Address:  20 Greenleaf Farms Road (33 acres) & 18 Shut Road (33 acres)
Donors:  Developers (33 acres), William H. Lewis (24 acres) & James D. Craig (9 acres)
Total Acres Preserved: 221
Acres Owned by NFA: 66
Abutting Acres Preserved:
State owned > 25 -excluding the abutting Huntington State Park
Town owned > 0        
Property subject to conservation easement > 0
Owned by Aquarion Water Company > 140 estimated
Parking and access:  On-street
Trails: Yes

Properties connected by bridal path easements.
Property abuts Huntington State Park (excluded from acres above)



Greenleaf Preserve is 33 acre wildlife sanctuary in southern Newtown, Connecticut. The property consists
of a diverse assemblage of meadows, wetlands, and forest. It is a rich and diverse system with an
abundant number of habitats for its small size. The property was protected and set aside as a preserve in
the early 1990s when the historic farm in which it was located was subdivided. The NFA’s goal for the
property is “to safeguard and enhance the natural resources of the property, with an emphasis on wildlife
habitat diversity management.”

The piece of land on which Greenleaf Preserve now is located is part of a larger historic farm that still
exists in remnants along Poverty Hollow Road. The Platt family homestead dates back to 1800 and still
stands on the present day Atlasta farm. In the 1800s and early 1900s much of the land in Poverty Hollow
belonged to the Platt family, and was the site of some innovative agriculture. Theron Platt (1848-1927)
was a scientific farmer who specialized in the breeding of potatoes. He was responsible for the
introduction of an important blight resistant potato variety, and used fields on the property for his
research. His brother Johnson Platt was a well-respected lawyer and professor at Yale University, and his
son Philo Platt (1880-1926) became the first Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture from the town of
Newtown. When Theron Platt died in 1927 the main homestead was sold to the Bickfords. The parcel of
property that was to eventually become Greenleaf passed to Platt’s heirs. It is not clear who owned the
property before the Platt family, but it is thought that John Reed may have held the original rights. As one
of the original proprietors of Newtown and Redding, he owned much of the land in the area. Reed was the
Queen’s attorney in Connecticut in 1711, as well as being an early land baron; he moved to
Massachusetts in 1722.

In 1937 Edward Churchill, a gentleman farmer from New York, purchased 255 acres from Charles, Russel,
and May Platt. At first he was only a weekender, but eventually retired to live full-time on the farm.
Churchill’s passion was Aryshire cattle, and he utilized many areas of the property for their pasture. In
addition to pasture, the property was used to grow cow corn, silage, and hay. The Churchill’s maintained
some portions of the property as woodlot, but aerial photos of the area from 1934 show most of the area
we call Greenleaf preserve today was cleared as pasture and field. Edward and his wife Marjorie
remained on the property until 1965 when they moved to Arizona. By that time they had increased the
property to 387.6 acres. When they left, the property passed briefly into the hands of a management
company out of New York and then eventually to Pioneer Lands corporation. The community rejoiced
when an investment banker from New York, Dan Lufkin purchased the farm in 1967 and development was
temporarily thwarted. Dan Lufkin was a gentlemen farmer and an environmentalist. He is known as one of
the original founders of Earth Day, as well as for his work creating and running the Connecticut
Department of Environmental Protection in the 1970s. The farm remained as a dairy during Lufkin’s
ownership. Lufkin practiced animal husbandry, and cattle were raised on the property.


In 1979 Lufkin sold the farm to a developer who subdivided the property for home development and
donated this parcel to the NFA.


During 2011 two Eagle projects were conducted at the NFA’s Greenleaf Preserve. Scout Connor
Pineau and his team installed a new information kiosk, blazed and created a new trail loop,and
built a small bridge in the northern end of the Preserve. Kyle Watts and his volunteers completed a
much more prominent bridge, blazed a short trail along the stream, installed an informational kiosk
and a natural rock bench in the southern end of the Greenleaf Preserve leading from the NFA sign
on Greenleaf Farms Road.


There is a
GEOCACHE located here:
Hidden August 2010
Greenleaf Preserve by Planet - for the NFA
(Traditional Cache) (GC2CXTN)
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=c49c8e28-db2b-4a3b-80c7-4202bc5d71
52



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Greenleaf Farms Preserve & Equestrian Ridge
Spring 2004
Newtown Forest Association
Connecticut's Oldest Private Land Trust
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February 2006
February 2006
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Sign
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Meadow1
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