For decades, the land along Copps Brook in Stonington, Connecticut has been a private oasis of trails winding through hundreds of acres of forestland. A desirable location for both first and second homes, the threat of development once loomed over this scenic, 244 acre landscape. And the consequences of that development could have meant the end of access to beloved trails, the habitats of threatened species destroyed, and damage to the community’s water supply. That’s why we teamed up with Avalonia Land Conservancy, Stonington residents, and local leadership to permanently protect Copps Brook in 2022.
Historically used for agriculture for over 300 years, these 224 acres are an important refuge for threatened New England wildlife, a source of drinking water for the town, and a beloved recreational space. Extensive stone walls dotting the property offer clues about the community’s farming history. Walking trails meander along the brook, where visitors can explore their local ecosystem and spend quality time in nature. Today, approximately 100 acres of the property are now part of the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge focused on shrubland and young forest habitat across New York and New England. The remaining acreage is conserved by Avalonia Land Conservancy. Ultimately, it’s a story with a happy ending, Copps Brook has been forever protected as an asset for the public and future generations.