Terry White at his home in Westport. Photo by the Trustees of Reservations.

Terry White, a true champion for conservation in Westport

On March 25th Westport and WLCT lost one of our greatest open space champions. Terry White first came to Westport in 1982, when he and his wife, Poo, purchased an 82-acre property along the Westport River and learned about conservation from their neighbor, Llewelyn Howland. Terry and Poo were generous stewards of their land, appreciating the open space and natural resources of their new home, forever protecting it by donating conservation restrictions to WLCT and the Trustees of Reservations. Terry’s appreciation for Westport’s rural landscape existed beyond his own property. He volunteered with WLCT, then became the president of the board of directors in 2000. Terry served in that role for 12 years, leading the way in the protection of over 2,000 acres.

Early in his tenure, Terry commented that “Everyone is aware of the urgency, and they appreciate that the very openness that makes the landscape lovely makes it vulnerable.” Terry became a champion for those vulnerable landscapes.

In a 2003 interview with the Trustees of Reservations, when Terry was aptly selected as the organization’s statewide Conservationist of the Year, he stated that WLCT’s goal was “to make conservation a town-wide initiative.” He envisioned a network of open space that spanned the town from north to south, east to west; that made open space available for everyone in Westport. Today, nearly 20 years later, WLCT has 10 properties open to the public in all corners of Westport, thanks to Terry’s vision and leadership.

Terry was a true champion for conservation in Westport. A thoughtful, strong, persistent leader who ushered a new phase of land conservation at a time when many of Westport’s farms, water resources, open spaces and scenic vistas were threatened. We will miss Terry greatly, and hope you will join us in honoring his memory and legacy the next time you take a walk in the woods, sit along the ocean’s edge, or gaze onto the salt marshes of the Westport River.

– Trip Millikin, WLCT President

– Tina Schmid, WLCT Vice President