Whispers in the Forest
Newtown Forest Association
Connecticut's Oldest Private Land Trust
The Newtown Forest Association recently accepted a generously donated parcel of land from
former residents, Dick & Marie Surdevant located at 1 Barnabas Road in Newtown. This wooded
property, of just under 3 acres, will be added to the network of over 1,100 acres that the NFA
currently owns, oversees and conserves in Newtown.
The Sturdevants, who lived in Newtown for 30 years, have always been very involved in the town
activities. Dick was a member of the Planning and Zoning commission and a supporter of the NFA,
including facilitating the donations of other open space parcels. The Sturdevants had purchased
the property in 2000 with the possibility of developing it, however fortunately for the NFA, their
plans changed. In late 2011 they contacted the NFA to offer the land as a donation.
The property does not directly abut any other NFA parcels and is located next to Interstate 84 in a
commercially zoned area however, the board of directors believed that the land still added value to
its conservation efforts. The property is located close to another NFA parcel and other preserved
open space. The NFA envisions the possibility of this being part of a larger future greenway or
potentially established as a forest nursery. Current NFA President, Bob Eckenrode commented
that “the opportunity to preserve additional open space in Newtown holds great value in the
preservation of natural resources for wildlife and passive recreation”. NFA Secretary, Bart Smith
added that, “The Studevant’s desire to see property preserved and the generosity of their
donation is commendable and something the NFA highly values. We are encouraged to see that
the open space network of parcels we have acquired and steward are recognized as a valuable
asset to our community here in Newtown”.
For more information on the Newtown Forest Association, visit www.NewtownForestAssociation.
org; also, please “like” the Newtown Forest Association Facebook page.
From Left to Right - Bob Eckenrode (NFA President),
Mr. & Mrs Sturdevant (Donors) and Ed Kelleher (NFA