What is the difference between the Ridgefield Conservation Commission and the Land Conservancy of Ridgefield?

The Land Conservancy of Ridgefield, Inc. is a private not-for-profit organization with a 12 member board that encourages land conservation in Ridgefield. It accepts land or conservation easements from donors who, in many cases, specify exactly how the land is to be used and/or maintained. i.e. no hunting or trapping. It performs annual field surveys of their land and easements to insure that the existing conditions found are consistent with the donor’s wishes and corrects those conditions where necessary. Currently the Land Conservancy has approximately 550 acres of land and hold over 170 acres in conservation easements.

The Ridgefield Conservation Commission is a town government organization appointed by the Board of Selectmen comprised of 9 members. It also encourages land conservation efforts within the town, oversees 2500 acres of open space, reviews land use applications, creates and maintains public trails and manages a funding program to purchase land. It accepts donations of land and easements. The owned land is customarily available for public use. A more complete description can be found on their website ridgefieldconservation.org.

The Conservation Commission and Land Conservancy work together collaborating on conservation efforts in Ridgefield. Tax advantages/benefits related to donating property are the same for land given to either the Land Conservancy or the Conservation Commission.

Can I walk on Land Conservation property?

For a listing of the Land Conservancy property parcels and easements, as well as access to parcel maps, visit the Maps of Land Conservancy Properties page.  The listing identifies where the donor has restricted public access. The majority of our parcels are available for the public to walk through. The Land Conservancy does not create or maintain trails for public use and those who enter our property do so at their own risk. We request that no harm be done to the flora or fauna. Hunting or trapping on all of our parcels is prohibited. Conservation easements that we hold also restrict the public from access. Additional details about parcel information can be obtained from the Tax Assessor’s office located on the ground floor of the Ridgefield Town Hall.

Do I have any responsibilities regarding the Land Conservancy’s property next to mine?

Please see our letter to our neighbors that we sent out a few years ago as well as information on our good neighbor program. These letters were sent to all those whose property abuts our property and explains our neighbors program including a listing of our responsibilities and our neighbors’. We will send similar letters out every five years.

How can I learn more about the benefits of protecting open space including any tax advantages?

The Land Conservancy board has some expertise regarding the above and can refer you to websites or professionals that are qualified and current on the latest laws/regulations. Please see our Contact Us section.

Do you use signs to identify your property?

We do use signs that are attached to trees and are placed roughly on the borders of our property or where we see an encroachment has taken place. However, the majority of our parcels do not have signage or have very limited signage. Please click on this link for a list of our properties and conservation easements.

What can I do to support the Land Conservancy?

One of the best way is to provide financial support. We are a 501(c)(3) qualified organization so any donation is tax deductible. Our all-volunteer 10 member board has a small operating budget primarily for insurance needs, stewardship expenses and office supplies. On occasion, legal expenditures are required to defend our property or easements from encroachment. We have begun a modest program to manage invasives that we would like to expand. The boy scouts have helped clean up our properties and we would welcome any volunteers to help us with ongoing stewardship responsibilities.

Of course the very best way to support our efforts is to donate land to be held in its natural state in perpetuity or to grant the Conservancy a conservation easement.


*If you have questions, please send them along to the Conservancy by using our Contact Us section. Thanks!