Naromi Land Trust
Friday, September 25, 2020
Forever. Sherman.

News & Resources


Naromi Land Trust merged with Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust on June 30, 2020. The new organization is Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Please click here for more information on the name change and merger.




Naromi's Members Overwhelmingly support Merger with Weantinoge

On June 13, 2020, Naromi's members voted unanimously to approve the merger with Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust!  Click here to learn more about the merger.

Merger with Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust

Naromi Land Trust and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust enthusiastically announce their plan to merge on June 30, 2020.  Weantinoge will change its name to Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy on the merger date.  Click here to learn more.


Naromi's Response to COVID - 19


In keeping with Governor Lamont's Stay Home, Stay Safe order, Naromi staff are working from home as much as possible. We've cancelled our April events. At the moment, we're hopeful that we'll be able to have our bird walk in May and our Trails Days events in June but we will be following all of the appropriate public health guidance. Please stay subscribed to our e-news and Facebook page for the latest information. We are grateful to provide opportunities for you to get outside. You can find our hiking trails on our trails page. Please practice social distancing and give each other a wide berth. If the parking area is busy, at Naromi properties or elsewhere, please find another place to check out that day.


Naromi Land Trust Closes 2019 with FOUR New Acquisitions!

With great excitement and much gratitude, Naromi Land Trust announces the acquisition of four new properties. Each new acquisition expands properties that Naromi already protects, amplifying existing habitat, recreation opportunities and conservation of Sherman's natural resources. Each project has been made possible by generous donors, funders and partners and is the culmination of many months of determined effort.  Together these projects protect 138 acres of additional land in Sherman forever, for a an approximate total of 1,638 acres protected by Naromi. 
Howland Parcel
The Howland parcel is 6.041 acres of forest and wetland donated by Judith Howland that abuts Naromi's already held Caroline Herrick Parcel. Naromi acquired the Caroline Herrick Parcel in 2017 as a donation from Caroline Herrick. The addition of the Howland parcel creates a contiguous preserve 8.425 acres now known as the Herrick Howland Preserve.  
This Preserve is part of the system of wetlands that drains into Naromi's Wimisink Preserve. The Wimisink is home to both state and federally-listed plants and animals. Preserving the wetlands that feed it is a high-priority long-term project for Naromi. This donation is a key component to this project. The acquisition was supported by $6,400 from The Nature Conservancy Berkshire Wildlife Linkage Jessie B. Cox Catalyst Fund. On December 6, 2019, the transfer of ownership was recorded in Town Hall.
Bristol Easement
Mel Bristol has been a dedicated, curious and careful steward of his land for decades. Naromi's Wimisink Preserve has benefitted from having Mr. Bristol as a neighbor. Together with his wife Diana Bristol, began to work to permanently protect 20.219 acres of his land to Naromi in April of 2017. Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust partnered with Naromi on this project. Weantinoge is a regional land trust that now protects over 10,500 acres in seventeen towns in northwest Connecticut. In September 2017, Naromi and Weantinoge were awarded $140,500 from the Army Corps of Engineers In Lieu Fee Program administered by Audubon Connecticut and $8,300 from The Nature Conservancy Berkshire Wildlife Linkage Jessie B. Cox Catalyst Fund.  
Like the Howland parcel, the Bristol Easement protects the wetlands that feed the Wimisink Preserve and helps to ensure that any agriculture that may take place now or in the future on the property will be done in accordance with best management practices. The Wimisink Preserve is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The Wimisink Preserve is a special place for people to visit and enjoy, but it is even more special to the plants, birds, butterflies, and other animals that use it. The foresight and vision of the Bri stols to steward this land so carefully and to ensure its permanent protection is a lasting legacy that we all benefit from. Mr. Bristol said "It has always been my hope to have this land preserved forever. There is space here for rare wild animals and plants as well as my small landscape nursery. The Swamp White Oak and Black Ashes here are welcome surprises to most naturalists. I am gratified that they are now protected forever." On December 13, 2019, the conservation easement was recorded in Town Hall, with Naromi serving as the Grantee and Weantinoge as the Back Up Grantee.


