Celebration of 50 years of Lyme Land Trust in June 2017

Celebrations and Thanks

Several festive events will be held in the coming months to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Lyme Land Trust. We want to honor the Lyme residents who had the forethought, the vision, and the energy to preserve both the beautiful and varied open spaces of Lyme and its rural quality. Piece by piece, almost 3,000 acres of wetlands, forest, fields, streams and ponds have been kept safe for future generations.

The Land Trust couldn’t have done it without the thousands of vol- unteer hours donated by those who have cleared and maintained trails, helped with events, led walks, devel- oped programs, and performed many other large and small tasks. We also thank those who have given ease- ments, and donated land and the funds to acquire land. You have all helped our mission in hundreds of ways.

We look forward to celebrating with you. We also look forward to working with all our friends and neigh- bors in Lyme to maintain the vision and continue our mission, which will be more important than ever in the coming years.

The 50th Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lyme Public Hall. Exactly fifty years ago on that date in 1967, a group of Lyme residents met for the first annual meeting of the Lyme Land Trust in the former Lyme Fire Depart- ment building. Since that building is now the Lyme Public Hall, this year’s meeting will be held in exactly the same venue. A brief business meeting and statements commemorating the occasion will be followed by a casual social gathering and celebration. Join us for community cheer and refresh- ments. Everyone is welcome.

On June 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., we will hold a barbeque, with a raffle and music by Plywood Cowboy at the Grassy Hill Preserve, to cele- brate this important anniversary and to thank our members. The band Ply- wood Cowboy will play. The event will be free to members.. Non-members can make a donation of $25 or more  at the event to become members.

On the Fourth of July long week- end, there will be an exhibit at the Lyme Public Hall commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Lyme Land Trust. It will include a display of the photographs of the Land Trusts Photo Contest winners, and information about the Lyme Land Trust preserves.

On Sunday, July 2, at the Public Hall, there will be a special day of ac- tivities for children. Check our website for more information: https://www.lymelandtrust.org/


Celebration of 40 years of Lyme Land Trust in June 2007

On the occasion of our 40th anniversary celebration in June 2007, Fritz Gahagan spoke to an audience of former directors and friends of the Land Trust.

In his remarks Fritz said: “Our success did not just happen; it evolved over a long period of time. We don’t have to look far back to recall when the land trust was viewed as an idiosyncratic group of well meaning, but harmless, individuals. Wow, were they wrong! In hindsight we can recognize some of the strategies that worked and some other factors that I can only call our Lyme blessings. You, the early leaders of the Land Trust recognized that:

  • conservation action had to begin with landowners & the strong emotional tie that every landowner has with their land; and
  • that broad community support had to be built from the ground up; i.e. “the hard way.”

Fritz continued “We [the Land Trust and the town of Lyme] are blessed, blessed with a number of things all of which, I believe, were necessary components of our success.

  • We are blessed with resources of national and international significance.
  • We are blessed with our landowners, who protected over 2000 acres of land, by gift, before there was ever money involved or it was the “Lyme” thing to do
  • We are blessed with two farmers who were willing to sell their development rights to preserve farmland and a way of life.
  • We are blessed with town leaders who had an open mind and were willing to see that conservation action was necessary to protect our town budgets and our traditional community values.”

Fritz concluded with: “All this resulted in something wonderful – what I call ‘community conservation consciousness’ which affirms and values the protection or our conservation resources. And so others came to live here who shared those values. Looking back these 40 years, it seems that we are blessed with a truly endangered phenomenon in the modern, east coast of the United States – a common ethos: a sense of who we are, what is important to us and, most important, a real commitment to take the responsibility to make it work – to live out our values.”

Fritz Gahagan was well qualified to address this group; three generations of his family have served as land trust directors.