Annual Meeting Held

The Avon Land Trust held its Annual Meeting tonight, and is very pleased to welcome two new board members: Heidi Zacchera and Paul Schned.

Heidi grew up in Avon, and her father Ray founded the Avon Lions Club, so civic-minded genes run deep. Heidi has kept up the family tradition, and is a member of the Avon Lions Club, and is also active at the state level. Heidi was inspired to join our board after reading about our past president Tom Morganti in our recent newsletter, and how he gave back so much to our community. Heidi is a recently retired educator.

Paul was born and raised in Vermont, and moved to Avon about a year ago, with his pediatrician wife and two young children. They moved to a house near our Land Trust parcel on Bishop Lane. Paul works in finance. Welcome aboard to both!

The Land Trust would like to thank Chris Graesser for serving as our president for the past decade. Chris raised the visibility of the Land Trust over that time, and strengthened our relations with the town, and helped Scott Lewis with our flagship series of trails on the side of Avon Mountain. Chris will continue serving on the board. Bob Breckinridge and Rick Dubiel were elected as co-presidents.

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Avon Land Trust Receives Generous Gift

At a time when charitable giving is down across the country, the Avon Land Trust is delighted to announce its receipt of an exceptionally generous gift from the estate of Mr. William (Bill) and Mrs. Virginia (Gini) Grunewald of Avon. The Grunewalds thoughtfully remembered the land trust in their estate plan, bestowing on the organization $55,160.00 – the largest monetary gift in the trust’s 40+ year history. 

Lifelong residents of Avon, the Grunewalds met each other on the bus to Canton High School (back before Avon had its own high school). Friends and family recall it was truly love at first sight for them both. During WWII, Bill served in the Merchant Marines on the freighter USS Alamo Victory in the Pacific theatre. He returned to Avon and married Gini in 1946. The couple settled on Lovely Street where they raised their two children, Douglas and Marcia. Bill participated in town politics, serving on the building committees of both Avon High School and the Avon Senior Center. Gini, too, was an active volunteer in school, civic and church activities.

Bill worked as a surveyor in the Farmington Valley, which put him in close touch with the land and gave him a unique perspective of the evolution of Avon’s landscape. Gini, too, enjoyed spending time in Avon’s vast outdoors with her dogs and in the company of wild birds. Christine Graesser, president of The Avon Land Trust expressed the trust’s gratitude for this extraordinary gift: “We are very grateful to the Grunewald family for their generous gift. We will respect their gift and be thoughtful stewards of it.”  To remember the Avon Land Trust in your estate plan or to learn more about ALT properties and offerings, please visit

Written by Susan Rietano Davey

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Avon Land Trust selects scholarship recipients

Due to the pandemic, the Avon Land Trust was not able to present the annual Hugh Blanchard Scholarships in person this year. Sadly there was no handshake, no handing over of the scholarship checks, no face-to-face congratulations, no photos. Instead, we simply and proudly recognize…

Krishna Donger,  Justin Shieh, and Sanjana Nistala

for their commitments to land stewardship and the natural world, and we wish them well in their academic pursuits — all three of them will be attending the University of Connecticut!

The Hugh Blanchard Scholarships are named after one of the members who founded the Avon Land Trust back in 1973. Hugh and his wife Dottie cared deeply for preserving Avon’s natural resources to benefit future generations.

Written by Susan Rietano Davey

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Land Trust receives grant from CVS

The Avon Land Trust recently learned that it is the recipient of a CVS Health Foundation Volunteer Challenge Grant for $1,000. The grant recognizes the commitment and volunteer work of one of their employees.
Thank you, CVS Health!

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Annual meeting Friday, Nov 18 at 7 pm, Community Room, Avon Free Public Library

ALT Annual meeting Friday, Nov 18 at 7 pm, Community Room, Avon Free Public Library

Dogology will give a presentation.

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Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age

The Unplugged Learning Project branch of the Avon Land Trust, is thrilled to partner with the Avon High School PTO to bring the critically acclaimed documentary, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age, to Avon for its Connecticut premiere on Tuesday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the AHS auditorium. For event details and to reserve (free) seats, please visit:

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ALT Annual Meeting 11/18/15

Please join us for the 2015 ALT Annual Meeting on November 18th at 7pm at the Avon Library,

The film “Love Thy Nature” will be shown.

Read more

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ALT Fall 2015 Newsletter

The Avon Land Trust Fall 2015 newsletter is now available here.

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Annual Tower Toot Hike

Join us on the Annual Tower Toot Hike, 10/18/2014, via the Skyline Trail. We will lead groups from both the Hazen Park and the Nod Way trailhead at 1 pm.

Here’s a great blog post on the hike and trail.

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Visit us at Avon Day

Avon Day is September 27, 2014 at the Thompson Brook School.

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