Eastman Parcel
Formal steps to preserve this 37.838 acre parcel began in 2012, although discussion began long before that. Protecting this land forever carries out the vision of Lucia D. Eastman and her children. Her daughter, Lucretia Simpson, worked tirelessly with Naromi to ensure the protection of this land and her mother's conservation legacy. Ms. Simpson said "Our mother would be so pleased to have her cherished forest land on Ten Mile Hill conserved by Naromi Land Trust." The Eastman parcel is now part of Naromi's 184.878 acre Herrick Preserve. Conservation in this area further protects 700 acres of unfragmented forest, habitat that is becoming increasingly uncommon in Connecticut and critical for the movement of wildlife in our region.     
Naromi's ownership of the Eastman parcel permanently protects habitat of forest interior birds, amphibian life that utilizes vernal pools, large and small mammals who have diminishing opportunities to move within large blocks of forest, and passive recreation opportunities for human visitors to the preserve. From December 2017 to December 2019, Naromi was awarded four grants to fund the preservation of the Eastman Parcel: $76,500 Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant from Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, $23,000 from the John T. and Jane A. Weiderhold Foundation, $76,500 from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service Highlands Coalition, and $11,300 from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Wild East Action Fund. On December 27, 2019, the transfer of ownership was recorded in Town Hall. In 2020, Naromi will begin planning an expansion of the trail system at the Herrick Preserve to include the Eastman parcel.
Schneckenburger Parcel
Naromi is a beneficiary of Alice Stephens Schneckenburger's vision for Sherman.  Mrs. Schneckenburger left a bequest of 73.8 acres of land in the center of Sherman along with a restricted cash bequest to help steward that land.  Her gift of land connects two preserves already owned by Naromi, the O'Neil Preserve and the Mallory Preserve to create a 120 acre preserve, now known as the Mallory Schneckenburger Preserve. The creation of this preserve reconnects Mallory family parcels. The Mallory Preserve was donated to Naromi by Mary Mallory Hadlow in two pieces, one in 1991 and the second in 1998.  
Mrs. Schneckenburger's great-grandfather, Daniel Mallory, and Mrs. Hadlow's father, Charles A. Mallory, were brothers. Alice's daughter, Grace S. Parker, worked closely with Naromi to ensure her mother's legacy.  Permanent protection of this land protects Sawmill Brook and other unnamed watercourses and wetlands; habitat for forest interior birds and other wildlife; and recreation and education opportunities located in the center of Sherman. On December 19, 2019, the transfer of ownership was recorded in Town Hall.  In 2020, Naromi will begin planning an expansion of the trail system at the Mallory Preserve to the Schneckenburger parcel.

Special Meeting of Members

You are invited to a Special Meeting of Members of Naromi Land Trust on May 18, 2019 at 5 pm at Charter Hall in Sherman. Click here for more information and to review the documents.


Cooper's Hawk

Below is a video taken of a Cooper Hawk as it enjoys its meal.  Be please warned that you can see its kill clearly so it may not be appropriate for smaller children.




Naromi gets a nod New York Times Article

"Sherman, Conn.; A Quiet Town With A Medley of People" by Rikki Snyder


Naromi Recognized for Accreditation at LTA Rally

Executive Director Amanda Branson and President Chris Jellen attended this years Land Trust Alliance Rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Naromi joined other land trusts around the country who received its Accreditation certification this year.  The highlight was having the opportunity to walk across the Rally stage and receive our Accreditation pennant which we will proudly display in our offices.  

Naromi 50th Annual Picnic

Thank you for joining us for our Annual Picnic on our Hadlow Preserve.  We were finally back out on the field after 2 years of bad weather.  It turned out to be a lovely day.



