By Claire Pease |
Photos by Claire Pease and Clinton Land Trust Website|
In our small, shoreline town, fifty years ago, the Clinton Land Trust was founded. The Trust was founded by seven people who were all acquaintances. They all had the same need for an organization that people could have trust in. Eventually, they became a non-profit group where the main goal was for them to preserve as many plots of land in Clinton as possible.
Lou Bougie, the only living original founder and president for 18 years of the Clinton Land Trust, who is now 91, has some very fond memories of the people and the places he has seen and met along the 50-year journey. Lou expressed his fondest memory was the “first time a group of guys put up an Osprey platform.” Lou also explained that they wanted to do something different in the town of Clinton, starting with the osprey.
When Lou and the rest of the original group began the Land Trust, they had no idea that it would still be prominent fifty years later. Their main goal when they began was to acquire many different, small pieces of land from around the town. They also cared and thought about the Osprey. They figured that by acquiring land, they could also begin to build Osprey nests and poles.
When asked about what he was most proud of with the Clinton Land Trust, Lou began to tell a story about the history of our town. He explained how in 1838, the sea captains and wealthy men, lived on Commerce Street, near the Long Island Sound. These people did not want to care about the small, poor farmers in Clinton. Therefore, they decided that they would like a small town rather than a big one. That way, they didn’t have to worry about the farmers. Lou also explained how the people of Clinton ended up giving away more land than they kept. The last thing that Lou said, summed up the entire reasoning as to the size of our town today. Lou understood and explained that “every town is trying to maintain what they have, but sometimes politics makes people do different things.”
The Clinton Land Trust has its own personal website and the web designer, John Pease, is in charge of it. He creates the posts that go up, and he manages what tabs and different options are available. John has been working for the Clinton Land Trust for ten years now, and he says that his favorite part of watching the Trust grow is that it is a well-working organization, and it is all run by volunteers.
John would like to say, however, that he notices that younger people are not volunteering, and he would love to see the “younger generations input”. John also knows that the trust is holding a scholarship opportunity. “There is a form on the website which applicants fill out, and then they write an essay.” The essays are then looked over by a panel and one student is chosen to win the scholarship.
Clinton is a small town, but even still the Clinton Land Trust would like to preserve the land and nature for many more years to come. If you have any questions for the Clinton Land Trust or would like to enter the scholarship contest, please visit the website: Clinton Land Conservation Trust.