welcome to stonington land trust
Preservation for Generations
Stonington Land Trust seeks to protect the town's natural resources including its farms, woodlands, water resources, marshlands, swamps, beaches, plant and animal life. We also strive to preserve the unique historic and scenic character of Stonington represented by our beautiful stone walls and other historic structures.
We're happy that you've found us and look forward to connecting further. Find out about the many ways you can become involved in SLT on our Membership & Volunteering pages. We invite you to submit any questions that you may have about SLT on our Contact page.
Join us in the rewarding endeavor of preserving the natural beauty and resources of Stonington.
More About Our Mission
A Town Defined by Rivers
The Town of Stonington contains a land area of 42.7 square miles, including over seven miles of frontage on Fisher's Island Sound. It is the southeasternmost town in Connecticut. The westernmost portions of the town are known as Mystic and Old Mystic. A peninsula in the center of the shoreline contains the Borough of Stonington, a quasi-separate legal entity and the nearby village of Wequetequock. The Village of Pawcatuck is located in the eastern part of the town, at the CT/RI state line, and contains the neighborhoods of Lower Pawcatuck, Clarks Village, Downerville and Stillmanville. The less densely settled Uplands are located along the northern edge of town.
Rivers define the town, forming its east and west borders. The tidal Pawcatuck River is shared with the town of Westerly, RI in the east, and flows 8 miles south to Little Narragansett Bay. The tidal Mystic River and Whitford Brook form the border to the west, along the towns of Groton and Ledyard.
Three main streambelt systems, listed from west to east, flow north to south in town. The east and west branches of Copps Brook feeds the Palmer and Mystic Reservoirs before flowing into Quiambog Cove. Stony Brook flows south from the Uplands through Silvias and Vargas Ponds to Stonington Harbor. Wheeler Brook in the Uplands flows east to Anguilla Brook. Anguilla Brook runs south through Anguilla Plains to Wequetequock or Chesebrough Pond and then flows over a 17th Century mill dam to Wequetequock Cove and Little Narragansett Bay.
Donahue or Oxecoset Brook also flows into the marshes of western Wequetequock Cove. Pequotsepos Brook runs from the northern hills of Mystic into Williams Cove at Mystic Harbor. The rivers all suffer from differing degrees of man-made restrictions such as dams, railroad tracks, Route 1, and Barn Island impoundments which restrict tidal flows into the upper bays and lead to conditions of poor water quality. Work is underway to remove some of these restrictions or to retrofit them with fish ladders.
The town has much perceived or undedicated open space, especially open fields or farmland, and work is underway to acquire their development rights - or the properties outright - so as to preserve the historic and scenic landscapes which are important both to wildlife and for our future food security.
our history & plan
The Stonington Land Trust (SLT) seeks to preserve open space in the town of Stonington, Connecticut. We are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which was incorporated in 2007. As of December 30, 2016, we have preserved a combined 495.40-acres of land in the Anguilla Brook and Pawcatuck River watersheds.
Land Acquisitions to Date
Anguilla-Grande Preserve is a 51.64-acre parcel, which includes 33.1-acres on North Anguilla Road, given to us by the Town of Stonington, and 18.54-adjacent-acres, which we purchased from the estate of Carl Grande. These two parcels, together, are called the Anguilla-Grande Preserve.
Fusina Conservation Easement is a 148.3-acre easement, which is located on the Fusina property. This parcel of preserved land runs from Pequot Trail to Route 1. The easement was donated to the Land Trust by the Fusina family.
Grandview Preserve, located on Grandview Farm Drive, is a 27.93-acre, open space parcel, which was created as part of the Grandview Farm subdivision. This preserve is home to beautiful wildflowers; there are two ponds, a small stream and stone walls. This land was donated by the Pequot Development Associates.
