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.
- November 26, 2023 -Thanksgiving Hike
- November 4, 2023 - Electric Demo at Cross Lots
- September 9, 2023 - Stewards Appreciation at Cross Lots
- August 12, 2023 - Mill Pond Paddle
- June 21, 2023: The Preserve Hike
- June 3, 2023 - Annual BYO Picnic and Concert
- June 3, 2023 - Millrace Ivoryton History Hike
- May 19, 2023 - VRHS Warriors in Action
- April 27, 2023 - Annual Meeting
- April 25, 2023 - Essex Elementary School Arbor Day
- April 22, 2023 - Earth Day
- April 15, 2023 - Canfield Hike and Happy Hour
- March 16, 2023 - Windswept Ridge Hike
- November 19, 2022: Cross Lots Cleanup
- November 18, 2022: Osage Trails Cleanup
- November 5, 2022: Falls River Park Cleanup
- October 29, 2022: Falls River Preserve Hike
- October 15, 2022: Meet the Board
- September 15, 2022: Fern Ledge Hike
- August 13, 2022: Kayak Essex's North and Falls River Cove
- July 9, 2022: Kayak Around Nott Island
- July 4, 2022: Ivoryton 4th of July Parade
- June 25, 2022: Concert & BYO Picnic
- June 4, 2022: The Millrace Walk and Talk
- May 23, 2022: VRHS Community Service Day
- May 21, 2022: Canfield Meadow Woods Tree ID Hike with Bob Kuchta
- May 19, 2022: Essex Land Trust Annual Meeting
- May 10, 2022: Planting of American Chestnut nuts at Cross Lots
- April 23, 2022: Invasives Talk/Hike with Judy Preston
- March 26, 2022: James Glen, Doanes' Woods, Woodja Hill Hike
- December 4, 2021: Geology Hike at Canfield-Meadow Woods
- November 20, 2021: Falls River Park Fall Cleanup
- November 13, 2021: Osage Trails Fall Cleanup
- November 6, 2021: Cross Lots Fall Cleanup
- June 12, 2021: Thatchbed Island-South Cove Kayak-Canoe Event
- June 12, 2021: Annual Picnic Concert at Essex Main Street Park
- May 22, 2021: Essex Land Trust Annual Meeting at Cross Lots
- June 4, 2021: Setting up new event tent
- June 5, 2021: Stewards Appreciation Event at Cross Lots
- March 27, 2021: Vernal Pool Hike in The Preserve
More than 50 hikers joined Essex naturalist Phil Miller in an informative and entertaining hike at the Essex Land Trust’s Falls River Preserve in Ivoryton. Planned as a “get out and stretch your legs” after the traditional Thanksgiving festivities, the event was a huge success given the turnout and feedback from participants.
Over 25 participants joined the Sustainable Essex/Essex Land Electric Demo event held at Cross Lots on Saturday, November 4th. Essex Land Trust steward Tom Soboleski and Ann Penniman of Sustainable Essex organized a demonstration of non or less polluting lawn equipment. Featured were blowers, weed wackers, chainsaws and lawnmowers all powered by batteries or electricity. Many advantages were highlighted including, less pollution, lower noise level ,and cost effectiveness.
The Essex Land Trust is fortunate to have a motivated and committed volunteer stewardship team who dedicate thousands of hours of their time caring for the more than 650 acres of open space owned by the land trust. The Board organized an event to show its appreciation and give thanks with a pizza truck and other refreshments.
Some thirty kayaks and canoes gathered to inaugurate the recently installed kayak launch at the Essex Land Trust’s Fall River Park Preserve. The event took place on a beautiful summer day with bright blue skies and balmy temperatures. The occasion represented the official opening of this new facility which was supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex Country (the grant was made possible by the generosity of the Guilford Savings Bank Charitable Fund, the Herb Clark Family Fund, and the Whelan Family Fund). Attending festivities were Cynthia Clegg, President & CEO and Thayer Talbot, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. After enjoying a leisurely paddle led by ELT President Jeff Croyle, which included circumnavigating Jean’s Island, many of the participants visited a Mill Pond member’s home to enjoy a cookout and refreshments. All in all, it was as nice a day as anyone could ask for.
Essex Land Trust members and friends convened on the longest day of the year to welcome summer. Myron Stacks, one of the stewards of the preserve guided the hike through the Essex portion of the preserve. Attendees enjoyed an informative hike with tips on woodland safety and tree identification being shared. The evening concluded with hops, snacks, and friends at Surfridge Brewing.
Forty Five participants participated in Essex Land Trust’s Millrace Preserve hike, in collaboration with the Essex Historical Society. The hike and history lesson, led by ELT steward Scott McCoid, focused on the history of the village, the industries responsible for its growth and the impact of the historic flood 41 years ago. A number of hikers were in the village back in 1982 and added to the story by sharing their personal perspectives of the flood.
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.