A Collaborative Project. Follow the Falls represents a joint effort by Essex Historical Society and the Essex Land Trust to tell the remarkable story of the Falls River which binds together the three historic villages of Ivoryton, Centerbrook and Essex to form what we know today as the Town of Essex. Besides its historic significance, the Falls River is home to a rich natural history, kept alive by the four Essex Land Trust preserves located along its winding shores.


Falls River Part One. In 2018 Follow the Falls explores the area’s natural history, Native American and European settlements, the harnessing of the river’s water power and the industrial development of Falls River Cove. The story is told through an online magazine, a printed booklet, and special event programs. Click here to access.


Upstream. Future installments of the Falls River story will trace the significant development upstream along the river in both the villages of Centerbrook and Ivoryton. The stories of the workers, their families and the communities that sprung up alongside the river form the historic narrative of the Town of Essex.


Message from the Project Team. Essex Historical Society and the Essex Land Trust share a vision to educate the community, not only on our town’s history but also on the importance of preserving and caring for the town’s natural environment. In promoting the Follow the Falls project, both organizations hope that the community will continue to value our rich history and the open spaces that are an integral part of our daily lives.


Land Trust Annual Report - April 12, 2018

2018 marks the Essex Land Trust’s 50th year in pursuing its mission of preserving and enhancing our community’s open space and natural resources for the benefit of future generations. We thank all our members and donors for the sustained support provided over many years. Without this support we would not have been so successful in realizing our vision. Click HERE to access the full report.


Essex Land Trust Accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance
Stakeholder Notification and Public Notice

The national Land Trust Alliance’s accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. During 2016, with guidance from the Land Trust Alliance, the Essex Land Trust completed a detailed assessment of four areas: governance, finance, acquisitions and stewardship.  This was followed in 2017 by the development of a new strategic plan for all functional areas. Now, in 2018, while celebrating 50 years since our founding, we are pleased to announce that the Essex Land Trust is applying for accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance. A public comment period is now open.


The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. Accreditation is a mark of distinction that will enable the Essex Land Trust to maintain public confidence while enabling ELT to review and implement policies and procedures, on a regular basis, that improve operations and lead to more effective land conservation. It will also provide third party assurance of quality and permanence of land conservation and be demonstrative of a strong, effective organization that can be trusted.


The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending
applications. Comments must relate to how the Essex Land Trust complies with national
quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.


To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit
www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org.
Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn:
Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY


Comments on Essex Land Trust’s application will be most useful if submitted by October 26, 2018.


Essex Open Space Properties Brochure - January 2016 Edition

We have updated our properties brochure to include all Essex Land Trust and Town of Essex Open Space properties. Twenty-one different locations are listed as well as two pocket parks. This brochure lists the properties, gives a brief description and specifies access points including GPS coordinates which can be used on most smartphone map applications. In addition, there is a town map showing where all the properties can be found. The Essex Land Trust owns, manages and holds conservation easements on approximately 879 acres of town land, 600 of which it owns outright. Properties are open to the public free of charge. Click Here to access a copy of the latest Essex Land Trust Properties brochure.






The Trust for Public Land Releases Official Trail Map for The Preserve

We are pleased to release of the first Official trail maps for The Preserve. There are two versions available: one of the entire property and a second that zooms in to the Essex sections. The 1000-acre forest, known popularly as The Preserve, this unique, intact and contiguous tract is now open for public passive recreation. Among other characteristics, The Preserve features 114 acres of wetlands, including 38 vernal pools; 3,000 feet of watercourses; a 30-acre swamp; a mature coastal forest, three rocky ridge formations and a diverse population of animals and plants (for example, 25 species of amphibians, 30 kinds of mammals and 57 different birds). The Essex Land Trust manages the 70 acres located in the town of Essex and has established two access points, both of which are on Ingham Hill Road, off of Route 153, Westbrook Road. Trails have been marked. Download a copy of either map by clicking the map image below.






Essex Woods & Waters
Click on any cover below to download a PDF of that issue.


Current Issue:

Summer 2018






Spring 2018


Fall 2017