Your Branford Land Trust

As Seen in BRANFORD NEIGHBORS Magazine, January 2022

“I want to say thanks to the Branford Land Trust. Over the last year, my family has taken much joy in exploring Land Trust properties. We hiked almost daily, got lost (literally) at Van Wie Preserve, and kayaked frequently to Umbrella Island. What you all have worked and continue to work for gave us a welcome distraction during this crazy year, and has made us love our town even more.”

This note from one of our neighbors highlights the essence of the Branford Land Trust (BLT), established in 1967 to protect Branford’s open space and natural resources.

You know the name, and you’ve probably seen the familiar blue-and-green striped BLT signs across town. But here are some things you might not know…

The BLT is run entirely by volunteers and supported by donations and membership dues. It manages and protects more than 1,000 acres and holds conservation easements on another 408 acres in Branford. That’s almost 1,500 acres of:

• Upland Forest, with swamps, floodplains, vernal pools, and six freshwater ponds
• Farmland and Old Field
• Coastal Areas including tidal marsh and upland
• Rocks & Reefs (and a small patch of shellfish bed in the Thimbles!)

About 24 acres of its farmland and fields are mowed for hay by Page’s Dairy Farm. The remaining areas are regularly maintained as “old field” habitat by BLT volunteers.

As a matter of fact, the BLT manages and maintains ONE DOZEN NATURE PRESERVES and 30+ MILES OF HIKING TRAILS.

You can find trail maps for many of these on the BLT website including: Farm River Preserve, Short Beach Preserve, Todds Hill, Lucy Hammer Woodlands, Mill Creek Marsh, Pisgah Brook Watershed Preserve, Bontatibus Preserve, Tidal Branford River Preserve, Foote-Sybil Creek Preserve, Goss-Trolley Trail-Vedder, Van Wie-Red Hill Preserve, Hoadley Creek Preserve, and the Jarvis Creek Preserve.

(Some of these are protected by a web of overlapping owners including the Town of Branford.)

While much of the BLT’s community outreach — guided walks, lecture series, environmental day camp, Branford Public School programs — has been on hold during the pandemic, it remains committed to its mission to preserve open space in Branford, and to promote our community’s appreciation of Branford’s diverse natural features.

Help support our efforts, become a member today!