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Spring Brings Opportunity

Events And Preserve Improvements Are Underway

Spring is almost here, and when nature begins to flourish and grow, we get busy. Warmer temperatures bring opportunities to tend to our land and offer a full lineup of events that we hope will entice you to enjoy the great outdoors along with us.

Town Cleanup

We will hold a much needed roadside cleanup on Saturday, April 23rd. This is an annual event that we co-sponsor with HRRA (Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority). See details below. Many thanks to JBM Carting for donating their time and equipment for the event. New this year, we will be “littering” prizes on roadsides to be redeemed by those who are lucky enough to find them. The success of this cleanup relies heavily on volunteers. Lend a hand if you can.

Exhibit For Earth Day

For the first time, we will be an exhibitor at the Earth Day Festival at Hollow Park in Woodbury on April 30th. We hope you will stop at our booth (look for the tan colored tent) while enjoying this expansive event complete with food trucks, earth-friendly vendors, nature demonstrations and more. The BWLT will be enticing guests to “Protect The Pollinators”. Those who take on our challenge, will receive a bee-friendly favor.

Give Local Campaign

Our annual Give Local campaign will be on April 26th and 27th. Thanks to the Connecticut Community Foundation and Ion Bank for hosting this exciting 36-hour online give-a-thon. This is the best time to join the BWLT or renew your membership, as any support of $10 or more, is boosted by the Connecticut Community Foundation. In addition, we have an exciting opportunity thanks to the generosity of Ted Alt and Katherine Burke! See article below. The giving spirit of our community is impressive. Please consider a donation to all of the participating Bridgewater non-profits!

Are You Interested In Protecting Your Land?

The Benefits of Conservation Easements

Several Bridgewater landowners have opted to protect their land through a conservation easement, also known as a conservation restriction. This restriction allows the landowner to sell or donate rights to develop their land. Landowners retain ownership of the land, but give away the right to develop the land in the future so that its natural beauty and functions are preserved. There can be significant tax benefits with this restriction, as well as the reassurance that your land will remain protected forever.

One of our conservation easement partners Elaine and Tom Presby, explain how this process worked for them:

“When we first bought our home on Keeler Road in 1997, we were fortunate in that it came with an extra 50 acres of woods and equestrian trails. We knew from the outset that we would be unwilling to either subdivide or develop this beautiful extra space. Accordingly, one of our trusted advisors suggested that we consider a conservation easement, which would ensure that this property would never be developed; enhance the value of all our neighbors’ homes; and, if done well, provide us with an income tax deduction as a charitable contribution. Our advisors insisted that we handle the transaction in a very rigorous manner. This meant: Two reputable appraisers; first class surveyors and appropriate income tax advice. He also made sure that the easement negotiated with the Bridgewater Land Trust protected our interests while still qualifying as an irrevocable gift. We followed his advice and received the material benefits and goodwill that drove us to do the transaction in the first place. It was a pleasure dealing with the Land Trust: the representatives were straightforward and reasonable in every respect. If we had it to do all over again, we absolutely would do so. We would also be happy to share our experience in detail with any Bridgewater resident considering an easement.”

The steps required to protect your land through a conservation easement are outlined on our website: www.bridgewaterlandtrust.org/give-land/conservation-easements/. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact us.

Trail Team Volunteers Needed

Do you enjoy hiking or clearing trails? Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Would you like to share your hiking experiences with others? If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions you may want to join our Trails Team. Your involvement and commitment of time are flexible. This spring we are looking forward to clearing and enhancing our existing trails and making some new ones. If you are interested please email: julie@bridgewaterlandtrust.org.