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CLT Properties

Open Space Map

14 year old male Box Turtle

A rare site - 5/5/06 - Sigrun Gadwa

FM Trail Marker


Cheshire Land Trust
Preserving Land as a Living Resource Since 1969

Fresh Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

 "Fresh Meadows was a name given much of south Cheshire by early settlers who farmed the low-lying, sparsely forested land along the Mill River. A tribute to an earlier respect for the land, Fresh Meadows is one of the Land Trust's most visible and accessible properties. CLT has worked vigorously to maintain trails and managed areas, permitting public access while protecting the plants and animals that live there."

TRAILS - 1994


Location: Cook Hill Road, Cheshire, CT
Acquisition: 1985
Acreage: 32.8 acres

Property & Trail Map

Public Access: Yes - dawn to dusk year round.

Cook Hill Road - parking for 7 cars, informational bulletin board; portion of the fence is removable allowing access for vehicles (for property maintenance or in case of an emergency).

Description: The preserve is an important natural area in the Mill River Watershed. The meadows and emergent forests comprising Fresh Meadows are really two properties. CLT owns 32.8 acres that adjoins 10 acres owned by Elim Park which the Trust manages. The property offers a well defined network of trails for easy walking in a natural setting making this open space an ideal place for all age groups. The diverse property includes mowed meadow, forested ridge at north end, Mill River frontage, seasonal wetlands and a peat bog (former farm pond).

A substantial private property borders on the north and east. The property is posted so please stay off the neighbors property at all times.

Fresh Meadow Trail

Memorial Bench in honor Jean May ( The May Family 2012)

Development can often come at a price. For Edward Tufte and other concerned citizens living around the proposed subdivision at Fresh Meadows its development was too high a price and so began their efforts to organize and raise money to purchase the property and donate it to the Cheshire Land Trust. The Cheshire Neighborhood Association, a group of 8 neighbors including Edward Tufte and Harvey Waller a builder, donated 10 acres in return for his being allowed to build the Brittany Court subdivision. 

Deed, June 1985 (executed by Atty. Peter Cooper acting as Trust for the Cheshire Neighborhood Association). The land was given under the condition that it remain “in an open and natural state.”

The Trust also relies on information from neighbors and walkers that frequent the preserve. These are often the people who observe the preserve daily and can report on litter, signs of campfires, etc. The Trust tries to respond promptly to such reports and take appropriate action.

Management: mowing, planting, educational walks, bulletin board displays. Meadows mowed every other year. Trails mowed several times a summer.


Fall 1985 The Cheshire Land Trust announced that it intended to work on Fresh Meadows in order to create:

  • A wildlife sanctuary by preserving and augmenting a variety of habitats already rich in biological diversity.
  • Wildflower meadows and hayfields to conserve types of habitat being lost to housing developments or growth of brush.
  • Areas of native and ornamental trees and shrubs to enhance scenic vistas or to create an arboretum
  • A series of walking paths and nature trails so that the area can be enjoyed, passively, by residents of Cheshire.

The preserve is open to the general public not just to Cheshire residents. This policy reflects the purposes of the Trust as set forth in the its Certificate of Incorporation (Article 2a), “to engage in and otherwise promote for the benefit of the general public the preservation of natural resources of the State of Connecticut and the plant and animal life therein.”

FM Aerial Fresh Meadows


The aerial photos (December 2004) show Fresh Meadows and the Mill River as it flows south easterly towards Cook Hill Rd. Aerial Photograpy by Ev Cassagneres

The large structures and parking areas are the Elim Park complex. The hardwood forested area beyond the river is Elim Park's open space. Much of the evergreen cedar and white pine stands are on the CLT preserve. The trails are visible from this vantage point. The slender green belt, buttressed by the two homes on Cook Hill Rd., is the public accessway to the preserve.

Webmaster: Tim Slocum

Site last updated: October 9, 2016