Old Lyme — The Old Lyme Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy announced Tuesday a donation of 38 acres of shoreline, tidal marsh and uplands in Lord Cove that, in the future, will be open to the public.
The gift comes from the John Lohmann Revocable Trust and entrusts ownership of the land to the land trust. The conservancy holds a conservation easement on the property, according to a joint press release from the land trust and conservancy.
The land, to be called the John Lohmann Connecticut River Preserve, is named for a 50-year Old Lyme resident who died in 2005. He was a co-founder of the Old Lyme Land Trust in 1966.
In 2004, Lohmann, along with The Twining Family Trust and Edith Buck, donated 46 acres along the Lieutenant River that became the Lohmann-Buck-Twining Preserve. Lohmann also was a key player in the creation of the Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve and posthumously has been awarded the land trust’s Land Saver Award.
The new Lohmann preserve, which includes terraced fields and stone walls, was neglected before Lohmann purchased it. According to the land trust and conservancy, the preserve will protect tidal marsh and its surrounding areas, which will “buffer the marsh and protect its contributing watershed.”
“This property, with its open, sloping fields and its beautiful views of the Connecticut River, is unique among the conservation lands in Old Lyme,” said Christina Clayton, president of the land trust, in a statement. “The town will benefit enormously from this extraordinarily generous gift.”
The land trust owns about 800 acres of conservation land, Clayton said. With this acquisition, about 1,000 acres of Lord Cove’s 2,500 acres will be protected from development. The Nature Conservancy has helped restore about 250 acres of marsh in its effort to control invasive phragmites in the area.
The preserve is located within both the Gateway Conservation District of the Lower Connecticut River and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
“The Lohmann Revocable Trust gift provides for conservation in one of the most important of the tidal marsh sites in an internationally recognized system, and the public access it creates can only help deepen interest in protecting incredible resources like this,” said Nathan Frohling, the conservancy’s director of Connecticut coastal and marine initiatives.