Above: Tom Worthley presents at the Annual Meeting in September.

The MxLT Annual Meeting, held on Saturday, September 23 at the DeKoven House in Middletown, was a success! The Land Trust’s Chair, Stuart Winquist, called the meeting to order, and a slate of new directors and officers were approved and/or voted in for the coming year.

After the business meeting closed, Winquist and Executive Director David Brown took the opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make the past year a banner year for the Land Trust, including members, volunteers, donors, and directors.

Stewardship volunteers were honored at the meeting for their dedication and hard work. This year, they logged over 534 hours caring for the preserves, including clearing trails and debris, rooting out invasive plants, clearing timber blowdowns, maintaining parking and access areas, marking boundaries, and installing signage and kiosks.

Brown also highlighted the acquisition of two new preserves: the Rattlesnake Brook Preserve in Portland and East Hampton and the Roth Preserve in Middlefield. He also praised MxLT’s ongoing and highly successful relationship with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), whereby MxLT has repeatedly quickly attained hundreds of acres of land in the Salmon River Watershed and Maromas areas and transferred them, fully conservation restricted, to the USFWS’s Silvio O. Conte Fish & Wildlife Refuge.

The meeting concluded with a fascinating and informative talk by Tom Worthley, a UConn forester, about the current state of Connecticut’s ever-evolving forested landscape.

After the formal gathering ended, the group continued to enjoy coffee, tea, and refreshments, followed by a short hike by a smaller group who braved the less-than-ideal weather at the Harris Preserve in Middletown.