Frequently Asked Questions

What does Greenwich Land Trust do?
Why is it important to protect land?
How can I donate property or an easement for open space?
How much land does Greenwich Land Trust protect? Where are the properties located?
How does Greenwich Land Trust receive land?
What is a conservation easement?
What benefits do donors of land or easements receive?
Is Greenwich Land Trust affiliated with the Town of Greenwich?
Can I visit Greenwich Land Trust properties?
How does Greenwich Land Trust care for the land?
How does Greenwich Land Trust differ from other conservation organizations?
How long has Greenwich Land Trust been in existence?
How can I get involved with Greenwich Land Trust?
What is accreditation and why is it important?

What does Greenwich Land Trust do?

~We actively seek, protect and care for conservation land donated to GLT by landowners and neighborhood groups. Land is given to GLT in order to preserve open space in Greenwich in perpetuity. We then become stewards of the land entrusted to us. We are a local conservation organization.

Why is it important to protect land?

~Permanently protected land is vital to the environmental health of our community. Open space provides clean air, clean water, and preservation of our wildlife habitats, species and natural beauty. Forests and meadows help ameliorate the impacts of flooding by absorbing greater amounts of rainfall than lawns or hard surfaces.

How can I donate property or an easement for open space?

~Call or email our Executive Director Will Kies at 203.629.2151 or will@gltrust.org. Our experts can assist you with the process of donating land or a conservation easement.

How much land does Greenwich Land Trust protect? Where are the properties located?

~We protect more than 700 acres at over 130 properties from the backcountry to the shoreline of Greenwich. In all likelihood, there is a GLT property or conservation easement in your neighborhood. Our properties include forests, meadows, coastal and freshwater environments.

Examples of some of our most well-known properties include:

  • Shell Island in Long Island Sound
  • Fisher Field at Sabine Farm on Round Hill Road
  • Treetops Preserve along the Greenwich/Stamford border.
  • Westfall Preserve on North Street

How does Greenwich Land Trust receive land?

~GLT actively works with landowners and local residents to preserve and protect open space. Our goal is to protect important natural resources and to build greenways which provide extended and continuous open space while protecting waterways, woodlands and open meadows. There are two ways that GLT can protect land permanently:

  • Ownership of the land
  • Ownership of the development rights (known as Conservation Easements)

What is a conservation easement?

~A conservation easement is a legal agreement between GLT and a landowner to protect property from future development. The landowner who gives an easement retains land ownership but gives up certain development rights in exchange for protecting his land and receiving tax benefits. Conservation easements are tailored to each property and landowner.

What benefits do donors of land or easements receive?

~In addition to the satisfaction of protecting open space, donors may receive sizeable income, estate and property tax benefits. The magnitude of the tax benefits depends on the nature of the gift, the size of the property and the donor’s personal tax situation which can only be assessed by the donor’s tax and legal advisors. GLT is available to assist in formulating the questions that should be posed to these advisors.

Is Greenwich Land Trust affiliated with the Town of Greenwich?

~No, GLT is a private, non-profit conservation organization and member of the Land Trust Alliance, a national network of community based local land trusts. GLT receives no funding from the Town of Greenwich. However, we often work closely in partnership with the Town and other groups on open space projects. The acquisition of Treetops Preserve is one example of a GLT and Town of Greenwich partnership.

Can I visit Greenwich Land Trust properties?

~Every year, we offer a variety of ever-changing experiences to visit Greenwich Land Trust preserves. Join us for our annual spring walk along a wildlife corridor to view vernal pools. Kayak with us along the Greenwich coastline to explore islands, tidal pools and saltmarsh habitats. Spend an evening under the stars in a meadow as a guest astronomer describes the constellations. Bring the kids for apple picking at our orchard.

~Every year GLT offers new ways for local residents to connect with the abundant resources and beauty of GLT land. Come enjoy our properties and learn from our conservation experts.

~You are always welcome to enjoy nature at the 94-acre Treetops Preserve. Treetops is permanently protected through conservation easements held by GLT and 3 partner groups. This property boasts a scenic trail system, beautiful rock outcrops, and second-growth forests. It can be enjoyed year- round. Access is either from Cognewaugh Road in Cos Cob or from Merribrook Lane in Stamford.

How does Greenwich Land Trust care for the land?

~We have a professional stewardship staff and trained volunteers who monitor and inspect the properties and provide maintenance and restoration as needed. A management plan is developed for each property, according to its unique topography and the plants and animals that thrive there. Volunteers visit each of our preserves, at least once each year, and report on conditions to the professional staff.

How does Greenwich Land Trust differ from other conservation organizations?

~Our properties are protected forever through deed restrictions and can never be sold or developed. We are a local, grass roots organization. We actively manage our properties.

How long has Greenwich Land Trust been in existence?

~We were founded in the 1970’s by a visionary group of Greenwich residents who foresaw the need to protect our environment for future generations.

How can I get involved with Greenwich Land Trust?

~There are many ways. Become a member. Attend our special events such as Go Wild!, seasonal walks, and educational forums. Contribute to our annual appeal or special fundraising campaigns. Become a “hands-on” volunteer, helping in the office, working on the land or on special events. Sign your group up for a work project.

What is accreditation and why is it important?

~Greenwich Land Trust received national accreditation in 2012 from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. This followed several years of self-assessment and external review. At that time, only about 10% of the 1700 land trusts nationwide had achieved that level of distinction. Accreditation recognizes organizations for meeting national standards for excellence, upholding the public trust and ensuring that conservation efforts are permanent.