NewsThank you for your continued support of Roxbury Land Trust. Your time and contributions help us fulfill our mission to conserve Roxbury’s open space, farms, waterways, and heritage while offering passive recreational access and environmental education. In 2018, we:
- Welcomed the community including walkers, birders, hikers, runners, and yoga enthusiasts to our trails.
- Invested in our farms by implementing a soil improvement initiative including lime and fertilizer research and received the Working Lands Alliance 2018 Pathfinder Award for outstanding achievement in the advancement of farmland preservation. (see below)
- Engaged elementary and high school students from area schools in programs celebrating Roxbury’s environment and history.
- Offered free programs including "The Sunset Celebration" Concert at the Gavel Family Preserve, an Open House at our Tophet Road Schoolhouse, and Mine Hill Geology Talk and Field Trip.
- Improved signage and access to our Preserves.
- Maintained and improved Volunteers’ Bridge, Preserve trails, and picnic areas, including working with Taft School volunteers to remove invasive plants.
- Like us on our Facebook page and Instagram account.
RLT Wins Working Lands Alliance Award
RLT directors, farmers and staff at Pathfinder Award presentation by Working Lands Alliance
The Roxbury Land Trust received the 2018 Working Lands Alliance's Outstanding Organization Pathfinder Award on November 14th, 2018 at the State Capitol. Recognized for its accomplishment in advancing farmland preservation in the State of Connecticut, the Land Trust recently developed, under the supervision of the Farm Management Committee and Property and Land Manager James Curren, a lime management program to improve the soil quality on its agricultural lands. The mission of WLA's Pathfinder Program is to increase the productivity of the soil now and for future generations of farmers.
The Roxbury Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation and sustainability of its working farmlands. Throughout its history the land trust has actively sought working farmland properties for preservation.
The Trust currently leases its tillable agricultural lands to several local farmers. The total tillable acreage owned by the Land Trust adds up to approximately 240 acres with an additional 120 acres of tillable acreage protected by a conservation easement. Leases are written to ensure the farmers use sustainable farming practices on the land. Farmers pasture animals, grow hay, corn, pumpkins and variety of vegetables on the properties.
In 2017, the Farm Management Committee developed a lime management program to improve the soil for agriculture. This program was intended to increase the productivity of the soil now and for future generations of farmers. In December 2017, the Land Trust applied more than 300 tons of lime to its agricultural fields through the program to help neutralize soil pH. Farmers were encouraged by the results and reported higher yields in 2018 over previous years due to the lime application.
I. Peter Rosow (1937-2018)
With deep sadness, the Board of Directors reports the death on March 5, 2018 of fellow director I. Peter Rosow of New York City, Woodbury, CT and Palm Beach, FL. Peter died peacefully at home in New York. He was a retired advertising executive and accomplished equestrian.
Serving on the Development and Executive Committees of the land trust for a number of years, Peter was a generous and thoughtful supporter. His loving family characterized him as "smart, funny, warm, generous, optimistic and full of grace. And handsome. A joy to be with and to love. Miraculous six-year survivor of pancreatic cancer; resilient and brave to the end."
David F. Beglan (1936-2017)
With deep sadness, Roxbury Land Trust reports the death of David F. Beglan.
David was born in Flushing, NY on July 26, 1936 and died unexpectedly at age 81 on October 30, 2017.
David was a lifelong electrician, running a successful business in Roxbury for well over 50 years. There is scarcely a house in the Roxbury area that did not have a Roxbury Electric sticker on their electrical panel at one time or another.
David was also instrumental to the formation of the Roxbury Land Trust, serving on the board of directors as well as president of that organization. He worked tirelessly to obtain the funding needed for RLT to obtain the Mine Hill Preserve and many other now-conserved Roxbury properties. After his "retirement", he remained active as the RLT Historian and gave his time educating new directors and the public about the history of Mine Hill.
Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry reported to the Beglan family that, "David did more for the Town of Roxbury than most people would know. He loved to travel and could tell enough historical stories to fill a book or three. He served on many Roxbury boards and commissions, including Board of Finance, Zoning Commission, Planning Commission and Civilian Defense."
David leaves behind his loving companion of many years, Mary Conseur. He also leaves three children: David J. Beglan of Jacksonville, FL, Susan (Fenner) Brownell of Happy Valley, OR, and Janet (Daniel) Sassin of Sarasota, FL. David had nine grandchildren as well as three great-grandchildren in Oregon and was predeceased by his wife Elaine (Gancoss) Beglan.
In David's honor, Roxbury Land Trust created the Dave Beglan Memorial Walk at Mine Hill, a walk at the Mine Hill Preserve which David was instrumental in acquiring for preservation.
