Residents of Connecticut treasure this 1,000-acre coastal forest as a place to connect with nature close to home. Known locally in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook as The Preserve, the woodland also plays an important role in maintaining water quality in Trout Brook and the Oyster and Mud rivers, which feed into the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.
But despite its name, the land still faces the threat of development. Since 1998, conservationists and community members have worked to protect the woods from a variety of proposed projects-including plans for more than 220 homes and an 18-hole golf course.
In June 2013, The Trust for Public Land reached an agreement with River Sound Development, LLC, to purchase The Preserve. Under the agreement, we have until December 2014 to identify $10 million in public and private funds to acquire the property and cover stewardship and costs. The State of Connecticut has already committed over $3 million in public funds to the effort, and just last month the Town of Old Saybrook overwhelmingly voted to allocate $3 million towards the purchase of the land.
If we are successful in raising the remaining funds—just over $1.5 million—The Preserve, the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York City and Boston, will be permanently protected from future development, connecting to 500 acres of existing town parkland—including miles of trails—and providing more opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Please join our campaign to protect The Preserve by donating today. Click here to donate.
Join our email list
Explore our work
Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects. You’ll find some of our favorite places on the map below.