Mueller Preserve Conservation Project
Preserving Our Rural Heritage…Fulfilling Our Mission
History Worth Saving
In June 2012, Greenwich Land Trust received an extraordinary gift of historic property from Greenwich resident Louise Mueller. Located at the corner of Old Mill and Round Hill Roads, this four-acre property of mostly open space contained several historic buildings: a farmhouse, three barns, a stone potting shed, and the remains of a greenhouse. A visible part of the Round Hill community for over 100 years, this parcel was once part of “The Orchards,” one of the Great Estates of Greenwich. The visionary donor saw this property as history worth saving. GLT saw it as remarkably well suited to furthering its mission…to conserve and protect the nature of our town for future generations.
A Unique Opportunity to Preserve Greenwich Character
This land gift gave GLT the opportunity to seek community-wide support to restore and re-purpose this historic farmstead where farm animals were raised and crops grown. During 2013 and 2014, over $1.5 Million was raised from the community to restore the grounds and buildings. In 2015, GLT opened the doors of its new conservation center at the Mueller Preserve. The 19th Century farmhouse now houses staff offices, meeting rooms and volunteer space. The barn buildings are used to hold GLT land stewardship equipment and tools that staff and volunteers use in managing and monitoring GLT’s 745 acres of permanently protected land. In creating GLT’s first conservation center, GLT has centralized operations and become a more visible presence in the community, while preserving a valued historic corner.
Future Plans: Educational Opportunities for All
The successful completion of the capital campaign and construction does not mean the project is finished. The grounds offer many educational opportunities which GLT continues to explore with the help of community groups and individuals. As building restoration neared its completion, three garden clubs approached GLT to fund conservation projects. The first was Green Fingers Garden Club, which sponsored a native plant garden surrounding the historic greenhouse and potting shed. Named for Kitty Starr who was a founder of both GLT and Green Fingers, the garden serves as a catalogue of beautiful native plants and is a welcoming sight for visitors. Greenwich Garden Club stepped forward to enhance the western pollinator garden with additional native plantings and a new waterfall feature which provides essential water for bees, butterflies and birds. More recently, Hortulus has sponsored a special wetlands garden to showcase native plants that thrive in wetland soil and provide beauty as well as food sources for wildlife.
GLT is studying more ideas to create an environmental showplace of native plants and educational opportunities for all ages. If you or your group would like more information about plans for the GLT Conservation Center at the Mueller Preserve, please contact Executive Director, Will Kies at 203-629-2151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.