Essex Land Trust Accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance
Stakeholder Notification and Public Notice

The national Land Trust Alliance’s accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. During 2016, with guidance from the Land Trust Alliance, the Essex Land Trust completed a detailed assessment of four areas: governance, finance, acquisitions and stewardship.  This was followed in 2017 by the development of a new strategic plan for all functional areas. Now, in 2018, while celebrating 50 years since our founding, we are pleased to announce that the Essex Land Trust is applying for accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance. A public comment period is now open.


The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. Accreditation is a mark of distinction that will enable the Essex Land Trust to maintain public confidence while enabling ELT to review and implement policies and procedures, on a regular basis, that improve operations and lead to more effective land conservation. It will also provide third party assurance of quality and permanence of land conservation and be demonstrative of a strong, effective organization that can be trusted.


The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending
applications. Comments must relate to how the Essex Land Trust complies with national
quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see


To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to
Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn:
Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY


Comments on Essex Land Trust’s application will be most useful if submitted by October 26, 2018.



12th Annual Land Trusts Photo Contest

Amateur photographers and members of six local land trusts celebrated the Twelfth Annual Land Trusts Photo Contest at a reception on April 6 at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme. Three hundred and fifty photo entries from more than 140 participants were on display depicting the wildlife, flora and scenery of East Haddam, Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Salem. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the prizes for the best photos in the categories of landscape, wildlife, plants, youth, black & white and cultural/historic.


The contest’s judges, Skip Broom, Amy Kurtz-Lansing and Joe Standart selected the winners of each category. Andrew Heist’s “Marshy Way” earned the top prize of the John G. Mitchell Conservation award. This year’s contest featured such a large number of youth participants that the land trusts decided to add a ‘Fan Favorite’ award, enabling all of the reception attendees to vote for their favorite Youth photo. The Fan Favorite award went to eleven-year-old Ashley Holt of Westbrook for her photo entitled “Phragmites on the Shore.”


To see all of the contest winners, visit



Essex Open Space Properties Brochure - January 2016 Edition

We have updated our properties brochure to include all Essex Land Trust and Town of Essex Open Space properties. Twenty-one different locations are listed as well as two pocket parks. This brochure lists the properties, gives a brief description and specifies access points including GPS coordinates which can be used on most smartphone map applications. In addition, there is a town map showing where all the properties can be found. The Essex Land Trust owns, manages and holds conservation easements on approximately 879 acres of town land, 600 of which it owns outright. Properties are open to the public free of charge. Click Here to access a copy of the latest Essex Land Trust Properties brochure.






The Trust for Public Land Releases Official Trail Map for The Preserve

We are pleased to release of the first Official trail maps for The Preserve. There are two versions available: one of the entire property and a second that zooms in to the Essex sections. The 1000-acre forest, known popularly as The Preserve, this unique, intact and contiguous tract is now open for public passive recreation. Among other characteristics, The Preserve features 114 acres of wetlands, including 38 vernal pools; 3,000 feet of watercourses; a 30-acre swamp; a mature coastal forest, three rocky ridge formations and a diverse population of animals and plants (for example, 25 species of amphibians, 30 kinds of mammals and 57 different birds). The Essex Land Trust manages the 70 acres located in the town of Essex and has established two access points, both of which are on Ingham Hill Road, off of Route 153, Westbrook Road. Trails have been marked. Download a copy of either map by clicking the map image below.






Essex Woods & Waters
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