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The Heritage Land Preservation Trust (HLPT) is an independent nonprofit organization, founded in 1968. We have saved over 600 acres of land, and helped residents and landowners protect and conserve their land, forests, farmlands, ponds and rivers by creating public nature preserves. Residents can participate in many ways, including becoming a member, donating land, volunteering their time, and making donations. 



To act as stewards of the land, waterways and wildlife entrusted to us by landowners, in perpetuity.


To engage in and otherwise promote for the benefit of the general public the preservation of natural resources in Torrington and Northwestern Connecticut, including water resources, wetlands, woodlands and open spaces, the wildlife therein, and historic and scenic sites.

To engage in and otherwise promote the scientific study of and to educate the public in regard to the preservation of surrounding natural resources.

To acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, real and personal property, both tangible and intangible, of every sort and description and to use such property in such manner as the trustees of the corporation shall deem appropriate to carry out its purposes.

To use all property held or controlled by this corporation and the net earnings thereof in the United States of America for the benefit of the area for conservation, educational and scientific purposes.



In January 1968 the Torrington Land Conservation Trust was formed by members of the original Torrington Conservation Commission, a municipal board, who were looking for a way of preserving land. At the time the Trust was organized, Leon Zele, former owner of the Zele Chevrolet, donated a tract of land that had been landlocked by the new Route 8. After Zele’s passing, his widow donated the remainder of the property, between Route 8 and Winsted Road. Theresa S. Shirer followed with a gift of 20 acres on Brass Mill Dam Road (now Stillwater Pond Road) and a beautiful nature trail was established. The next tract, in the Westside Lane/Klug Hill Road area, donated by Gertrude S. Hewitt, was once one of the old woodlots given to early settlers to cut their firewood, a gift of considerable historic significance. Then the Leland Stevens heirs donated a strip of land along Lover’s Lane to protect the brook from abuse.

1978 marked the first acquisition of property outside of Torrington, Sherwood Berger of Winchester gave the trust a beautiful piece of 46 acres bordering Park Pond to be called the Julia Berger Wildlife Refuge. The property was significantly enhanced shortly after with the donation of 28 adjoining acres by William and Elizabeth Treibor, this parcel was designated to remain in its original condition. In 1998 another 40 acres was donated by the Treibors, increasing the Berger/Treibor parcel to 114 acres. 

About this time, the Alexander Land Family Trust donated the mill pond in the heart of Torrington containing the Coe Brass dam, the last vestige of the brass industry in downtown Torrington. 

During the building boom in the 1990’s and early 2000’s the trust was to acquire a few more properties as the city required builders to set aside some property as open space. The most significant example of this is the property at Pleasant View, two parcels with almost 90 acres. It is home to the Irving Mills Trail, named in honor o f one of the founders of the trust.

One of our most successful properties is the Bowman Tract, high on Mountain Road. This 3 acre parcel was donated to us by farmer Edwin Bowman with the stipulation that the land be made available to the “senior citizens” of town for purposes of gardening. With the leadership of one neighbor in particular and Joel Sekorski of the Sullivan Senor Center, there are now 75 raised beds, a large tilled plot, and a pavilion will soon be erected, using mostly donated materials. Master Gardeners and UCONN Extension are now involved teaching better gardening skills to those fortunate enough to have their own little garden.

Our People



Jared Franklin, Chairman, Wildlife Technician

Earl Skokan, President, Farmer

Dan McGuinness, Vice President, Planner (retired)

Phil Kozlak, Treasurer, proprietor, Kozlak's Nursery

Jim Febbroriello, Secretary— 

Traffic & Transportation Logistics (retired)

Janet Kozlak, School teacher

George Benedict, Banker (retired)

Jon Jenson, Entrepreneur

Anthony Purcaro, Trustee

Wayne Foster, State Police Office (retired)

Tim Lundgren, School teacher

Bob Bombardieri, proprietor, Mount Pleasant B&B

John Pietrafesa, Quality Engineer

Karen Huber, Advisor, Land Trust Specialist


Those who have donated property:

Art and Jano Hanke

Robert Bombardieri


Some give land, some give time, and some give much needed financial support. To all of our donors, we are indebted and extend our gratitude. Your contributions leave behind a worthy legacy that will last forever. 





We couldn't do all we do without the dedicated help and support from all of our members and volunteers. 

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