100 Days to Save Treetops (CT) Campaign Reaches Goal

Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut: The 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign Committee announced today that more than 1,400 private supporters have made gifts and pledges to the campaign totaling $5 million. This is the final piece in the effort to assemble $11.5 million of public and private funds by January 31, 2001, necessary to acquire the Treetops property.

According to Tim Northrop, state director for the Trust for Public Land, which holds an agreement to purchase Treetops from International Paper, “The Greenwich and Stamford communities have really pulled through for Treetops. Thanks to this strong support, TPL will now be able to move forward with the acquisition, with an anticipated closing date of July 6, 2001.”

“From the first meeting of the Greenwich Land Trust about Treetops, we knew that our goal had to be achieved and that we would move heaven and earth to succeed,” said campaign chair David Ogilvy. “This amazing board, which had never been a fundraising board but a board entrusted with protecting donated land, gave $700,000 which became the engine that drove the train on its way to the $5 million goal. What a fabulous reaction from the community—it has been so gratifying and wonderful. Now our job will be to convert the pledges into cash for our closing and ensure that the “little critters” of Treetops will have their habitat protected forever as of July 6, 2001, a banner day for conservation. Everyone who gave or solicited or helped government officials towards the public goal is thanked from the bottom of all of our hearts.”

“The 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign was a manifestation of the most profound joint community spirit I have ever witnessed. An overwhelming number of individuals, schools, garden clubs, land trusts, civic groups, neighborhood associations, conservation groups, and professional organizations from all over the area made a tangible commitment to preserving this sanctuary of open space. Many people have worked extremely hard for the town to realize this dream and each should feel proud for the historic role they have played. I am honored to have been a part of it,” said campaign vice chair Elizabeth Hirsch.

“It’s terribly important what people have done to save Treetops—from the children that donated five dollars to the largest donors—and we really want to honor their efforts. Their generosity will save this land in perpetuity for generations to come,” said Percy Langstaff, president of the Stamford Land Conservation Trust.

“The tireless work, effort and collaboration by many in our community have made this purchase possible. I am delighted to have been a part of this history-making partnership. Through this collaboration we will be able to preserve Treetops property for future generations,” said Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy.

Greenwich first selectman Lolly Prince explained, “I am delighted that a public-private partnership has proven to be successful in protecting Treetops, an environmentally significant property identified in both our Plan of Conservation and Development and Open Space Plan. I applaud the support our citizens have given the Treetops partnership. We, as a community, thankfully recognize the importance of maintaining our urban forests and take seriously our responsibility to ensure that our natural resources are protected now and for future generations.”

On January 8, the Stamford Board of Representatives voted unanimously to include a $1.5 million contribution to the Treetops project as part of the Fiscal Year 2001/02 Budget. In addition, the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting passed a Sense of the Meeting Resolution on January 16 outlining their intention to include a $1.5 million contribution to Treetops in the Fiscal Year 2001/02 Budget.

For more than three years, area residents have watched with concern as first Champion International and then International Paper considered development proposals for the 111-acre Treetops property. On October 17, 2000, in an exciting breakthrough, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced that it had reached an agreement to purchase Treetops from International Paper for $11.5 million.