More Than $4 Million So Far for Treetops Campaign (CT)

Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut: With 22 days left in the campaign, the 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign Committee announced today that more than 700 private supporters have made gifts to the campaign totaling just over $4 million. These include 17 nonprofit organizations and community groups, which have announced pledges to the project totaling $1 million, as well as several private foundations. The race continues to raise the remaining $1 million in private and $3 million in municipal funding by January 31, 2001.

According to Tim Northrop, state director for the Trust for Public Land, which holds an agreement to purchase Treetops from International Paper, “We have been overwhelmed with the public response to this campaign and are grateful to the hundreds of donors who have given so generously to help protect Treetops from development. We still have nearly $1 million to raise privately and will be working hard to reach our goal by the end of the month.”

“The ‘little critters’ of Treetops are thrilled at the public/private partnership support of their need for vital habitat,” said campaign chair David Ogilvy. “The ‘big critters’-hikers, birdwatchers, nature lovers, and everyone of us who drinks our water from the Mianus River watershed-are also thrilled. The response of over $4 million in under 80 days has been electrifying.”

“The next three weeks are the final push for the Treetops campaign. We are reaching out to our members and people in the community who care about Treetops and asking them to make a gift or to add to their gift for this remarkable property,” said Percy Langstaff, president of the Stamford Land Conservation Trust. “We are the last generation that will have the chance to save large properties like Treetops. We must seize this opportunity.”

The following nonprofits, community groups, and foundations have contributed to the Treetops campaign to date: Greenwich Land Trust, Stamford Land Conservation Trust, The Trust for Public Land, the Judith L. and Barton M. Biggs Fund and Barbara Leonhardt Fund of the Fairfield County Foundation, Mianus River Watershed Council, Mianus Valley Association, Greenwich Riding Trails Association, North Stamford Association, Trout Unlimited, Save the Sound, Stamford Tree Foundation, Garden Club of Stamford, Shippan Point Association, Environmental Council of Stamford, Shippan Point Garden Club, and other areas garden clubs.

Following unanimous recommendations from the Planning Board and the Board of Finance, the Stamford Board of Representatives voted unanimously last night to approve a $1.5 million contribution to the Treetops project. In addition, the town of Greenwich is also expected to contribute. Last night, the Greenwich Land Use and Finance Committees of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) voted unanimously to recommend that the full RTM approve a $1.5 million contribution for the project when it meets on January 16.

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. In order to protect Treetops permanently, TPL must secure funding commitments by January 31, 2001. The 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign began with a $3.5 million commitment from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and it has now raised nearly $4 million in private funds, as well.

Officers of the 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign include David Ogilvy, chair; Elizabeth Hirsch, vice-chair; George Host, vice-chair; and Paul van der Stricht, honorary chair. Contributions to the 100 Days to Save Treetops Campaign can be sent to the Greenwich Land Trust, P.O. Box 1152, Greenwich, CT 06836 or the Stamford Land Conservation Trust, 307 Ingleside Road, Stamford, CT 06903.

For information or to make a gift, contact David Ogilvy at (203) 869-9866, Percy Langstaff at (203) 322-8372, or Tim Northrop at (203) 777-7367.