New Canaan Land Trust

Recent Articles

First Selectman: Town May Need To Help Fund Purchase of Antique Valley Road House

New Canaan taxpayers may need to help fund the purchase of a Valley Road parcel that includes a well-known 18th Century house, the town’s highest elected official said this week. Owned by the First Taxing District of Norwalk Water Department, the red-painted house by the Grupes Reservoir at 1124 Valley Road and 4-acre property it sits on for years has been intently pursued by preservationists and open space advocates in New Canaan. During a discussion Tuesday about New Canaan’s need to decide just which old buildings in town it wants to save, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan noted that the New Canaan Land Trust has offered $1.2 toward acquiring the property. “I am still working aggressively to try to save the ‘Grupes House’ on Valley Road,” Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall. “That may require some town funding, if we are going to participate with partners who are putting up over $1 million to try to preserve that, really one of oldest houses in New Canaan.”

Long aware of the property, which abuts the the 10.3-acre Browne Wildlife Sanctuary, Land Trust officials and preservationists have been trying to figure out a way to acquire and protect the property since it hit the market three years ago at $2.25 million. Continue Reading →

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‘Fantastic’ GreenLink Trail Attracts Athletes, Nature Lovers

It has been a little less than three months since the grand opening of New Canaan’s “GreenLink” trail and “greenway,” a walkable loop that includes, Irwin Park and the Nature Center. It traverses three New Canaan Land Trust properties, allowing citizens to take full advantage of their bounty. Some say that you can’t take the GreenLink path without seeing at least one fellow resident taking a stroll, so we took it upon ourselves to peruse around and find out how people are feeling about it. Jogging down the trail, New Canaan resident Katherine Mettler said the quality path for her knees helped with running. “At some trails, like Waveny, running on the pavement can be really hard on your knees,” she said. Continue Reading →

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PHOTOS: ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ Kicks Off 2018 Season in Downtown New Canaan

Hundreds of classic and specialty car enthusiasts visited downtown New Canaan on a clear, crisp morning Sunday for the first Caffeine & Carburetors show of the 2018 season. People gripping coffee cups, baby strollers and dog leashes strolled along Pine Street and the one-way stretch of Elm, both cordoned off for pedestrians. Police, volunteers and members of the Community Emergency Response Team or ‘CERT’ guided visitors and motorists safely across Park Street and led out a limited number of show cars whose owners left early. “It’s going very well,” said Doug Zumbach, who founded Caffeine & Carburetors outside his eponymous coffee shop on Pine Street eight years ago. “Once again the enthusiasts have come out, the residents have come out. Continue Reading →

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First Selectman: New Canaan Looking into Taking Disputed Valley Road Property by Eminent Domain

With talks stalled between the town and owners of a Valley Road home slated for demolition, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Thursday that the municipality is looking into taking the disputed property by eminent domain. Noting that the owner of 1124 Valley Road—Norwalk’s First Taxing District—has rejected the New Canaan Land Trust’s offer to purchase the 4-acre property, with its 18th Century home, for $1.2 million, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a media briefing that “we are looking into executing eminent domain as a town to take the property as open space.”

With authorization from New Canaan’s legislative body, the Town Council, the municipality would first negotiate on its own with the First Taxing District, Moynihan said during the briefing, held in his office at Town Hall. If those talks did not progress, the town would obtain two new appraisals of the parcel and start the eminent domain legal proceeding “soon,” in part because the conspicuous red-painted house there could be demolished as soon as May 13. “We are very disappointed that the Taxing District is doing what they are doing,” Moynihan said. “The key fact is they have admitted that they do not need it for public water company purposes. Continue Reading →

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SLIDESHOW: Walking the New ‘GreenLink’ Trail and ‘Greenway’ Loop in New Canaan


The “GreenLink Trail” to open at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in New Canaan—on Earth Day, as part of the New Canaan Land Trust’s plans—creates a new, walk-able loop that advocates have been dreaming about, as well as carefully planning, for some four years. It features an attractive, footbridge-laden trail that spans wetlands off of Weed Street, and ultimately helps connect Irwin Park to the New Canaan Nature Center. That trail is the final piece of a larger, pedestrian-friendly loop that runs from downtown New Canaan, up Elm, along Weed Street and into Irwin, then back along Weed and into the woods, across a conservation easement and onto Land Trust property, then into the Nature Center’s woods, up onto Oenoke Ridge and past God’s Acre into downtown New Canaan again. The captioned slideshow above tracks my hike of the trail and that larger loop on Wednesday, with our dogs Louis, Marvin and Dexter. A few fast facts on it (time and distance can be tailored):

2.2 miles
5,656 steps
50 minutes

The hike can vary from two to three-plus miles, depending on just where you want to start downtown and whether you choose to enjoy additional trails within the Nature Center. Continue Reading →

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