Friday, November 25, 2016
Day 25: Ives Farm
Iconic Cheshire farm in northeast Cheshire with extensive woodlands and Quinnipiac River frontage. CLT's largest single acquisition.
Nearest Road: Cheshire Street
Public Access: Yes/No (see below)
Acquisition: August 2006
Donor: Elizabeth Ives
The Cheshire Land Trust acquired Ives Farm in August 2006. The historic farm is the bequest of Betty Ives, the beloved and dedicated farmer who by sheer force of will began her farming career upon the death of her husband Eddie Ives in 1967.
Ives Farm is the first farm the trust has owned and operated as working farm. Over the past several years CLT has been following a farm management plan to meet the needs of the community and to fulfill the vision of Betty Ives. The farm operation is currently run by T&D Growers.
While Ives Farm is best known for its rich fields visible from Cheshire Street, the property contains an 80-acre woodland that includes several forest types, wetlands, and a powerline corridor. This woodland contains a rich diversity of plant and animal habitats. Betty Ives' will stipulated that this woodland must be maintained and managed "in accordance with good forestry practices."
Cheshire Street runs north-south between the two halves of the Ives Farm property. Several residential streets ring the south and eastern sides. CLT's Pelz Farm borders Ives Farm to the northwest, and the Quinnipiac River runs along Ives Farm's western boundary. With the addition of Ives Farm, CLT became the largest private owner of riverfront along the Quinnipiac River in Cheshire.
Hiking trails in the Ives Woodlands pass through mature stands of oak, mixed hardwoods, and one of the largest stands of old field cedars in Cheshire. While the farmed portion of the property has remained largely unchanged over the past 100 years, the woodlands have slowly converted from pastureland to mature forest. A detailed hiking trail map is on the CLT website. The trails are closed Monday-Friday each November and December for wildlife management purposes.
The Ives Farm farmstand and trails are open to the public. The remainder of the property is not. The farmstand and Cheshire Street trail entrance is across from 1585 Cheshire Street. An additional trail entrance is at the end of Northpond Road.
Much more about the CLT's Ives Farm, and numerous photos, are on the CLT website's Ives Farm page. CLT has also produced a short video with aerial views of the farm.
Do you live next to or near Ives Farm? Tell us about what you've seen on this land! Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at www.cheshirelandtrust.org to help us protect and maintain this and other great open space properties around Cheshire.