Naromi 50th Anniversary Gala

Thank you so much for your support on July 28th for our 50th Anniversary Gala event.  


Eagle Scout Project at Irene's 

Wood Trail

Junior Jack Thomson completed his Eagle Scout project this June by reconstructing the stairs on the Irene's Woods trail.  Thank you Jack and everyone who supported you during this project.  We are grateful that you chose to support Naromi Land Trust!!!





Frog Folic is on for April 15, 2018 at 1:30.  See our events page for more information.

Check out this video taken at our Towner Hill Preserve on Sunday, April 1st.  

NLT President Marge Josephson Awarded Conservation Award

 Naromi Land Trust President, Marge Josephson, received the Katchen Coley Award for Excellence in Land Conservation at the Connecticut Land Conservation Council Annual Meeting that took place on March 17, 2018 in Middletown, CT.


Katchen Coley (1924-2013) was a longtime CLCC Steering Committee member and activist for many environmental and social causes.  This award recognizes individuals that embody all that Katchen meant to land conservation:  an individual fiercely devoted to land conservation, whose long-term commitment to conservation causes has furthered the work of one or more conservation organizations in Connecticut. 


Marge's lifelong dedication to conservation is evident through her extensive volunteer work in Connecticut, New York and Colorado. 


Locally, Marge served on the Sherman Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Commission in Sherman for many years including as its Chairman. 

Marge has been a Naromi Board Member since 1990 and has held the position of President since 2005.  Naromi has had 11 fee land transactions and 10 conservation easements resulting in the permanent protection of 370 acres since Marge has been President. 

Marge has been an advocate for several other conservation projects in the Sherman area including Happy Acres Farm, Deer Pond Farm, and Great Hollow Nature Preserve.

In addition, Marge has volunteered with many other land conservation organizations over the years including the Appalachian Mountain Club, Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, Continental Divide Land Trust, Friends of Dillon Fire District, Friends of the Great Swamp, Great Hollow Nature Preserve, Oblong Land Conservancy, Oblong Trail Association, and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.  She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Litchfield Hills GreenPrint Collaborative and she is a fixture at Connecticut Land Conservation Council workshops, round tables and conferences.


Marge’s deep and abiding love of nature is contagious.  She is a founding member of the Intrepids, an informal group of women who hike at a different place within reasonable driving distance from Sherman each week throughout the year.

Marge's advice to current and future conservationists upon receiving this award is to "talk to everyone about what is important to you; learn from some; teach others - you never know where each brief conversation may lead."  


Naromi would like to congratulate Marge on this prestigious award and thank her for all that she has done to protect and promote our natural resources here in Sherman, throughout Connecticut and the world around us. 


Marge has been working to protect our magnificent surroundings for decades in Sherman.  And,Sherman would be a very different place if it were not for Marge Josephson.


It's Official - Naromi Earns Land Trust Recognition

Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence

Sherman, CT (Feb. 28, 2018) – At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1968 Naromi Land Trust, has been doing just that for the people of Sherman. Now Naromi Land Trust announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of 398 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
“Accreditation demonstrates Naromi’s commitment to permanent land conservation in Sherman,” said Amanda Branson, Naromi Executive Director.  “Accreditation is a rigorous program and Naromi is stronger for having gone through it.  The best part of what Naromi has accomplished is that all of the lands it owns and the conservation easements it holds protect the land forever. We are overjoyed to celebrate this achievement in 2018, our 50th year.” 
Naromi Land Trust had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that Naromi’s lands will be protected forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
In the five decades that Naromi has been preserving Sherman’s natural resources, we have permanently protected about 1500 acres, equal to 12% of Sherman.  Special places in Sherman, such as the Mallory Trail, the Wimisink Preserve and Hadlow Fields. In 2017 and 2018, Naromi has had a special focus on the West Briggs Hill Preserve – re-opening the trail after invasive plants made it impassable – and the Herrick Preserve – acquiring permanent public access and working to acquire an additional 38 acres to add to the 147 acre preserve.
“It is exciting to recognize Naromi Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes Naromi Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
Naromi Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released December 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.
  • Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80% of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
  •  Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not yet accredited
  •  Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.
  • As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased helping to win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at
About Naromi Land Trust
Naromi Land Trust was established in 1968. Its mission is to conserve and protect the natural resources of Sherman, including wildlife habitats, water quality, agricultural lands and scenic vistas, for the benefit of, and use by, current and future generations.
Naromi is has a dedicated Board of Directors, a strong core of volunteers, an Executive Director and a part-time office administrator.
Naromi owns thirty-six preserves, holds twenty-seven conservation easements, maintains seven trails including two wetland boardwalks, and leases one farm with satellite hayfields to a local family farm.  All of these places are home to countless species of plants, insects, birds, mammals and help to provide clean air and water, recreational and educational opportunities and maintain Sherman’s rural character.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at

