For Nature For Life

Our work is urgent

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Why preserve open space, you ask?

A testimonial to the benefits of the great natural outdoors.

Pomfret Horse and Trail Association, Inc. (PHTA) is a 501-C3 nonprofit volunteer organization formed in 2007 to preserve, protect, and maintain open space and the century-old system of riding and hiking trails in Pomfret, Connecticut. We work closely with landowners, local land trusts, and the town to maintain access and expand trail networks. PHTA promotes responsible horseback riding practices and minimal impact trail use, holds educational clinics, and supports local land trusts and other non-profit organizations. Our goal is to preserve our rural heritage through community minded trail use, horse keeping, and riding.

A win for large forest block habitat

Family Partners with Wyndham Land Trust to Expand Nightingale Forest

The Wyndham Land Trust recently acquired 364 acres in Pomfret from the Townshend family. The land—the largest single acquisition by the land trust in its 46-year history—includes a large scenic wetland with open water, marshlands, shrub swamp, and forested swamp that form the headwaters of Nightingale Brook. The woodlands that surround the wetlands support important forest-nesting birds such as Canada Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Memorial Stone Fundraising Successful

Out of the Shadows: Honoring Un-Named African Americans of the Randall/Higginbotham Cemetery

We are grateful for the support of the generous individual contributors and for The Last Green Valley, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council for programming and grants that made this project possible. Thank you!

Places to walk

Explore the nature of Windham County at any of our walkable nature preserves.  The following locations offer easy access and parking. Take only pictures; leave only footprints. For all to enjoy; for all to cherish.

Bull Hill Project
Horses Allowed, Mountain Biking Allowed, Views, Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
Rapoport Preserve
Linda J. Rapoport Memorial Preserve
Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
Duck Marsh Preserve
Views, Walkable Locations
Aicher Preserve
Horses Allowed, Views, Walkable Locations
Lyon Preserve
Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
At the Robbins Preserve - Large glacial erratic with little cairns on top.
Robbins/O’Leary/Blain Preserve
Horses Allowed, Mountain Biking Allowed, Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
Ferns and trees
Gellert/Valentine Preserve
Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
Edward R. Laby Memorial Preserve
Walkable Locations, Walking Trail
Potrzeba Stream
Cartier Preserve
Walkable Locations, Walking Trail

A WLT Collaboration

Waking the Dead: Archaeology, Genealogy and Archival Research of Enslaved Africans and Native Americans

This fall the Townshend parcel of WLT’s Nightingale Woods Preserve was backdrop to area resident Donna Dufresne's ongoing research of the Randall family, who were some of its early inhabitants. The Pomfret Historical Society sponsored four workshops that were presented by Donna. They covered an array of topics presented by invited subject experts. Topics included research techniques and burial ground restoration. Featured were the enslaved Africans of early New England, specifically those who worked for Jonathan Randall from 1777 up to the Civil War. The workshops also included tours of the homestead remains of the Higginbothams, whose family members are buried along side members of the Randall family at the cemetery. Demonstrations on repairing and cleaning gravestones were an important highlight.

Out of the Shadows: Commemorating the Enslaved African Americans of the Randall/Higginbotham Cemetery

It is believed that enslaved African Americans are buried at the Randall/Higginbotham family cemetery, but in unmarked graves.

The WLT, with the support of Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council and The Last Green Valley, is pleased to partner in the effort to help shed light on the past habitation of this land and to commemorate the individuals whose graves were not marked when they died.

The Land We Live On

We Were Not the First

Map 1677 Library of Congress

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Bull Hill Lookout, Thompson, Photo: by WLT member Jim Wheeler
Acres for Nature
Years in Service