Land Trust Report 2010-Spring 2011
by Bob Miller
2010 and early 2011 witnessed an increasing pace of contributions of potential building lots to the Land Trust, to be held in their natural state in perpetuity.
On October 21, 2010, Kate and Chris Milliken transferred FIDCO Lot 30-6 to the Museum. This property consists of a high knoll with direct frontage on the pond/wetland between the 7th and 8th greens of the Fishers Island Club golf course and, beyond, views of Latimer’s Reef and Stonington. The property abuts FIDCO lot 7-4, which was also donated by the Milliken family in 2009, and FIDCO Lot 3-1, which was purchased by the Museum with assistance from some 20 Island residents at a below-market price from Kevin L. Perry in 2009. Together, these lots constitute an important contiguous sanctuary area which consist of upland forest, kettle pond, and marshland/shallow pond habitats, all surrounded by a “bend” in the golf course.
On October 13, 2010, Drusilla Drake van Hengel donated FIDCO lot 8-2, consisting of 1.21 acres immediately before the driveway to “Hill Watch” on the south side of the East End Road heading east. From this wooded hillside, which supports a variety of indigenous trees, one can look out over the sanctuary properties described above, as well as East Harbor.
In the first few months of 2011, FIDCO lot 26-4 was donated by Anne W. Williamson, Frederic E. Williamson, and Peter L. Williamson, in recognition of the many years Mrs. Jacqueline L. Williamson has supported conservation efforts on Fishers Island. This 2.52 acre parcel adjoins Lot 26-3, donated some years ago by Sam and Ann Polk, and together these properties constitute an important stretch of undisturbed conservation land very close to the large sanctuary areas in the vicinity of Middle Farms Pond.
Also, in another example of the important collaboration between FIDCO and private individuals to preserve open space on the Island, Lisa Posey Krakowsky and Phillipe Krakowsky very recently donated to the Land Trust the former Moody/Goulard “horse pasture” that is located to the left of the dirt road from the Guard House to Isabella Beach. This property consisted of three FIDCO building lots— 41-10, 41-11, and 41-12—with an area exceeding 4 acres. FIDCO reciprocated the generosity of the Krakowskys by donating Lot 43-7, with an area in excess of 2 acres, across the dirt road from the Krakowsky parcels, so the natural character of the approach to Isabella Beach is now preserved forever. Much of this property is fenced. The Museum and the Krakowskys plan to remove the fencing and to transform the former pasture into a native grassland habitat. Maintenance and work will be required to do this, and the Krakowskys were so kind as to donate to the Museum a substantial portion of the cost of Sarah Goulard’s pristine John Deere Tractor and mower to enable Land Trust volunteers to maintain the property as native grassland.
In focusing on these welcome and important additions to the Land Trust over the past year, it is also important to note that the Museum’s Land Trust now maintains well over 300 acres of environmentally important land. The Museum has established and maintains an extensive network— several miles— of nature trails, so that the flora and fauna this habitat protects may be viewed and enjoyed by residents of and visitors to the Island. Scores of volunteers participate in efforts to maintain these trails, and last fall all were flagged at trail heads and at junctions with new blue and white markers bearing the Museum’s “Osprey” logo. New maps of the Land Trust properties, and guides to some of the trails, are available at the Museum building.