Some 27 acres of open space along the Skungamaug River in Tolland will be preserved in perpetuity under a new agreement between a local land owner and conservation trust.
Joshua’s Trust, a non-profit conservation organization that protects more than 4,100 acres in northeastern Connecticut, has accepted 27 acres of land off Goose Lane. The Lemek family donated the property as part of a subdivision plan first approved by the town in May of 2008, then revised to accommodate the land donation.
According to Joshua’s Trust officials, the most significant benefit of the deal will be the permanent protection of about 600 feet of the Skungamaug that passes through the Lemek property. The river, stocked with trout by the state, enters the property from the west, then meanders southwest before entering an adjoining open space parcel owned by The Coventry Game Club, Inc.
According to Linda Farmer, Tolland’s director of planning and community development, town ordinances require developers to set aside open space as part of any new subdivision. The code allows property owners several options on how to comply, including the donation of land to a conservation trust, as long as the protection for the space is permanent. In this case, the property owner, Lemek Acres LLC, chose to give the land to Joshua’s Trust.
The donated land is west and south of a new group of lots around a cul-de-sac named Chester Way. Chester Way intersects Goose Lane just north of Lemek Lane.
Joshua’s Trust will conduct a natural resource inventory of the donated land during the next several months to in order to develop a detailed management plan on how to best use and protect it.
The trust organization, mostly staffed by volunteers from the area, already protects 84 acres of Tolland open space called the Doris & Al Tobiassen Memorial Forest on Noah Lane off Grant Hill Road. It is includes a 1.4-mile loop trail open to the public.
Joshua's Trust takes its name from Joshua, the third son of Uncas and a sachem of the Mohegan Tribe whose hunting grounds were in located in parts of what is now Windham and Tolland counties.