Perambulating Zielinski Field

A person driving north on Brushy Plain Road might be forgiven for thinking that it’s just a long stretch of suburbia, with condominiums, houses, apartment buildings, a school and a small shopping plaza lining both sides of the road. Even Veterans Park seems more in keeping with a suburban landscape than with the farms that covered the hills before the building boom of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s transformed Branford into what we see today.

But, tucked behind an old fence on the west side of the road between Veterans Park and the condos, there remains a small piece of Branford’s agricultural past, the Zielinski Farm. Once one of several pig farms in town, it now grows hay that is mowed and used by the Page family at their dairy farm in North Branford. Nearly the entire property is prime or important farmland soils, with two to three acres that have high potential for vegetable farming.

In 2014, June Zielinski Emielita left this 13.5-acre farm to the Branford Land Trust to be kept as open space. Ongoing efforts by the BLT’s Property Management and Trails Committees maintain the field for haying and wildlife habitat.

(Text by Bill Horne and Jen Payne. Photos by Jen Payne and Matt Reed, March 2019.)