Who We Are

Property Holdings
The New Canaan Land Trust now owns or has conservation easements over 380 acres in New Canaan. We permanently protect diverse natural environments such as wetlands along the Silvermine, Rippowan and Five Mile Rivers, meadows in Hicks Field, Hannan Field, Colhoun Field and Livingston-Higley Meadows, and upland forests in the Browne and Symington properties.
Our 2010 acquisition through donation of the 4 acre Gatt Property on Smith Ridge Road allows the preservation of a first growth woodlands with massive glacial transients. More recently, Rob & Margie Fryer of Ponus Ridge granted the Land Trust a 2 acres conservation easement along the Rippowan watershed - an important wildlife habitat. In 2015 the Land Trust acquired the 4-acre "Firefly Sanctuary" off Smith Ridge and received an 8.25-acre gift also off Smith Ridge at year end. 

Although the majority of our properties are too wet or fragile for pedestrian access, we own two large parcels with hiking trails open to the public: W. Prichard Browne Sanctuary and Nancy Watson-Symington Woodlands. For a large-scale map of New Canaan Land Trust properties, click on the map image to the right. Our plan is to improve access to several additional properties in 2015.

Our Mission
The Mission of the New Canaan Land Trust is to preserve and protect open space in New Canaan. Preservation of open space benefits our community by adding natural sanctuary's for the residents, preserving precious natural wildlife habitats and the scenic, rural character of New Canaan for future generations.

Best Standards and Practices
Through the adoption of and adherence to The Land Trust Alliance’s Best Standards and Practices, our organization has reached a high level of professionalism. This is essential for the responsible operation of a Land Trust and ensures that a land trust operates legally, ethically and in the public interest. It also establishes a sound program of land transactions and stewardship.

The New Canaan Land Trust was founded in 1967 by Jack Gunther. Today it is governed by a highly involved Board of Trustees and enjoys modest support from the community. The day-to day operations of the Land Trust are overseen by Chris Schipper, our President.

Art Berry, Vice President and Acting Treasurer, Board Member since 2014
Tom Cronin, Board Member and incoming Treasurer since 2013
Siw de Gysser, Board Member since 2013
John Engel III, Board Member since 2012
John Fusek, Treasurer, Board Member since 2012
Sally Hines, Board Member since 2014
Haik Kavookjian, Land Steward, Board Member since 2012
Emily Nissley, Board Member since 2014
Carter Norton, Board Member since 2014
Julia Portale, Secretary, Board Member since 2013
Ditte Reifsnyder, Board Member since 2013
Penelope Ross, Board Member since 2013
Chris Schipper, President, Board Member since 2012



New Canaan Land Trust
PO Box 425
New Canaan, CT 06840 

203-972-1270 (leave message)


The New Canaan Land Trust is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, and all dues and contributions are tax deductible.