Thursday, November 3, 2016

Day 3: Country Squire Preserve & Seeley Acres

Nature preserves along the banks of the Quinnipiac River in northeast Cheshire.

Country Squire Preserve
Size: 1.00 acre
Nearest Road: Riverside Drive
Public Access: No
Acquisition: September 1971
Donor: Welch Bros. Bldg. Corp. 

Seeley Acres
Size: 3.0 acres
Nearest Road: Worden Circle
Public Access: Yes
Acquisition: November 1976
Donor: Frank Nastri & Seeley House Association

Country Squire Preserve and Seeley Acres in 1934 (top)
and 2012 (obove).  Note changes in land use, including
a now-gone railway line on the south side of the river.
The Country Squire Preserve is a small narrow strip of riverfront property classified by CLT as a wildlife sanctuary.  The property was gifted to CLT in September 1971, becoming CLT’s first property along the Quinnipiac River, and its first property in the northeast portion of Cheshire.  Country Squire is north of Riverside Drive and Quinnipiac Court.  

Directly across the river is Seeley Acres, 3.0 acres donated to CLT in November 1976 by Frank Nastri and Seeley House Association.  This property is mostly made up of forested wetlands laying between the Quinnipiac River and lots along Worden Circle.

In the 1980s, both properties were covered with young tree growth and brush; portions of both properties are wet much of the the year.  CLT records from 2002 noted that Country Squire Preserve was “disappearing” at that time, because of erosion along the southwest bank of the Quinnipiac River.

The Quinnipiac meanders over time, meaning that erosion causes it to slowly move side-to-side, cutting away soil in some places and depositing soil in others.  Therefore, both properties will undoubtedly continue to change over time, but the rate that may or not be easily detected.  Land use changes over the past 80 years can be clearly seen in the images above, but the location of the river is largely the same.   (Note: property lines near the Quinnipiac River as shown are approximate.)

During 2016, two relic dams were removed from the Quinnipiac - one upstream in Southington, one downstream in Meriden.  The CLT  will be interested in monitoring the effects of these removals to the reach of the Quinnipiac through Cheshire, and to CLT's properties, for years to come.

The Country Squire Preserve does not have public access.  Seely acres is open to public access, but only from the river.  Both properties are easily seen during a canoe or kayak voyage down the Quinnipiac River.

Do you live next to or near the Country Squire Preserve or Seeley Acres? Tell us about what you’ve seen on these lands by commenting here or on CLT's Facebook page, or emailing to

Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at to help us protect and maintain these and other great open space properties around Cheshire.

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