Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner Vol. 14

February 15, 2024

Originally Published February 28, 2020

Weantinoge video by Steve Jordan

Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust Preserves Open Spaces

Since 1965, the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust has been protecting natural areas, fish and wildlife, and working farmland throughout northwest Connecticut. Within its 10,000 protected acres are 15 working farms, streambelts, viewsheds, critical watershed lands, and 12 nature preserves open to the public with 18 miles of hiking trails.

Through a matching grant from the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation Khurshed Bhumgara Fund, Land Trust Preserve staff were able to upgrade the organization's technology hardware, including purchasing a new laptop, video-conferencing equipment, and making improvements to its server.

“Technology touches everything a land trust does: managing land records, creating maps, budgeting, recording gifts, and communicating with members and partners.​

"Weantinoge now has a powerful laptop for use at community presentations and individual meetings. Board members and other constituents can now video conference.

"These communications and data-management enhancements have enabled Weantinoge to better connect with the community and organizational leadership, while ensuring that our most important documents are protected.” said Matt Soper of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.

Music Director Jonathan F. Babbitt leads rehearsal with the Litchfield County Choral Union and professional orchestra instrumentalists; photo by Allison J. Messier

Choral Union Wows with Orchestral Forces

The Litchfield County Choral Union, a community chorus serving northwest Connecticut, eastern New York state, and western Massachusetts, holds an annual concert at the Music Shed of the historic Battell-Stoeckel Estate in Norfolk, that brings together amateur singers and professional soloists to perform arias and choruses.

Through a grant from the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation Keroden Endowed Fund, the Choral Union's 2019 concert featured professional orchestra instrumentalists from Hartford and New Haven musician's unions.

"The quality of our soloists and orchestral players was superb. Our audience was larger and more enthusiastic [than previous years]," said Patricia Niver of the Litchfield County Choral Union.

"None of this would have been even remotely possible without the excellence and, indeed, the very presence of the orchestra."

Food Director Leslie Denton and Executive Director Rev. Kevin Mongeau

Hands of Grace: Help when it's Needed Most

At Hands of Grace in Pine Meadow, families and individuals struggling with food insecurity are able to "shop" for food, clothing, and household needs at no cost.

Hands of Grace also provides emergency food boxes, backpack meals to elementary school children, hygiene kits to homeless veterans, uniforms to CNA students, and holiday meals with all the trimmings to those in need.

A recent grant from the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund enabled Hands of Grace to purchase a commercial-grade freezer, providing safe food storage capacity for Helping Hands to accept larger food donations and provide a wider variety of protein to those in need.

Less than a week from the installation of our new freezer we received a call offering us 450 pounds of frozen meat. In the past, we would have had to decline much of this offer as we wouldn't have had anywhere to store it," said Rev. Kevin Mongeau of Hands of Grace.

"However, with our new fixture we were able to absorb all of the ten boxes of meat, and subsequently distribute it to our clients."