The Old Lyme Conservation Trust

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Old Lyme Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 163
Old Lyme, CT 06371


Miscellaneous information

Roger Tory Peterson

Roger Tory Peterson was an artist and avid birder who revolutionized the world of bird-watching when he published his Field Guide to Birds in 1934. His detailed paintings and a simplified method of identifying birds helped to make birding a popular hobby. The guide was so successful that Peterson's system was applied to all manner of flora and fauna. More info...

Extra credit: Before Peterson came along, the world's reigning painter of birds was John J. Audubon.


Elizabeth B. Karter

Elizabeth "Bunt" Whitman Karter, civic leader and philanthropist, was a most valued Trust member for a long time. She lived in Old Lyme until she passed away in October 2004. In January 2005 the Trust decided to rename the Watch Rock property to be the Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve.

Born, Elizabeth Carmen Whitman in 1923 in New Britain, Bunt graduated from the Emma Willard School in Albany, NY in 1941 and Wheaton College, Norton, MA in 1945. She was a trustee of both schools for many years and spearheaded a wide range of fundraising, recruiting and alumnae activities. She was honored for her contributions with Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards from both Wheaton and Emma Willard in 1988 and 2000 respectively.

From 1947 to 1950 she served the US Defense Department Army Special Services, running recreation activities for the troops during the Allied occupation of Germany. There she met her husband, Peter Karter, who was a graduate of West Point, serving in the Army Corps of Engineers, and they were married in Darmstadt, Germany. While raising four daughters she was a pillar of every community in which they lived, including Cambridge, MA, Fort Belvoir, VA, Old Saybrook, West Point, NY, Norwalk, York, PA and finally, Old Lyme where they made their home since 1969.

She was a leader and volunteer in numerous civic activities including being President of the League of Women Voters, President of the PTA, running Girl Scout and Brownie troops, and many building and preservation activities for her churches and communities. Bunt served for 16 years on the Board of Education in Old Lyme. She was the driving force on the Missions and Outreach Committee at St. Anne's Episcopal Church. Over the years she was a Board member and/or active participant in the Connecticut Recycler's Coalition, the Old Lyme Conservation Trust, the Shoreline Soup Kitchen, the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Coalition, Old Lyme Youth Services, AFS, the Old Lyme Garden Club and the Nearly New Shop of St. Anne's.

For over 20 years, Bunt worked full-time as Medical Records Administrator for Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. Bunt was one of the organizers of the first recycling program in Old Lyme. From this small beginning came the germ of an idea for industrial-scale curbside recycling and the formation of Resource Recovery Systems, Inc. of Branford. Working together with Bunt, her husband Peter founded this company, which eventually had processing plants in nine states. It was nationally recognized as the industry leader and the model is now replicated throughout the country.

For all the accomplishments of an enormously active and well-lived life, Bunt will be remembered for a quality of being that is hard to capture in words. Her kindness, generous nature, indefatigable spirit and good works extended not only to her immediate circle but far beyond. She was an extraordinarily positive and optimistic person who is now remembered in one of our beautiful public properties: The Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve.


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