-- Excerpted from the Newstimes.com obituary
Martha Denniston Baldwin (1935-2017)
With profound sadness, the board and staff of Roxbury Land Trust reported the death on September 17, 2017 of cherished colleague, director, and dear friend, Martha Baldwin.
Graduating from Vassar in 1957, Martha lived in New York City and Roxbury, CT. She worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Christie's and later volunteered at the Frick Museum. In 1962, she married Henry deForest (Harry) Baldwin and their marriage lasted until he passed away in 1997.
In 1969 the couple purchased a home in Roxbury so that their young family could enjoy weekends in the country. Ever concerned for the preservation of the rural character of the area, Harry, with Martha at his side, was one of the founders of the Roxbury Land Trust. The young couple, their sons, and later the sons' wives and children gathered here in the Litchfield Hills for vacations and holidays, as they have continued to do for decades.
In 2001, as a tribute to this dedicated and generous family, the Roxbury Land Trust acquired a 60-acre expanse of unspoiled woodlands and wetlands along Good Hill Road/Route 317 which would become The Baldwin Preserve.
Martha is survived by her two sons and their wives, Sherman and Alice of Darien, CT, and Alexander and Molly of Bethesda, MD, her two brothers and her five grandchildren. Martha was a warm and generous person and a dedicated environmental advocate at Roxbury Land Trust. She will be sorely missed.
Barbara Bradbury-Pape Has Joined RLT as Development Director
The Roxbury Land Trust has appointed Barbara Bradbury-Pape as the organization's new Director of Development. Bradbury-Pape, a 20-year Litchfield County resident, assumed her responsibilities on August 31, following the retirement of Susan Payne, who served most recently as the Director of Development.
The former Site Director of Bethlehem's Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bradbury-Pape possesses a rich history of working in non-profits, including The National Trust for Historic Properties and The USS Constitution Museum. Additionally, her non-profit knowledge is furthered through her current work as a Trustee of The New Britain Museum of American Art and The Connecticut Community Foundation and previous board work with Litchfield Historical Society and Flanders Nature Center.
Bradbury-Pape joins Ann Astarita, Executive Director of the Roxbury Land Trust, and James Curren, Land and Property Manager, in promoting the mission of the organization, which is to preserve Roxbury's heritage, conserve open space, farms and waterways while offering environmental education and public access to its properties. Specifically, Bradbury-Pape will be responsible for grant writing, donor relations and fundraising.
"I am happy to join the Roxbury Land Trust, an impressive non-profit with a long-standing reputation for quality programs and management. I look forward to working with the staff, board, volunteers and Roxbury residents to further the goals of the organization through the preservation of open space, which is a great benefit to many."
Established in 1970, the Roxbury Land Trust oversees more than 3,700 acres in its preserve system with 32 preserves, active farms, and 30 miles of hiking trails. For more information, please contact the organization at 860.350.4148 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Payne Has RetiredOn June 1, 2017 Susan Payne, who served the Roxbury Land Trust for 15 years as development director and executive director, retired.
RLT wishes Susan, who was instrumental in RLT’s accreditation and in the acquisition of our new home at 6 Mine Hill Road, every best wish as she focuses on grandparenting, volunteer commitments, and artistic pursuits.
Pictured at right: Joe Godfrey, Brian Duda, Barbara Ungeheuer, Susan Payne, Barbara Bradbury-Pape, and John Payne.
RLT names Ann Astarita Executive DirectorThe Roxbury Land Trust is pleased to announce Ann Astarita has been named Executive Director effective February 1, 2017. Ann has over 25 years of environmental experience working as an environmental scientist and consultant, nature center outreach coordinator, conservation and wetlands enforcement officer, and environmental law paralegal. She looks forward to expanding RLT’s school programs and working with local non-profits on environmental programs and projects.
Left: Attendees of RLT’s "Geology of Mine Hill" lecture in September enjoyed a special, guided field trip to the Mine Hill Quarry with instructor John Smoliga and RLT director Marc Olivieri. Right: Volunteers Bridge has been repaired. Photo by Michael Audette.
Connecting Our Past to Our Future Campaign is OngoingIn November 2015, Roxbury Land Trust acquired the historic building at 6 Mine Hill Road that once housed a general store and post office. The building's renovation was completed in 2016, and now serves as the Land Trust headquarters. It stands at the gateway to the 360-acre Mine Hill Preserve, a National Historic Landmark.
We appeal to you to help us raise $275,000 to recover part of the cost of restoration. For more information, please visit the campaign page.
Please see our timeline for past highlights.
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