By Mark Peiser
A Boy Scout Eagle Project, completed in October, now provides improved access to the New Canaan Land Trust’s Colhoun Parcel. The project includes a safer entrance gate and a designated parking area, making it easier for members of the community to access the parcel.
Gifted in 1974 by Dick and Didi Colhoun, the parcel is located on Davenport Ridge Road, just west of Skyview Lane, and is the New Canaan Land Trust’s third largest with 21 acres of undisturbed woodlands and meadows.
Chris Schipper, president of the Land Trust, said, “The Colhoun Parcel is a key part of the Land Trust’s ‘Gateways of New Canaan’ Stewardship Program. At the crossroads of New Canaan and Stamford, Colhoun is a lead parcel for our Gateways program. We have a series of projects including work by the New Canaan High School SLOBS (Service League of Boys) and Summer Volunteers, designed to make this parcel more suitable for visitation by the New Canaan public.”
Joseph Peiser, the Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 70 of New Canaan, who led the project explained, “Parking at the Colhoun parcel before this project was dangerous. Visitors had to park their cars on the side of Davenport Ridge Road, which is a busy street, and take down three heavy rails to open the gate. Now the gate is set back from the street, so cars can safely pull in. The new gate has two hinged doors, which are much easier to open. Cars can then pull into the parking area, which is framed by logs from dead trees we found on the parcel.” The new parking area can accommodate up to six large vehicles.
Mr. Schipper said: “With the parking pull-in area complete, we can move forward with stewardship projects to restore the meadow with native pollinator plants, add trails for visitation, establish wildlife brush piles and reset the fieldstone walls to improve the scenic beauty of this parcel.”
The New Canaan Land Trust’s mission is to preserve open space, wildlife sanctuaries and the scenic beauty of New Canaan forever. The Trust manages 367 acres in New Canaan and, on average, every home in New Canaan is within 1,000 yards of a Land Trust property. In 2013, the Land Trust set a goal of engaging New Canaan youth more actively and involvement with the Boy Scouts is part of this program.
Troop 70 Eagle Scouts have completed numerous projects in the community on behalf of the New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan Historical Society, the New Canaan Land Trust and St. Mark’s Church, among others. Other projects raised awareness food allergies at restaurants in town and collected donations of bed sheets for hospitals in Haiti.
Nationally, about 57,000 Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle Rank each year. Only 1 out of 15 Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Rank. Eagle Scouts comprise large portions of high achieving professions – for example, more than 20 percent of NASA astronauts are Eagle Scouts.
Here’s where this parcel is located: