Participants in the conservation easement signing at Wisdom House included, seated from left, Litchfield Land Trust President David Geiger and Sisters Cathy Sheehan and Evelyn Eckhart of the Daughters of Wisdom, and standing from left, retired Wisdom House Executive Director Rosemarie Greco, land trust members John Fulkerson and Peter Ebersol, and Wisdom House Executive Director Deborah Kelly. Photos by Jo-Ann Iannotti


The Litchfield Land Trust expanded its holdings on Monday when it forged an agreement with the Daughters of Wisdom giving the land trust a conservation easement on 54 aces of property at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center.

Land trust President David Geiger and Daughters of Wisdom representatives Sisters Cathy Sheehan and Evelyn Eckhardt signed the easement under the guidance of Attorney Peter Ebersol, a member of the land trust.

The easement gives the land trust stewardship of the 54 acres and means they will remain undeveloped in perpetuity. The total acreage at Wisdom House is 74.

Geiger, in remarks to the gathering before the signing, highlighted the land trust’s mission to preserve, conserve and to be stewards of the land.  The collaboration with the Daughters of Wisdom and Wisdom House is unique, he said, and adds the 151st land parcel to the land trust’s portfolio.

The easement, according to Wisdom House Executive Director Deborah Kelly, “makes both an ecological and moral statement supporting our mission”.

Sister Rosemarie Greco, the retired executive director of Wisdom House, spoke of the growing ecological and sustainability commitments of Wisdom House.

“I have walked these forests and fields for many years and I know that this land, its wildlife and varied ecosystem have shaped my life, my spirituality, my perspective and values,” Greco said. “Placing a conservation easement on this land will make it possible for future generations to breathe clean air, to experience life in its varied forms and through this, to thrive.”

The easement will ensure a safe refuge for wildlife and a permanent connection between Topsmead State Forest and the land trust’s Danaher-Stillman Preserve on Clark Road, land trust member John Fulkerson noted.

Sheehan, province leader of the Daughters of Wisdom, said the easement is a way to celebrate the organization’s 70 years in Litchfield.

“I also want to express thanks to the international leadership team of the Daughters of Wisdom who have supported and given permission to make this Conservation Easement a reality,“ Sheehan said.

Litchfield First Selectman Denise Raap confirmed the importance of the easement in her remarks.

“I applaud the efforts of the Litchfield Land Trust volunteers and the landowners in our community that realize the importance of land conservation so that the people of our town as well as future residents of our community will benefit with preserving open space for recreation and passive enjoyment,” Raap said.

Land trust President David Geiger addresses the gathering.

Land trust member John Fulkerson talks about the importance of the easement.

Sister Rosemarie Greco, right, shows Sister Cathy Sheehan where the 54 acres are located.