Thomas Miner Nature Preserve & Wildlife Sanctuary is 82.61-acres of farm and forest land, which is completely surrounded by stone walls, with interior walls, as well. The woodlands shelter vernal pools, while the hay fields have proved to be very productive nesting sites for bobolinks and other ground-nesting birds. A 4-year long New England Cottontail habitat restoration project is in progress, on this preserve. It is located in the uplands of Stonington, on Taugwonk Road.
Meadow Woods Preserve, located on Meadow Road, is 19.81-acres of primarily wooded land with stone walls, a small pond and 2-acres of land, which are farmed by Eugene & Nancy Bessette, of Shady Lane Farm. This land was donated by the Richard C. Panciera Charitable Remainder Trust II.
Osbrook Preserve is a 3.19-acre parcel of land on Osbrook Point Road, which has important historical significance. The land was formerly owned by Edward S. Moore, Marion Gilbert’s father. The land was donated by Marion Gilbert & family.
Ricker Preserve, is a .81-acre parcel of wooded land, with 180-feet of frontage along Anguilla Brook. It was donated by Judith L. Keith, Robin A. Ricker and Alan Ricker; heirs of the Gladys P. Ricker estate. It is located on Pequot Trail, across from Bill’s Tractor Service. Fishing is allowed, in season, dawn to dusk.
For further details, please click on the name of the preserve.
THE DAVIS FARM, osbrook point easements
The Davis Farm, Osbrook Point Conservation Easements are comprised of 46-acres of historically significant land, along the Lower Pawcatuck River. This land has played an important role in both Colonial and Native American history. These parcels have been protected in perpetuity, by the generous donors, who wholeheartedly supported the Land Trust’s Davis Farm Campaign. We sincerely thank you for your support. We could not have done it without YOU!
THE STONINGTON LAND TRUST CLOSES ON OSBROOK POINT PROPERTY SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
The Stonington Land Trust and the Trustees of the John Whitman Davis Trust are pleased to announce the closing on two separate conservation easements, on the Osbrook Point section, of the Davis Farm. This historically significant property is part of the Stanton-Davis Farm, which has been in continuous operation by the same family, since 1654. This, approximately 48-acre, portion of the farm is located along the Pawcatuck River estuary, and boasts more than six-tenths of a mile of saltwater river frontage.
Both Larry Davis and his father ‘Whit’ Davis, who passed away a few months prior to this closing, have dedicated their lives to farming and preserving this historic property. The Stonington Land Trust greatly appreciates being the organization, chosen by The John Whitman Davis Trustees, to be the one to hold the conservation easements, on this treasured property.
Larry Davis, John Whitman Davis Trustee comments, “We are grateful to the Stonington Land Trust for their diligent effort and commitment to bringing this project to a successful conclusion.”
The Stonington Land Trust & The John Whitman Davis Trust
September 15, 2016
CLOSING ON GREENHAVEN ROAD PROPERTY COMPLETES HISTORIC PRESERVATION GOAL december 30, 2016
The, Stonington Land Trust’s, Stanton-Davis Farm Preservation Project has come to a successful conclusion. It has been an exciting and challenging project! We would like to express our deep appreciation to each and every one of our partners, supporters and donors. Because of your support, we have successfully closed on all 4 conservation easements; two on the Osbrook Point section of the farm and two easements up on the Greenhaven Road section.
Because of your generosity, we have been able to preserve, for all generations to come, the last remaining unprotected acreage of this historic, 1654 farm. During the process we have met many new folks, who have become friends. It has been a pleasure to come to know those who share a love of history and preservation, the way we do.
Also, we thank our late friend, ‘Whit’ Davis, and his son Larry for their lifelong, steadfast commitment to preservation and to farming. The Stonington Land Trust greatly appreciates being the organization chosen, by the John Whitman Davis Trustees, to be the one to hold these treasured conservation easements.
The Osbrook Point conservation easements, 46-acres, closed on September 15, 2016. The Greenhaven Road easements, 115.74-acres, followed on December 30, 2016.
Thank You! We could not have done it without all of you!