East Haddam Land Trust preserves and protects land in perpetuity for the public interest.
What we do.
East Haddam Land Trust:
Preserves land and waterways that enhance the local human and wildlife communities;
Protects and acquires parcels that add to existing preserved open space and or/protects vital natural areas;
Stewards existing preserves to protect flora, fauna, and wetlands;
Raises funds, encourages membership, and maintains a healthy financial status to support land acquisition and stewardship;
Engages members and the public in activities that increase appreciation and understanding of the region's natural spaces and wildlife;
Collaborates with regional conservation groups to encourage and support regional conservation goals.
East Haddam Land Trust is a volunteer, non-profit, member-based corporation that incorporated in 1979. We are one of the region's very first land trusts, founded by a group of East Haddam residents who cared about preserving the town's natural resources. Many EHLT founders remain active in land trust activities and help nurture relationships with local landowners interested in maintaining and protecting land in a natural state. Members mostly come from East Haddam but also include people from neighboring towns, far-flung locations around the country, and former- or nonresidents who feel a bond with East Haddam and EHLT's mission.
East Haddam is one of the eighteen towns that make up the Lower Connecticut River and Coastal Region, one of the most fruitful and attractive natural systems in the temperate world. Unlike nearly all the other major river mouths on the planet, the lower Connecticut culminates in Long Island Sound through a largely unspoiled natural landscape that still retains most of its inherent integrity and its function as an intact ecosystem.
Sprawling tidal wetlands, on a scale too massive to fill in, frustrated industrialization of the shorelines. Ledges and boulders limited large-scale agricultural endeavor, and led much of the undeveloped landscape to either remain on the scale of sheep-farming or revert to young hardwood forest and charcoal production to fuel the State’s iron furnaces. Except for small enterprises along the river’s tumbling tributaries, many of the excesses of the Industrial Revolution passed over the mouth of the Connecticut River, and thus much of the culture and the landscape survived unscathed. When antiquarians of the 19th century began to search for what remained of a ravaged New England landscape, they found much to celebrate in the lower Connecticut River valley. As early as 1914 the State’s first Park Commission identified the lower Connecticut River as a priority area for conservation.
The Lower Connecticut River is the crowning stretch of a massive 7.2 million-acre watershed that descends more than 400 miles from near to the Canadian border down to Long Island Sound. In this, its final run, it broadens to create the most extensive fresh and brackish tidal wetland landscapes in the Northeast, containing one of the least disturbed and most pristine large-river tidal marsh systems in the nation. Among the millions of living creatures and plants in residence here are 23 bird species, 3 types of fish, 10 invertebrates, and 20 varieties of plants considered to be at some degree of risk: a remarkable concentration of sensitive species located in the middle of the populous Northeast. It has been recognized as a vital conservation resource by state, federal, and international authorities.
East Haddam Land Trust is one of fourteen cooperating conservation land trusts that strive, through personal dedication and private initiative, to secure the unique natural legacy of each town and the larger legacy of the lower Connecticut River and Coastal Region.
Learn more about this regional legacy.