June, 2005: Newsletter in PDF format
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Incorporated 1966 July 2004
Open space is an integral part of a healthy patchwork of land uses. It creates opportunities for recreational use of the diverse terrain with which Old Lyme is blessed. Wetlands support many species as well as filtering runoff that flows to our rivers and streams and to the Sound. Land conservation also provides such simple pleasures as experiencing the peace and tranquility of a grassy meadow or a lush forest.
The preservation of your property is an important and personal choice. Each family has unique and very personal reasons for protecting their legacy. The Old Lyme Conservation Trust can help you, as a landowner, to develop a conservation plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. It is a plan and process that includes attorneys, appraisers, accountants, and most importantly family members. The primary conservation options for the landowner are: land donation, conservation easement and bargain sale.
A land donation for conservation purposes may be the best option if you do not wish to pass your land on to your heirs, if you own property you no longer use, or have highly appreciated property, or need to reduce estate tax burdens. This option can provide substantial income tax deductions and estate tax benefits, because you avoid capital gains taxes that result from selling the property.
You can donate a remainder interest in your land that allows you to continue living on the land. Donating a remainder interest may make you eligible for an income tax deduction when the gift is made. If you need income during your lifetime, you should consider a charitable gift annuity. In this case you transfer property to a charity, and the charity makes annuity payments for life to the beneficiaries you specify. This usually qualifies for a charitable income tax deduction at the time of transfer.
A conservation easement entails a legal agreement between the land owner and easement holder as to restriction of the land’s use. You can continue to use the land as defined in the restriction, and can even sell the land or pass it on to your heirs, but the restrictions written in the legal deed remain in perpetuity. A donated conservation easement, if permanently protecting conservation resources and meeting federal tax code requirements, can qualify as a tax deductible charitable donation on your federal taxes. Finally, placing a conservation easement on your property lowers its market value by removing the development potential, resulting in lower estate taxes for your heirs.
If you need immediate value out of your land, you can make a bargain sale to a land trust for less than fair market value. This can provide cash, avoid some capital gains tax, and entitle you to a charitable income tax deduction.
The most important task for you as a landowner is to discuss your property and its value with your family and financial advisors. You and your family will benefit later from a few strategic decisions now.
*Editor’s note: taken from the Land Trust Alliance’s booklet on Conservation Options: a landowner’s guide. Ask for a free copy.
‘Green Crew’ Builds and Installs 30 Bluebird Houses
It’s a great feeling to build a bird house and then actually have birds show up to nest in it. It’s especially gratifying when the species is the eastern bluebird, and you get to see one perched on the roof with its brilliant blue back and its bright orange breast. That’s the experience a lot of local residents got to enjoy this spring, because of the work of our Green Crew, a group of volunteers from Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Over the winter, they built thirty bluebird houses and installed them around the two towns. Senior John Drakos and his father Bill cut the wood pieces. The assembly line included seniors Emma Lo and Matt Rice; juniors Nelson Azoulay and Ryan Larson, and Mike Silberberg, Jerry Silberberg, and Richard Conniff. Hank Golet, who has been overseeing a string of osprey nesting platforms and bluebird nests in area towns, supervised the installation. Other nest boxes went in on the grounds of the high school, Mile Creek School, the Senior Center, Lyme Regis apartments, the OLCT Bartholomew Easement on Shore Road, the Champlain Farm north property (behind the Old Lyme Inn) recently acquired by the Old Lyme Open Space committee, and in private yards around town. By May, many of the houses were already producing young bluebirds, swallows, wrens, and also (unfortunately) English sparrows. The sparrows are an invasive species and they sometimes kill bluebird nestlings, so we will be moving those nest boxes to new locations for next year. In addition to the bluebird project, Green Crew and adult volunteers have been conducting monthly work days, clearing invasive vines and picking up garbage on conservation property around town. Our other volunteers include freshmen Melissa Holland and Clare Conniff, and adults Mariette Brown, George James, Ellie Czarnowski, and Ted Crosby.
Hank Golet placed one of the new bluebird boxes beside the grave of his old mentor, artist and author Roger Tory Peterson.
$1,000 Scholarship Available to College Students
The Old Lyme Conservation Trust, Inc. is pleased tobe able to provide scholarship support to college students who are residents of the Town of Old Lyme and who are pursuing college degrees in environmental science, environmental studies, ecology or conservation biology, or related areas. The Trust will provide one $1,000 scholarship for a qualified student on a competitive basis. Previous awardees are eligible to re-apply. Students interested in the Old Lyme Conservation Trust scholarship should complete an application form available by writing to the Old Lyme Conservation Trust, Inc. or by downloading an application from this website.
The application requires applicants to submit a short essay describing their educational and career goals, and to have three (3) letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf (at least two from high school or college instructors). Students who receive scholarships from the Old Lyme Conservation Trust Inc. must provide evidence of college acceptance or continued matriculation status. All application materials should be sent to the following address, no later than August 10: P.O.B. 163 Old Lyme, CT 06371. Awards will be announced by September 1st.
Board Member Profile: Mike Kiernan
Mike Kiernan is a fourth-generation, summer residentof Old Lyme, with a cottage at Point O’Woods Beach. He has worked professionally in the conservation field for the last fifteen years, first for World Wildlife Fund, and then later for the World Bank and Rainforest Alliance. In 2002 and 2003, he worked with the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to compile data on the land trust community in the state and develop a set of activities and materials to help strengthen the organizational practices of land trusts. He has been on the board of the Old Lyme Conservation Trust since 2001.
Mike is currently employed by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as the Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer.
Other board members: Dick Blair, Suzanne Colten- Carey, Ellie Czarnowski, Evan Griswold, George James, John Lohmann, Elizabeth Karter, Joe Migliaccio, Anna Silberberg, Jerry Silberberg.
700 Acres Preserved; Provides Native Habitat for Wildlife
With the help of our membership, the Old Lyme Conservation Trust now has over 700 acres preserved in town, protected from development. This preserved property provides native habitat to our local wildlife and provides the residents an opportunity for hiking and exploring.
Little Blue Heron Photo by Hank Golet
Walk of Griswold Park will feature Fish Ladder and Pond
The OLCT will host a walk of Griswold Park on July 24 at 4 p.m. Come and see the fish ladder on Mill Pond and learn about beavers. This will be a short walk around the property. All are welcome. Wear bug spray and long pants. Meet at the Griswold Park Parking area at 4 p.m., rain or shine. (entrance directly opposite Stoneleigh Knoll (Rd.) on Route 1)
Midsummer Festival is July 31
Please come and visit OLCT at the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival at the Florence Griswold Museum in the Hands-On, Minds-On Education Area on Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will be there to talk to you and there will be an Open Space Quiz with prizes.
We Invite You to Join The Old Lyme Conservation Trust
The Old Lyme Conservation Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 1966, and dedicated to the preservation of Old Lyme’s rural character and quality of life. Our primary concern is the preservation of Old Lyme’s natural resources through the purchase of open space, conservation easements, and the receipt of land donations for conservation. OLCT presently owns, manages, and preserves over 70 parcels in Old Lyme.
Become a member of the Old Lyme Conservation Trust and help preserve open space in town. If your company has a matching gift policy, please tell us.
For a limited time, on a first come, first serve basis, receive a free t-shirt (m-l-xl) with a single membership or a free long billed captain’s hat with a family membership.
Click on the picture (form) above for a view
of the form only.
Note: If you are employed by Pfizer, J.P. Morgan Chase or Merrill Lynch, the company may match your contribution if you fill out their matching gift form and send it along with your donation.
The Old Lyme Conservation Trust is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and all contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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