Naromi Extends Conservation of Herrick Preserve Area in Sherman

Sherman, CT (Feb. 21, 2018)
Naromi’s Herrick Preserve is one of the special places in Sherman that Naromi Land Trust has promised to protect forever.  You will find one of Sherman’s most loved hiking trails, vernal pools, rock outcroppings, connection to the Appalachian Trail and two stunning views of the Housatonic River.  This area is critical habitat for many species of birds, mammals and amphibian species. 
Naromi is excited to announce two projects that extend conservation of the Herrick Preserve.
In December of 2017, Caroline Herrick donated just over 7-acres of land to Naromi.  This gift is part of a legacy of conservation by the Herrick family, beginning in 1975 when Amy Herrick donated the original 60 acres parcel at the heart of the now 147-acre preserve.  Ms. Herrick’s recent generous donation included two parcels, including a 5-acre piece that connects the existing Herrick Preserve to Evans Hill Road (see dark green parcel on map).  Owned road frontage guarantees forever public access to the interior preserve.  This donation is the culmination of several years of conversation between Naromi and the Herrick family. 
In January of 2018, Governor Malloy announced that Naromi was awarded a $76,500 grant from the State of Connecticut's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program to support the purchase of approximately 38-acres from the estate of Lucia Eastman (see orange parcel on map). This parcel abuts Naromi’s Herrick preserve as well as the Appalachian Trail corridor. This grant will cover a portion of the purchase.  Naromi plans to cover the remaining cost of the preservation of this parcel through a grant from the Highlands Conservation Coalition and private funding.  Naromi hopes to complete this acquisition in 2018.  
Conservation in this area further protects 700 acres of unfragmented forest, habitats that are becoming increasingly uncommon in Connecticut.

Hartford Courant Article

Sherman, CT (October 8, 2017)
"Hiking the Wilds of Sherman and the Appalachian Trail"  by Peter Marteka
Click HERE to read this lovely article about Naromi's Herrick Trail and its relationship to the Appalachian Trail. 

July 14, 2017 - Thank you everyone who joined us for our Annual Picnic last Sunday.  I think it was a wonderful event and fun was had by all despite the weather!  Hope to see you next year and we hope to be able to include a view of the Hadlow Field!



West Briggs Hill Preserve Restoration

Sherman, CT (Spring 2017) 
Naromi again had the honor of working with another team of AmeriCorps volunteers at our West Briggs Hill Preserve.  This was a different group than the one we worked with in March and we enjoyed much better weather conditions!  NLT Vice President Chris Jellen, Board member  Ian Gribble, and volunteer Geoff Gwyther led the AmeriCorps Moose 4 team in clearing and marking the trail, invasive plant removal, improving drainage, and rebuilding sections of the stonewalls.  Becky Hrdy, NLT President Marge Josephson, and Board member Ashleigh Blake all volunteered time also.  
The West Briggs Hill Preserve is an 84 acre preserve on Briggs Hill Road.  The trail meanders near beautiful stone walls near the road then up a sometimes steep hillside to a clearing. Barberry, multifora rose and other invasive plants are extensive in this area of the preserve and used to render the trail impassable.  After 450 man hours in 2017, the transformation of this preserve is remarkable.  There is more work to be done, but this 2+ mile trail is now open to the public!
Thank you to AmeriCorps Moose 4 team: Brandon Shepard, Jacob Allen, Adam Bagley, Josh Kenon, Gus Merwin, Kenneday Morris and Becca Marcott; to the GreenPrint Collaborative for coordinating the AmeriCorps team's work with Naromi and other land trusts; to Steep Rock Association for providing tools; and to Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust for providing housing for the team.








Photos by Amanda Branson, Ian Gribble, and Geoff Gwyther

Spring Birds in Action

Videos by Dennis Larkin


Early Spring Butterflies

Click on the links below to learn more about each butterfly.
Pictures by Dennis Larkin

 Mourning Cloak                                 Comma                                                  Cabbage White

Mourning Cloak

The Frogs Frolicked

Sunday, April 3rd was the day -  over 20 folks from very young to older, met and traversed the trails of our Towner Hill Preserve. The group was rewarded by sighting salamander egg masses and tadpoles and by the loud mating calls of male wood frogs.  The large vernal pool nestled between the double hilltops of Towner Hill is a paradise for local amphibians - they have the necessary wet area for mating and egg laying surrounded by upland forest for the adult life of the frogs. 

Naromi Hosts Americorp Volunteers to Steward West Briggs Hill Preserve

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 Naromi Land Trust had the honor of working with 12 young AmeriCorps volunteers on a habitat and trail improvement project on its West Briggs Hill Preserve.  Led by Naromi Board Members Ian Gribble and Stephanie Warren, Volunteers Geoff Gwyther and Becky Hrdy, Executive Director Amanda Branson and Board President Marge Josephson, the students braved clear cold windy weather and deep snow to clear and mark boundaries and to open and mark a new section of trail at the 84 acre preserve.  The trails start at Briggs Hill Road, go around some unusual rock outcroppings, and then meander uphill past historic stonewalls to a natural 2 acre clearing.  The middle hillside had become so badly infested with barberry over the years that the former trail was impassible. One of the stewards who conducted a recent monitoring visit there described the barberry as akin to "Sleeping Beauty's Brambles."


The AmeriCorps group, with its many hands, made significant progress that day toward Naromi’s rehab of the habitat and trails of the preserve.  Because of the prior work by Greenwoods Land Management who had mowed the trail and the clearing just before our deep snow, making a beautiful wide swath, the volunteers were able to access the interior woods and further cut back invasive vines and uncover old walls.


Naromi was one of several NW CT  land trusts invited to participate in the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative program that utilizes AmeriCorps volunteers to complete community stewardship projects.  


AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that involves over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security.  Most AmeriCorps members are between the ages of 18 and 24 and serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations during their ten month enrollment period. 


Although there is more work to do at the West Briggs Hill Preserve, Naromi encourages the public to enjoy all of the

hard work that was put into making the preserve more accessible and ready for the community. 


For information about Naromi Land Trust’s properties and hiking trails, please go to our website at for more information and trail maps.  Or email us at    And remember - we want to hear your ideas, see pictures from your adventures on our preserves, and we appreciate your help.


Naromi Land Trust with Americorp Volunteers at the West Briggs Hill Preserve.  Left to Right:  Kneeling  Kaeliegh Watson, Naromi Executive Director Amanda  Branson.  First Row:  Joe Sewall, Kimora Felton, Dan Shefner, Aly Shoup, Kenzie Leach.  Back Row:  Naromi President Marge Josephson, Quon Hall, Naromi Volunteer Geoff Gwyther, Alex Unger, Jay Gilmer, Nathan Devey, Tayla Hunt. Back:  Naromi Volunteer Ian Gribble.