Thanks to YOUR generous support, Avalonia has paid off the Conservation Fund loan three months early! We are grateful for our wonderful funders for helping make this possible. In addition to generous individual gifts, we received substantial support from the State of Connecticut, the town of Preston, the Chester Kitchings Foundation, the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, the Summer Hill Foundation, the Bafflin Foundation, and the Fields Pond Foundation. We are also grateful for our awesome Great Avalonia Trail Trekkers, who fundraised to help us reach our goal in the fall of 2020.
In order to save TriTown, Avalonia was provided with a loan from the Conservation Fund to purchase it in 2018. Our two year loan was extended in 2020, giving us until March 20, 2021 to pay off the loan and rip up the mortgage! On December 9, 2020, our Treasurer sent in our last payment!
We are so excited about this gorgeous 527-acre property in North Stonington, Preston, and Griswold. Teeming with wildlife and birds, it has many native plants and flowers that are perfect for pollinators and provides critical habitats for our fine-feathered friends. A study by CT Botanical Society found over 300 different species of plants, including 11 rare species!
Over 500 forested acres means that the TriTown Forest Preserve sequesters thousands of metric tons of carbon dioxide, an important tool in the fight against climate change. Our forests provide a wide array of ecosystem services such as habitat and biodiversity maintenance, watershed protection, carbon storage, and the prevention of soil erosion.
The TriTown Forest Preserve has a tremendous amount of history. It is situated on bedrock when the microcontinent Avalonia collided with the North American Plate and formed much of southeastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In addition, there are many opportunities for geologic study and the scientific understanding of ancient terrain. Indigenous people once lived here, and there is archeological evidence of their culture.
Our incredible TriTown team created nine miles of gorgeous trails that range from easy to challenging and feature spectacular views. They do great work to maintain the property, clearing trees, cleaning trails, installing bridges, and removing invasive plants.
Thank you again to everyone who helped make this possible – our supporters and volunteers are fantastic and we are grateful for all of you! Avalonia set lofty fundraising goals to acquire this property and others during our successful 2000-acre campaign over the past four years. We are heartened by the success of this effort as we embark on a major open-space acquisition project in 2022.
We hope you get out on the trails this weekend – thank you for all the amazing work you do to create healthier, happier planet!