It was in 1999 that Aspetuck Land Trust saved Trout Brook Valley (TBV) from becoming a golf course and luxury housing development. Had it not been for the Aspetuck Land Trust and the many other dedicated people who took on developer National Fairways, there would be a gated subdivision, including a private golf course with a $100,000 membership fee on the beautiful and pristine land that we know as Trout Brook Valley.
Heres a brief timeline of events below:
1994: A small group of open space advocates in Easton became aware of the Aquarion Water Companys desire to sell a 730-acre parcel of off-watershed land located in the towns of Easton and Weston.
1997: Bridgeport Hydraulic Company and parent company, Aquarion, signed a contract with a developer to build a golf course and 103 luxury homes on what is now Trout Brook Valley. Under Connecticut law, the State, towns, and open space groups have the right of first refusal when a utility sells its land.
1998: Aspetuck Land Trust and the Coalition to Preserve Trout Brook Valley led the effort to purchase the land, working with local groups including Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Citizens for Easton, the Easton garden club, mountain biking and hiking clubs, and birders and naturalists. Actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and his family supported the effort.
The Town of Weston voted to preserve the 45 acres of Trout Brook Valley located in Weston for $845,000. Aspetuck Land Trust was the only organization that qualified to preserve the 685 acres located in Easton which cost $11.3 million. The State of Connecticut provided $6 million towards the purchase. Aspetuck Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy raised the remaining $5.3 million from private sources.
1999: September, 2nd: Weston purchased its 45 acres and ALT purchased the Easton 685 acres.
Aspetuck Land Trust manages all 1009 acres of the preserve, which includes the 45 acre Weston portion, the 385 acre Easton portion owned by the Aspetuck Land Trust, 300 acres owned by the State of Connecticut, and the 279 acre Jump Hill and Crow Hill preserves. Enjoy this open space that has been preserved forever.
To learn more about the history of Trout Brook Valley, read the 3-part series written by Marcia Miner in 2009 celebrating the 10th anniversary of this preservation success. These fascinating articles discuss the full story of Valley Forge and Trout Brook Valley.