FRWA received a major gift from the Estate of Lily Frey of beautiful riverside land in New Hartford, as well as a $150,000 endowment to help fund its conservation. This generous donation by Ms. Frey has given FRWA an amazing location right on the Farmington River for hands-on watershed education and conservation activities. FRWA fought for years in court to protect Ms. Frey’s charitable intent and so the final conveyance of the land in late 2019 was a tremendous moment for the organization.
FRWA was gifted 13 acres of land along the Farmington River in New Hartford; much of it meadow habitat. Meadows have become increasingly rare in Connecticut and so we are excited to be able to provide an important habitat for wildlife—birds, pollinators, bears, deer, foxes, otters, and more have been sighted at our new property. FRWA has established a land stewardship committee and we are working with partners, including specialists at CT DEEP, to determine the best care for the property in regards to wildlife, native plants, and the health of the river.
Invasive Species Management
In April 2021, the land stewardship committee conducted an invasive species work session on the property. Volunteers cleared more than half of the quarter acre of dead Japanese knotweed stalks, 3 chainsaw-wielding experts cut vines that were choking trees around the pond, and removed invasive black locust overcrowding native Alder bushes around the pond.
FRWA land stewardship committee will continue to manage invasive species at the Frey property in order to make room for native species to grow and support native wildlife.
Land Acknowledgment Statement 2021 for Frey property in New Hartford
The FRWA acknowledges that the Frey property is on the traditional lands of the Watunkshaw/ Tunxis Tribal Nation, Mohican and other northeastern woodland Algonquian people including Wappinger/ Munsee/ Lanape and Pocumtuc inhabitants of Northwest Connecticut, parts of western Massachusetts, and eastern New York. We pay our respect to the indigenous people who are no longer here due to colonization, forced relocation, disease, and warfare. We thank the native people who were stewards of this land through the centuries and millenia. We recognize the continued presence of Indigenous people in the northeast region who have survived attempted obliteration, and who still hold spiritual and cultural ties to the land in New Hartford along the Farmington River (Watunkshausepo, “the fast, flowing winding river”). We shall be good stewards of the land here in New Hartford, Quinnentucket, Connecticut.