SOUTHBURY - The Southbury Land Trust has obtained a conservation easement on the Drumlin Hill Tree Farm, a property that connects two already preserved farms, creating one of the largest continuous preserved greenbelts in Southbury.The conservation easement on the Drumlin Hill Tree Farm, located on Hulls Hill Rd. and owned by Leslie P. Butler, will prevent any development of the property while allowing Mr. Butler to continue his Christmas Tree business.
"If this property were divided up for houses it would have a severe impact on our historic Lovdal Farm property," said Tom Crider, president of the Land Trust.
"The tree farm land was originally part of the Lovdal family farm and we are extremely grateful to Mr. Butler for his desire to see the integrity of both properties protected."
The Lovdal Farmland is a former dairy farm that has been continuously farmed since the 1700s, and was in the same family for nearly 100 years.
Mr. Butler's land connects the 104-acre Phillips Farm, located on Sanford Rd., with the 50-acre Lovdal Farm, both of which are owned by the Southbury Land Trust.
The Land Trust purchased the conservation easement from Mr. Butler for $400,000 with funding from the Natural Resource and Conservation Service, the State of Connecticut's Open Space and Watershed grants program and the Southbury Community Trust Fund.
Mr. Crider said the amount paid by the Land Trust was considerably below the easement's appraised value, which means Mr. Butler can claim the difference as a charitable deduction on his income taxes.
"A conservation easement allows the landowner to continue to own the property and to manage it in ways that are consistent with the property's conservation values," Mr. Crider said.
"We are fortunate to be working with Mr. Butler who is a licensed arborist and former land manager for the Army Corps of Engineers. His expertise will make him an ideal steward of the land."