A generous gift of land in Old Lyme’s Lord Cove will assist conservation and provide public access in one of the largest and most important tidal marsh areas along the Lower Connecticut River, two Connecticut conservation groups announced today.
The donation from the John Lohmann Revocable Trust to the Old Lyme Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy protects 38 acres that includes shoreline, tidal marsh and uplands.
To be called the John Lohmann Connecticut River Preserve, the land will be open to the public. Terraced fields, stone walls and a scattering of large old trees bespeak the property’s agricultural history. The land had been neglected in the years before John Lohmann purchased it, and its reclamation was a personal project of his during his lifetime. Lohmann, a 50-year resident of Old Lyme, died in 2005.
With the donation, the Old Lyme Land Trust owns the land, while the Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the property.
“This property, with its open, sloping fields and its beautiful views of the Connecticut River, is unique among the conservation lands in Old Lyme. The town will benefit enormously from this extraordinarily generous gift,” said Christina Clayton, president of the Old Lyme Land Trust.
The new preserve is an integral part of the overall Lower Connecticut River system. It will protect an acre of tidal marsh in addition to surrounding land that will help buffer the marsh and protect its contributing watershed. Tidal marshes absorb tidal energy and provide flood protection, as well as providing habitat and spawning grounds for numerous species.
The land is within both the Gateway Conservation District of the Lower Connecticut River and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
“The Lohmann Revocable Trust gift provides for conservation in one of the most important of the tidal marsh sites in an internationally recognized system, and the public access it creates can only help deepen interest in protecting incredible resources like this,” said Nathan Frohling, the Conservancy’s director of Connecticut coastal and marine initiatives. “We’re grateful for the gift, and we look forward to working with a strong and like-minded partner in the Old Lyme Land Trust to protect this land.”
Of the 2,500 acres associated with Lord Cove’s marsh, waters and local watershed, approximately 1,000 acres are protected for conservation. The Nature Conservancy has also been active in a multi-year effort to control invasive phragmites in the area, resulting in the restoration of approximately 250 acres of marsh.
The current gift follows a donation in 2004 of 46 acres of land and an accompanying conservation easement along the Lieutenant River in 2004 from John Lohmann, The Twining Family Trust, and Edith Buck. The Trust and the Conservancy have successfully shared ownership and conservation responsibilities of that land—the Trust’s Lohmann- Buck-Twining Preserve—since then.
Lohmann also spearheaded the effort to buy the Watch Rock property and create what is now the Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve. For his many contributions to the cause of conservation in Old Lyme, the Trust has made a posthumous award of its Land Saver Award to Lohmann. Lohmann was a co-founder of the Trust in 1966.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Old Lyme Land Trust
Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy