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Good news: Rich past, bright future at Coogan Farm

Coogan Farm, Mystic, Connecticut The landscape comes alive on a night hike through the woods near Coogan Farm.Photo credit: Richard Freeda

Locals call Coogan Farm in Mystic, Connecticut,  a place where “the country meets the coast”—acres of grassy meadows and peaceful woods in view of the Mystic River and Long Island Sound. There’s a feeling of timelessness here:  you can sense it in the sound of songbirds and the old stone walls that criss-cross the pastures, reminders of the early American settlers who farmed the land in the 17th century. 

Coogan Farm, Mystic, Connecticut The landscape comes alive on a night hike through the woods near Coogan Farm.Photo credit: Rebekah Butler Photography

Now, thanks to the support of more than 600 passionate donors and volunteers, Coogan Farm can remain a place of refuge for the years to come. The Trust for Public Land helped purchase more than 30 acres of the property—which lies close to town and was vulnerable to development—for the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.  

Though it serves more than 50,000 visitors a year,  the nature center has never before had land to call its own. As an “outdoor classroom,” Coogan Farm will provide the perfect setting for introducing both children and adults to the region’s birds and wildlife, varied habitats, and more than 350 years of American history.  These hands-on experiences help build the sort of lasting connections hard to get from a science or history textbook.

Coogan Farm, Mystic, Connecticut Environmental educator Laura Craver-Rogers introduces young visitors to a feathered friend. The nature center’s motto? “To know is to value and protect.” Photo credit: Richard Freeda

Fundraising continues to help ready the land for public use. Friends and neighbors envision the farm as the heart of a trail system linking other open space to community landmarks like the seaport and aquarium—favorite spots for residents as well tourists, who support the local economy. In the future, you’ll be able to hike, bike, or even cross-country ski  from the nature center to downtown Mystic. We can’t wait!


Very cool initiative and project guys. Green spaces like this are extremely valuable to a variety of species in an dry and wet habitat. Projects like this help slow the pace of urbanization and allow for recreational activity and wildlife refuge. Refuges like this are key on the east coast as well due to the age of the area and how heavily it has been developed.

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