President's Message

Annual Meeting 2007

One of the primary goals of a land trust is to acquire and preserve open space. I would love to tell you that this year we added to our over 340 acres of land but that was not the case. We have investigated several land opportunities, one of which is currently in negotiation. These negotiations take a considerable amount of time and at this point there is nothing concrete to discuss.

Board members have met with developers to advise on future projects and have attended zoning and wetlands meetings in Avon and Canton. We hope to insure the proper development of open space by doing so.

Much of our time this year was spent on our trail systems.

The Harry Spring Trail was completed this spring through the hard work of Tom Morganti. A bench was placed on the trail in honor of Mr. Spring.

We held two hikes for the first time in one year. Both hikes were conducted on our new skyline trail, which runs to the Heublien Tower.

The first hike was held in June as part of Connecticut Forest and Park’s Trails Day and over 40 people attended.

The second hike was held on a picture perfect October day. Over 60 people hiked to the Heublien Tower where the tower toot festival was being held. Inspite of the fact that people came and left as they pleased we didn’t lose anyone. The skyline trail is being enjoyed throughout the year by an ever increasing number of people and the unwarranted controversy over it has seemingly died down.

This year our annual scholarship was awarded to Alyssa Bellingham, a senior at avon high school. She is attending Drexel university this fall majoring in environmental and chemical engineering. The alt board was proud to increase our scholarship from 500 dollars to 2000 dollars! In the future we hope to award two scholarships to the Avon High graduating class.

During the spring, several Avon Land Trust members took part in a vernal pool study conducted by the Farmington Valley watershed association. It is hoped the results of this study will aid Farmington Valley wetlands and zoning boards when considering development around these vital habitats.

Our booth at Avon Day was very popular. Children were shown how to make letter box stamps. Thanks to Chris Gackstatter for the idea and erasers and his daughter for her excellent instruction!

The Avon Land Trust board meets once a month and deserves most of the credit for the before mentioned projects. A number of issues are dealt with at each meeting and they deserve credit for their hard work. This year we continued the computerization of our membership information with the hope that in the future we can get non- board members involved in our projects.

On a more somber note, the avon land trust lost two irreplaceable members this year. Linda Olender, our newsletter publisher and Ruth Maher, our long term newsletter editor and board member passed away. They will be missed by all that were fortunate to know them.

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