Caring for our World here at Home

The land trust’s annual events include hikes, lectures, property cleanups, our annual meeting, and events with other organizations. Our photo gallery will be updated regularly with highlights from some of these events.

The Valley Regional High School Warriors “rock”, once again. Several teams descended on Cross Lots, The Millrace, Osage Trails and Woodja Hill and helped  land trust stewards with clearing vegetation, improving paths and regrading a parking lot. They provided a huge help in sprucing up our preserves. A big shout out to the students and teachers that made it all happen.

The Essex Land Trust  held  its Annual Meeting at Essex Meadows, attended by approximately 100 members and residents. After the very pleasant reception where many were able to reconnect with like minded members, the entourage proceeded into Hamilton Hall for a report of the trust’s activities over the past year and plans for 2023. Special thanks to Mara Lavitt Photography for event pictures.

For the past seven years, the Essex Land Trust has supported Essex Elementary School in commemorating Arbor Day in Connecticut. The event involves 3rd grade students and the school’s 5th grade “Green Team.” They learn about Arbor Day, how it began in 1872 and the benefits in celebrating it across the US and many other countries. After reading their prepared statements and reciting poems, all the students ventured to the school grounds where a new tree is planted with the help of landscaper Fred Weber. The Essex Land Trust and the Town’s Tree Committee provide the funds for the purchase and planting of the tree. At the close of the event, Bartlett Tree Experts representative, Dan Estey, handed out dogwood tree saplings to all participants and encouraged them to plant them at home.

ELT’s Earth Day started with a cleanup at Great Meadow with the VRHS Environmental Club.  We followed that with the removal of a self-seeded swamp white oak from the Essex Library and replanting it at Cross Lots.  Our volunteers returned the favor to the Essex Library by thinning out bee balm in our Cross Lots pollinator garden and donating it to the Library.

Canfield steward Tom Soboleski led 20 folks on a 4-mile hike at Canfield on Saturday April 15th.  Tom highlighted a number unique characteristics of the preserve and afterwards half the group met up at High Nine Brewery for some socializing.

The land trust’s first hike of the year drew 20 participants. It’s still not clear if they came for the fresh air and exercise or the comradery we enjoyed at Scotch Plains Tavern after the event.

On the coldest morning this Fall, a hearty group of volunteers participated in the annual Cross Lots Cleanup. Many piles of leaves have been created which will be recycled at the Essex Town dump.

The rain delayed clean-up of Osage Trails took place on bright and somewhat blustery late Fall morning. Starting at 10 AM, the crews completed the task in approximately 2 hours.

Taking advantage of unseasonably mild weather, some 20 dedicated volunteers made light work of cleaning up this Ivoryton land trust park in record time (less than an hour and a half). Refreshment of donuts, coffee, and cider replenished energy as we prepare for next week’s cleanup planned for Osage Trails on Foxboro Road, Essex.

Falls River Preserve Steward John Matthiessen lead 19 participants in a leisurely stroll of this 40-acre preserve. A nearby resident provided refreshments after the hike.

A dozen participants joined Essex Land Trust board members at Osage Trails at its Meet & Greet event held on a beautiful sunny Fall saturday afternoon. We were able to discuss volunteer opportunities and answer questions in a relaxed informal atmosphere. With refreshments of apple cider, donuts and pumpkin squares, the afternoon was also punctuated with flybys of Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, and Bald Eagles on Falls River Cove.

An intrepid group of 35 hikers explored the expanded Fern Ledge Preserve, climbing up the steep slope, noticing the extensive Christmas fern beds, and reaching the top of the preserve part of Farm Hill estates. The slightly more than one mile hike was followed by many quenching their thirst at the Surfbridge Brewery, next to the Essex Steam Train station.

On a beautiful, sunny, fresh day, more than 40 kayaks explored Essex’s North Cove and Falls River Cove.  We also learned about the industrial history of Falls River Cove from its beginnings in the late 1600’s.

Seventeen kayaks set out from Essex’s Middle Cove, went around Thatchbed Island and crossed the Connecticut River just south of Nott Island. After proceeding north and around the island, we stopped for refreshments including s’mores!