Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 28: Leavenworth Tree Farm Easement

Conservation easement protecting a local Christmas tree farm property and associated woodlands in eastern Cheshire.

Size: 38 acres
Nearest Road: Coleman Road
Public Access: No
Acquisition: March 2003
Donor: The Knickerbocker, Leavenworth, and Palmer Families

The Leavenworth Tree Farm Easement (a.k.a. the Leavenworth, Palmer & Knickerbocker Family Conservation Restriction) is a conservation easement donated to the Cheshire Land Trust by the Leavenworth, Palmer, and Knickerbocker Families in March 2003.  As of 2016, this is CLT's largest single easement gift, and the most recent.  

The Leavenworth Tree Farm property is bordered to the east by Coleman Road, to the north by lots along Ashley Court, and to the west by residential properties on Radmere Road.

The property consists of gently sloping undeveloped open space land, primarily forest and fields associated with the Leavenworth Christmas Tree Farm. The property has been owned by the Leavenworth family since 1952.

The Leavenworth & Knickerbocker families determined that a Conservation Restriction on the property will promote its charitable purposes of protecting areas of rural, scenic, agricultural,watershed, and natural resource value in their hometown of Cheshire.

The agreement with the CLT ensures that their farm property may be used now and in the future for agricultural, passive recreational, horticultural, animal husbandry, equestrian, forestry, and related purposes, with no residential development on the property now or in the future.  
38 acres of the 42 acre farm are protected by the easement.

Sue Knickerbocker provided this perspective on the donation and some background on the farm's history...

"My father graduated from Yale School of Forestry before joining the army (WWII). When he came home from the war he wanted to find a peaceful spot to live and in 1952 he found this farm for sale in Cheshire. My mother attended Yale Art School and had grown up in older homes and had a deep interest in the architecture of the farm buildings. She was also a bird lover and conservationist and they both found this farm as a place to fulfill their dreams."

Much more about the Leavenworth Tree Farm Easement, including a detailed history of the Leavenworth Family's history on the land, is at the CLT website's Leavenworth Tree Farm page.

For the last 65 years this beautiful property has remained mostly unchanged. It is a defining piece of Cheshire's remaining rural and farming heritage.

The Leavenworth Tree Farm property is private land with a a conservation easement in favor of CLT. There is no public access unless posted by the owners for the seasonal sale of their Christmas trees.
Tell us about what you've seen on this land!  Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at to help us protect and maintain this and other great open space properties around Cheshire.  

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