Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve
About Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve
A hidden gem, Haskins Preserve is tucked away in a lovely, quiet neighborhood off Compo Rd South. Woods, meadows, 2 ponds, a stream, dams, and a spectacular assortment of rare trees greet you near the entrance. Mr. & Mrs. Haskins, both noted scientists, authors, and philanthropists, left their amazing 22-acre estate in the middle of Westport to the Aspetuck Land Trust with the stipulation that a portion be sold to generate funds to create a nature preserve in their name. Six acres across the lane were sold while the rest of the property became this spectacular preserve.
Caryl Haskins, a noted scientist, author, inventor, philanthropist, government advisor, and pioneering entomologist in the study of ant biology, died in 2001 at 93. His wife, Edna who also studied ant biology died in 2000 at the age of 88. The original property contained a home, a greenhouse, and extensive but overgrown landscaping, including two ponds. This incredible property was transferred to the Land Trust in August of 2002. It took three years of comprehensive work to get the preserve open, including demolition of the house and greenhouse, restoration of many trees, and clearing and cleaning of the grounds and ponds.
Officially opened to the public in 2005, the 16-acre Preserve provides a lovely walk around the former estate grounds. Look for the many trees unique to the area, including 50 labeled ones. Among the fifty are larch, Southern red oak, white oak, black oak, tulip poplar, willow, white ash, birch, beech, mulberry, ginkgo, and American elm. Many were brought back by the Haskinses themselves, from their world travels. Some are almost extinct. Of course the dogwoods and daffodils are beautiful in the spring.
The trails at Haskin's preserve include a gentle, flat trail, circling the beautiful ponds, which is perfect to observe the abundant wildlife. The wooded trail transverses over the brook and is moderately steep in some areas. Both trails are short but offer glimpses of varied natural habitat and open space.
Trail Stewards: William Chudd, Dalma Heyn, Gretchen Hoffmann, Ted and Selina Huber, Dana and Jerry Kuyper, Kelly Pollard, Jose Sange, Judy and Zachary Sloan
Directions & Parking:
Located off of Green Acre Lane, a private road off of Compo Road South, between Route 1 and Greens Farms Road. The preserve is on the right as you go up Green Acre Lane, surrounded by a massive stone wall with handsome black gates.
Where is it?
20 Green Acre Ln
Westport, CT 06880