Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy

Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy Officially Established!

On April 10, 2023, Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy was established with plans to help our communities protect the environment, preserve local farming and connect residents with the outdoors. This completes the legal steps of a merger process set in motion when members of East Granby Land Trust, West Hartford Land Trust, and Bloomfield’s Wintonbury Land Trust voted earlier this year to combine forces.

Amanda Thompson, President of the Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy board of directors and President of the former East Granby Land Trust said, “Our land trusts served important roles preserving open space to maintain the character and quality of life residents enjoy in our communities. The formation of Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy will help the region better promote farmland, waterways, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and education for the benefit of current and future generations.”

The land trust’s mission is to conserve, improve and study the region’s natural resources for the public’s benefit, including the traprock ridge shared by the three towns and the Farmington River and Park River watersheds. The merger plan honors restrictions on how previously donated lands can be used and continues projects already underway in each town. Members and volunteers now protect a combined 49 properties totaling 642 acres that include numerous nature preserves, four working farms, community gardens and education programs.

Pooling Resources to Boost and Sustain Efforts

Victor Herson, President of the former Wintonbury Land Trust in Bloomfield and a member of the new land trust board said, “We are excited to join forces with our neighbors and strengthen efforts to conserve land and connect people with nature. Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy will provide the foundation for efficiencies and expanding resources that ensure sustainability and success in the future.”

David Sagers, Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy’s Treasurer and President of the former West Hartford Land Trust, added, “The merger is the culmination of almost two years of collaboration and planning to increase the sustainability of land acquisition and conservation in our community. This brings together a larger group of like-minded supporters to significantly increase our impact on the environment across the region.”

Forging the Partnership

Leaders from the three land trusts began exploring opportunities to work together in 2021 during workshops with the Connecticut Land Conservation Council. The Council provides training and recommends policies to ensure the long-term viability of land conservation efforts in the state.

The land trusts received a grant from The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation to study the feasibility of merging and to develop a plan. Representatives worked with Sharon Danosky, president and owner of the Danosky & Associates consulting firm, and Ed Spinella, chair of the tax-exempt organizations group at the law offices of Murtha Cullina. The Pro Bono Partnership also provided free legal services from Donna Brooks and Tyler Archer at Shipman & Goodwin and Matthew Schernecke, Zohra Sayedy, Aafke Pronk, Rob Cortinas, and Ronald Silverman at Hogan Lovells.

Aaron Lefland, Deputy Director of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, noted, “Land trusts make a promise to conserve land in perpetuity. East Granby, West Hartford and Wintonbury Land Trusts have demonstrated their commitment to upholding that promise by coming together to form a stronger, more enduring organization.”

Bob Canace, Senior Program Officer at The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, added, “The Foundation congratulates the East Granby, West Hartford and Wintonbury Land Trusts for having the vision to map out a new future that will take advantage of each organization’s history, enthusiasm and vision to continue protecting natural areas and offering community-based programs.”

Getting Involved

Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy’s new board of directors met for the first time on April 26 in Bloomfield. Members of the merging land trusts elected directors and officers from each of the three towns, including student directors from East Granby Land Trust’s internship program.

Members and volunteers will organize new committees for Land Acquisition, Land Conservation, Education & Outreach, Fundraising & Membership, Governance, and Finance. To volunteer for a committee, please contact us

Members Approve Merger

At a special meeting on March 29 members unanimously approved a Plan of Merger with East Granby Land Trust and West Hartford Land Trust. Thank you for supporting this proposal to broaden and sustain our collective land conservation efforts. In the coming weeks the three boards will take steps to form the Traprock Ridge Land Conservancy! We are excited to work together protecting the environment, preserving local farming, and connecting residents with the outdoors from the ridgeline to the rivers.

Special Meeting of Members (PDF of Presentation)

Dear Members,

We appreciated members’ feedback during the information sessions and other conversations about the proposal to form a regional land trust with West Hartford Land Trust and East Granby Land Trust. On March 8 the Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution approving and recommending to Members a Plan of Merger in accordance with Section 33-1155 of the Connecticut Revised Nonstock Corporation Act.

Per Wintonbury Land Trust’s bylaws, the Board of Directors calls a Special Meeting of Members. The purpose of the meeting will be to consider and vote on a Plan of Merger among Wintonbury Land Trust, West Hartford Land Trust, and East Granby Land Trust and any other matters properly raised by attendees.

(Please contact us if you need a paper copy of the Plan of Merger or are interested in reviewing the full legal merger agreement that will implement this plan.)

Through this process we learned that our land trusts have similar characteristics and complementary strengths, and believe that merging will improve the long-term impact of your land preservation efforts. We recommend approving the Plan of Merger and hope you will attend!


Dale Bertoldi, Sten Caspersson, Victor Herson, Paula Jones, Suzanne Petke, Christopher Shepard, Ashley Stewart, and Alexa Tzanova
Your WLT Board of Directors

Information Sessions (PDF of Presentation)

Dear Members & Supporters,

We would like to share an important and exciting opportunity to widen the impact of your land preservation efforts and improve the long-term sustainability of the Wintonbury Land Trust. As mentioned in past newsletters and at our annual membership meeting in June, we are looking to strengthen our work by deepening partnerships with organizations that also protect the environment, preserve local farms, and connect people with nature.

Through the Connecticut Land Conservation Council we increasingly have been working with and getting to know neighboring land trusts. We identified many similarities with East Granby Land Trust and West Hartford Land Trust and last year invited them to formally explore the potential for forming a regional land trust to our mutual benefit. Our leadership talks discovered:

  • We share common visions and missions for land conservation that benefits our communities for generations to come.
  • Each land trust recognizes that we have limited capacity to expand our visions and missions as far as we would like.
  • All three land trusts seek to reach more people, bring more people onto our trails, and educate more people about the importance of land conservation to have a greater impact in our communities.
  • Our boards agree the best way to accomplish that could be to join forces by merging to form a regional land trust.

As a Wintonbury Land Trust supporter, we invite you to attend one of the following information sessions to discuss a potential merger with East Granby Land Trust and West Hartford Land Trust:

  • Wednesday, February 8, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Bloomfield Human Services Center, Room 152 – RSVP to help us plan.
  • Thursday, February 16, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, via Zoom – RSVP to receive the weblink.

At each information session we will share what we have learned and how a merger of our land trusts could strengthen the work we do (PDF of presentation), and of course we will have time for your questions and suggestions. We hope you attend!


Dale Bertoldi, Sten Caspersson, Victor Herson, Paula Jones, Suzanne Petke, Christopher Shepard, Ashley Stewart, and Alexa Tzanova
The WLT Board of Directors

Contact Us

We will update this page with materials as they become available. If you have questions, please contact us.


April 26

  • First meeting of the new Board of Directors

April 10

  • File Merger with Secretary of State

March 29

  • Land Trust Members unanimously approved Plan of Merger

March 8

  • Board of Directors unanimously approved Plan of Merger and recommended it to the Members

February 8 & 16

  • Information Sessions about potential merger for Land Trust members and supporters


  • Confidential merger feasibility study with East Granby Land Trust and West Hartford Land Trust
  • Land Trust Alliance risk management assessment 


  • “Building Enduring Land Trusts” grant from The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation 


  • Connecticut Land Conservation Council’s Farmington River Valley Partnerships & Mergers Education Series


  • Connecticut Land Conservation Council’s Regional Summit of Land Trusts

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