(ROXBURY, Connecticut) – The Roxbury Land Trust has received a donation of 26 acres of land at 203 North Street (Route 199) in Roxbury, it was announced here today. The donor, John Katz, gifted the parcel of land, naming it the Beth Rogers and Jeffrey Katz Preserve in honor of his parents, who are nature and conservation advocates.

The property, initially sold for development, was formerly part of the 132-acre Mundy property, which was subdivided into multiple parcels on both the west and east side of Route 199. The RLT Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of this generous gift due to its strategic location and its significant conservation value.

“Preserving this property helps to protect a critical portion of the Battle Swamp Brook watershed, which is one of the most pristine water sources in the state,” said RLT President John Smoliga. Jamie Curren, RLT’s Land Manager, added, “The permanent protection of the property also helps protect a fragile wetland habitat.”

The new Beth Rogers and Jeffrey Katz Preserve offers important wetland, flora and wildlife habitats. A natural pond sits on the far northern and eastern portion of the parcel—home to several fish species. Vernal pools, essential for amphibian breeding, have been spotted in bedrock depressions on the property, and a healthy hemlock forest void of understory shrubs and invasives is in the Northwest corner of the property.

“This generous land donation was the perfect gift to ring in 2024 as the RLT gears up for a New Year of conserving open space, protecting our waterways, and offering recreation access for all,” noted Annette Bosley-Boyce, RLT’s Executive Director. “It was also an important “win” for Mother Nature in our regional efforts to provide a wilderness corridor, help combat climate change and reverse habitat and species loss.”

Established in 1970, the Roxbury Land Trust preserves roughly 3,800 acres of farmland, woodlands, watercourses, wetlands and open space in Roxbury and neighboring communities. The Roxbury Land Trust maintains 33 preserves with more than 30 miles of hiking trails and three active farms, while offering a wide range of educational programs. RLT, a 501(c)3 organization, relies on donations, grants, member support, and gifts of land to pursue its mission.