The Silvermine Fowler Preserve is Permanently Protected

A new preserve in New Canaan’s Silvermine neighborhood will forever provide hiking, bird watching, and passive recreational opportunities for the public.

May 11, 2017
NEW CANAAN, CT

The Trust for Public Land and the New Canaan Land Trust today announced the permanent conservation of the Silvermine Fowler property, an important swath of land in New Canaan’s Silvermine neighborhood. The property is the picture of an idyllic New England landscape. Whether it’s vibrant with spring blossoms or wrapped in the burnt colors of autumn leaves, the preserve is serene, unspoiled, and brimming with biodiversity. The Trust for Public Land and New Canaan Land Trust partnered to secure public and private funding and to purchase the land from the Fowler family. The property is now owned by the New Canaan Land Trust.

The land is a significant addition to the New Canaan Land Trust’s adjoining 41-acre Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary. It forever protects Still Pond, which hosts abundant wildlife and provides habitat for important birds such as the Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo and Northern Flicker. The acquisition preserves a migratory bird route with diverse habitats including meadows, woodlands, wetlands, and a pond.

A state grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection awarded $535,000 to the acquisition. The Town of New Canaan contributed $267,000. With additional financial commitments from the organizations’ respective boards, Silvermine neighborhood residents, New Canaan Community Foundation, New Canaan Garden Club, and many members of the New Canaan community, a capital campaign successfully raised a total of $1.3 million to acquire the 6.35-acre parcel off of Silvermine Road.

Art Berry, President of the New Canaan Land Trust, stated "Adding these six-plus acres to the New Canaan Land Trust’s existing Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary secures the key access link to this adjacent parcel of 41 acres, adding safety for visitors, proximity for neighbors, and precluding development of this fine natural spot." New Canaan Land Trust Board Member and President Emeritus Chris Schipper said "We are thrilled that the New Canaan and Silvermine
communities and The Trust for Public Land came together to preserve these lands and provide a new recreational resource for the neighborhood and for visitors from across our town."

The Trust for Public Land secured an option to purchase the land from Jim Fowler, renowned naturalist of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fame, who generously allowed both organizations time to fundraise for the property’s conservation. Mr. Fowler is known for his long-standing work as a spokesperson for preserving the natural world and wildlife around us. Permanently protecting the property aligns with his life-long advocacy for conservation. “We’re on a planet revolving around the sun;” Mr. Fowler said, “We’ve got to take care of it.” New Canaan Land Trust will now steward the property.

Walker Holmes, Connecticut State Director of The Trust for Public Land, stated “Preserving this land from development will create a vital accessway to public land in the Silvermine neighborhood. The Fowler parcel becomes a new entry point to a 41-acre nature preserve, benefitting residents who will be more easily able to enjoy nature close to their homes.”

Together, the New Canaan Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land have protected this important New Canaan land forever. The Silvermine Fowler Preserve will officially open to the public later in 2017. The New Canaan and Silvermine communities will then enjoy the serenity and recreational opportunities of the Fowler land and Still Pond in perpetuity.

The New Canaan Land Trust preserves and protects open space in New Canaan. Preservation of open space benefits our community by adding natural sanctuaries for the residents, preserving precious natural wildlife habitats and the scenic rural character of New Canaan for future generations. Now with the ownership of the Silvermine Fowler Preserve, the New Canaan Land Trust stewards 388 acres of diverse woodlands, wetlands, and ponds throughout town. To support the New Canaan Land Trust and learn more about its preserves, visit www.newcanaanlandtrust.com.

The Silvermine Fowler Preserve demonstrates The Trust for Public Land’s national mission of creating parks and protecting land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. In Connecticut, The Trust for Public Land has conserved more than 7,000 acres of vulnerable lands across the state. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.