John T. and Jane a Wiederhold Foundation Awards $219,500 in Support of Conservation and Wildlife Habitats

The trustees of the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a supporting organization of the Northwest CT Community Foundation, recently awarded grants in support of land conservation and wildlife habitat preservation in Northwest CT and beyond.

The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation awarded $219,500 in grants to nonprofits that support land and animal habitat conservation. Four of these grants were awarded to nonprofits in Northwest CT.

  • New Hartford Land Trust - $70,000 in support of the preservation of 31 acres on the north side of Sabolcik Road in New Hartford, making possible a new hiking trail spur from the loop trails at the Alfred Sabolcik property north across Sabolcik Road

“People from all over New Hartford, Harwinton, Burlington, Canton, Torrington and Barkhamsted visit the New Hartford Land Trust properties along Sabolcik Road, especially for our on-site programs and hikes. This acquisition will expand the greenway for habitat and hiking,” said Madeline McClave, President of the New Hartford Land Trust.

  • Winchester Land Trust, Inc. - $50,000 in support of preserving a 60-acres that connect with 297 acres that stretch to Lake Winchester and the Algonquin State Forest

“The property is a beautiful mosaic of forest and wetland habitats that support a large variety of plants and animals,” said Jennifer P. Perga, President, Winchester Land Trust. “The property's high-quality core forest and diversity of terrain give it high resiliency to climate change, allowing it to sustain biodiversity by offering a wide range of micro-climate options within a connected landscape so species and ecosystems can migrate and adapt.”

  • Housatonic Valley Association - $30,000 in support of the second phase of  Follow the Forest, an initiative that focuses on forest cores of 250+ contiguous acres and their linkages.

This threshold for forest patches is a scientifically recognized minimum needed to sustain important woodland species and uses visual tools, including video to tell conservation stories and community science to identify and secure wildlife habitats.

  • Western Connecticut State University Foundation, Inc. $20,500 in support of tracking mortality of the diamondback terrapin, considered a keystone species of turtle as they regulate populations of invasive marsh snails, other mollusks, and marine crustaceans.

This project will estimate viable populations of diamondback terrapin in CT using community scientist observers to identify road mortality hotspots, and in-water demographic sampling. CT locations with healthy viable populations will be mapped, and a proposal to protect complex habitat for diamondback terrapin conservation in those areas will be developed and shared with CT DEEP and municipalities with known residential DBT populations. Findings will be reported and related to adjacent states where the diamondback terrapin is threatened and a species of concern.

Other grants include:

Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc. - $25,000 in support of the Wallace Barnes Accessible Nature Trail

Kestrel Land Trust - $24,000 in support of the Saw Mill Hills Greenway Expansion: Pomeroy Parcel Acquisition

The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a supporting organization of the Northwest CT Community Foundation, was established in 1998 through a gift from John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold. The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation is committed to bettering the lives of domesticated and undomesticated animals, including supporting the efforts of animal rescue and land conservation organizations and advances in veterinary medicine.

Contact your Community Foundation staff at: (860) 626-1245 to discuss your charitable giving options and goals.