WLCT’s week of thanks features individuals, community members, and more who make our work possible. Each year we highlight just some of the many people who strive to preserve the best of Westport!
Today, we would like to thank Steve Fletcher and Michael Walden for their donation of a 24-acre Conservation Restriction off of Drift Road to preserve Kirby Brook.
Stephen and Michael purchased a property in Westport about 10 years ago. They have spent the better part of that ten years restoring a historically significant house and creating a landscape that balances the fragile ecology on it.
Steve has always been a walker- enjoying the Drift Road corridor. Several years ago he stumbled across a property on Drift road on a walk, noticing a dumpster outside of the home, and no lights on for an extended period of time. Steve reached out to the listed owner’s kin and received permission to explore the property. He was most intrigued by the leftover granite foundations. After exploring the property further, Steve knew he “stumbled upon a real gem.” 1,500 feet of Kirby Brook, a state designated coldwater fishery resource, runs through the property and under a spectacular granite bridge. Steve recalls, “I brought many community members to view the property and give feedback on its past use. Each and every time someone visited, they were WOWed.”
At this point in his exploration Steve was convinced it was his duty to purchase the property, conserve it, and revive the magical elements on it. Four years later, after an extended process to clear the title, Steve and Michael purchased the property. Work has begun on removing invasive plant material, identifying key native species on the property, identifying important ecological and cultural resources, and much more. This month, Steve will be donating and conveying a 24-acre Conservation Restriction (CR) on the property- preserving these significant resources in perpetuity.
WLCT’s focus is always to work with willing landowners, and Steve has been the exemplification of that, “WLCT’s success in the past 50 years was very important to us. The organization’s resume for preserving and monitoring the various special conservation resources in Town was key to our decision.”
WLCT would like to thank Steve and Michael for their generous CR donation to preserve Kirby Brook, a key fresh water resource leading into the East Branch of the Westport River. Stretching for one-mile south of the mouth of Kirby Brook is some of the healthiest marsh left in the East Branch. Preserving this property will help keep that marsh healthy as well. If you would like to learn more about Conservation Restrictions, Kirby Brook or about conserving your land, email Ross Moran (firstname.lastname@example.org).