Landowners invited to join land trusts' Woods Forum

The Aspetuck Land Trust and Wilton Land Conservation Trust are partnering to hold a Woods Forum, a landowner-driven conversation to help Weston and Wilton neighbors learn and talk about their land. The forum will focus on the importance of wild backyards connecting the two towns.

The event, taking place Sunday, April 13, 2-3:30 p.m. at the Weston Public Library, 56 Norfield Road, is the first step to create a larger regional vision to support land stewardship and open space connectivity for people and wildlife in the area.

Invitation cards are being mailed to more than 700 Weston and Wilton residents in the border area.

“The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is enthusiastic to co-host this opportunity for Wilton/Weston neighbors to discuss land issues in an informal setting without speeches and pitches,” said Bruce Beebe, Wilton trust president. “The responses of neighbors are critical to knowing how we as a land trust can help them keep our woodlands, wildlife, and water healthy as well as maintain strong relations between our two preserve networks and neighbors across the town border.”

According to David Brant, executive director of Aspetuck Land Trust, “Aspetuck Land Trust’s 1,009-acre Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area in Easton/Weston and the 1,756-acre Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston owned by the Nature Conservancy, form the green heart of our region. They are the ‘lungs’ of Fairfield County. Our goal is to create more open space connectivity between these open spaces, and west into Wilton, in partnership with the Wilton Land Conservation Trust.”

The corridor connecting the towns of Wilton and Weston has been identified as a “resilient landscape,” according to a recent data analysis from The Nature Conservancy.

A more connected landscape is a more resilient landscape for local wildlife which is under stress from climate change and development. Along with the Aspetuck and Wilton land trusts, which manage more than 2,000 acres of local open space, local landowners have an important role to play in helping to alleviate some of this stress by managing their land for conservation.

Landowner-generated conversation will provide the building blocks for future work and programming between the Aspetuck Land Trust and the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. Questions and ideas are welcome at the Woods Forum.

Pie and coffee will be served to promote a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Both Aspetuck Land Trust and Wilton Land Conservation Trust are members of the Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership (FCRCP), a group of land trusts and conservation commissions in 23 towns in Fairfield County working collaboratively to sustain the region’s fields, forests, water, and wildlife habitat.

The FCRCP previously sponsored a Woods Forum for landowners connecting the towns of Bethel and Redding.