth recently explored RLT's preserves, and they sent this neat thank you.
  • Roxbury Land Trust is applying for accreditation by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, the gold standard for the operation of a land trust. Just 13 land trusts in Connecticut are accredited.

    Highlights from 2014

  • In February 2014 the Painter Hill Neighborhood responded quickly and generously to a challenge to preserve in perpetuity 120 acres of pristine open upland and forest called the Greenbelt Expansion Project. This project is an uninterrupted greenbelt of 720 acres stretching from Painter Hill Road at the north to Grassy Hill Road at the south of the airstrip at Good Hill Farm. Rebecca Miller offered to donate 100 acres if RLT purchased a contiguous parcel of 20 acres. Purchase completed and donation of land made!

       
    Marc Olivieri and Rebecca Miller

    "We were very gratified by the response from the neighbors, who gave so generously to help preserve this beautiful swath of forest and uplands in perpetuity," said Marc Olivieri, Vice President of the Roxbury Land Trust, who served as the chairman of the campaign.

    Ms. Miller, who grew up in Roxbury, continues the legacy of her father, Arthur Miller, in preserving land. In 2005, the estate of Arthur Miller donated 55 acres of land along Tophet Road, which became the Arthur Miller and Inge Morath Miller Preserve in honor of the late playwright and his wife, a well-known photographer. That preserve, which is contiguous to the newly donated land, connects to four other nature preserves that total nearly 720 acres of open space.

    "I am very happy to be able to preserve the land we love so much," said Ms. Miller. "We believe wholeheartedly in the mission of the Roxbury Land Trust, which has done extraordinary work to preserve the rural nature of where we live."

  • A 34-acre conservation easement on Battle Swamp Road was donated in December. It is contiguous to land protected by Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and Steep Rock Association.

  • The Tierney Preserve parking area was washed out by heavy spring rains and was reconstructed.

  • In June RLT welcomed John Yarbrough to the Board of Directors and thanked Jim Conway and Richard Frank for their many years of service.

  • Good Hill Farm Preserve was recognized by the State Register of Historic Places as one of 200 important agricultural properties in Connecticut.

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