Description: Although these are technically separate preserves, they adjoin one another and are administered as one. Also adjoining are two areas of town open space creating an island of protected open space totaling about 80 acres. They are located in Glastonbury in the midst of a densely developed part of town lying between New London Turnpike, Tall Timbers Road, and Sherwood Drive. There is another large undeveloped parcel to the south, owned by Merritt Baldwin.
The property is entirely wooded (oak, hickory, red maple in the wet area), but there was a clear-cut of the steep slope rising from the Smith Brook valley about 1990, while the Whitehouse family was still the owner. This created a wide-open view of the Connecticut River valley from Dorothy’s Vista. Kongscut Land Trust intends to maintain this vista by cutting brush as it grows up into the view.
Smith Brook, a small perennial stream, flows through the lower section, and the land rises steeply to the south, gaining about 200 feet in elevation in a distance of about 800 feet. There is a popular white blazed loop trail, maintained by KLT, which follows the brook, climbs to the ridge, passes Dorothy's Vista and returns back down the Smith Brook.
There are four access trails, all blazed blue and white:
1) Whitehouse Spur: from Tall Timbers Road (this access goes through town owned property and crosses a bridge on town land);
2) Tall Timbers Drive Trail: from the cul-de-sac on Tall Timbers Drive;
3) Vista Trail: from the end of Sherwood Drive (This access is by permission of Merritt Baldwin and is the most popular access because it leads directly to Dorothy's vista);
4) Orchard Hill Spur: from Overlook Road next to Orchard Hill Club (this access goes through town owned property and an historic old path).
Notable Features: 1) Dorothy's Vista - view of Harford and the Connecticut Valley. On a clear day you can see Springfield and the Holyoke Range 45 miles away.
2) Eastern Border fault follows Smith Brook through the preserves. This is the geological division between the Hartford basin, a rift valley, and the eastern highlands.
3) Two 30" diameter red oaks stand on the ridge.
4) Remnants of a former feldspar quarry in the SE corner.
Conservation Purpose: Wildlife habitat, passive recreation, contemplation, and nature study.
Deed Restrictions: Hollister: extensive and detailed restrictions, no disturbance, no motor vehicles, no cutting of trees, etc. See deed for details.
Whitehouse: no deed restrictions.
Bogdan: detailed conservation and public access easement by reason of DEP grant.
Preserve Management: Standard policy applies. Maintain trails for foot traffic only. Manage tree growth at Dorothy's Vista to keep view open.
Acquisition History: The Hollister preserve was a gift in Dec. 1994 from Richard Michael, Peter and Dee Dee Waring in honor of their parents Dana and Dorothy Waring. Dana the founder of the Kongscut Land Trust, died July 1993. He, and his wife Dorothy, had long dreamed of creating a nature preserve on this beautiful piece of land. It is named, at Dana and Dorothy's request, in honor of the Hollister Family who were original Glastonbury Settlers, and owned the property for many generations. The Hollister property originally extended three miles easterly from the Conn. River where the Meadow Hill condos now stand. The Whitehouse family Nature Preserve was given to KLT also in 1994 by Richard and Lorraine Whitehouse of Glastonbury. The Bogdan parcel was purchased in 2010 from the estate of Marion P. Bogdan for $20,000. KLT subsequently received an Open Space Acquisition Grant in the amount of $10,000 from the DEP. The appraised value is $30,000, based on the appraisal by Theodore Rummel, Certified Appraiser.
The Kongscut Land Trust, Inc. is a nonprofit land trust approved by the Internal Revenue Service to receive donations of land, money and conservation easements which are tax deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law. Donations or inquiries should be directed to the president or any other member of the Board of Directors.