So much of what CFPA does involves partners and our Land Conservation Program is no exception. We partner with local volunteers, towns, land trusts, the state, etc. to conserve land, build trails and fund important programming. One unique way that CFPA partners with local land trusts is through land protection. In the 80's and 90's when the land trust movement was in its infancy, CFPA was already protecting land and we often filled the gap where land trusts did not yet exist. Today, Connecticut has 132 land trusts spread across all communities in the state. If a property comes up for protection that doesn't directly fit CFPA's mission, we work with the local land trust to move the project along. Local partners ensure more oversight and can react quicker when problems arise.
In the last 5 years, CFPA has reexamined its land portfolio with the idea of local control being the ideal. We've worked to transfer land that doesn't protect the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails or large block of working forest to local land trusts. Just a year ago, CFPA transferred a forested property in Thompson to the Wyndham Land Trust. Wyndham Land Trust has a special focus on the Bull Hill area of Thompson where this property lies and has protected over 900 acres of forested property in that area. There is no better entity to keep an eye on and manage this property for the future. In working closely with local partners, we are finding that properties entrusted to us are finding their rightful homes at last!