an aerial photo of the meadows, with trees and a river beside it



The Great Meadows Conservation Trust, Inc., was incorporated in 1968 by concerned citizens of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury as a non-profit tax-exempt land trust to protect and preserve the Great Meadows. We wish to save the floodplain’s vital agricultural, scenic, archeological and wetland resources, and are committed to work with like-minded groups and landowners. We are organized to acquire land and negotiate conservation easements. We interact with state and local governments about decisions affecting the meadows, believing that the intrinsic value of the land must be high on the public agenda.


South of Hartford the Connecticut River winds through 4500 acres of open land, the Great Meadows of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. This floodplain contains rich farmland, a varied habitat for wildlife and the largest freshwater marsh in the state. It is an oasis of green in the urban sprawl of Greater Hartford. Cultivated since prehistoric times, the farmland with its plentiful water supply is some of the most valued in the world.


The meadows are already scarred. Acres have been mined for sand and gravel. Highways and industrial and urban development have usurped other of its space. There is vandalism, dumping and misuse of wetlands which can cause irreparable damage. Pressures to develop in the Great Meadows and along the river intensify each year. Without action to protect it, this oasis will disappear.


The Trust will continue to encourage agriculture and compatible recreational use in the meadows; support archeological and ecological research and be alert to activity that may cause needless damage. The Trust will work with others in long-range planning for the Connecticut River and its environs, believing that wise use of these resources is vital today and for the generations to come.


Since 1968 the Trust has directly protected a number of key parcels in the Meadows by purchase, gift or easement. The Trust has also taken action…

  • in a successful fight to prevent a horse racing facility in the Wethersfield meadows
  • to halt the clear-cutting of one of the last remaining flood plain forests
  • to have five miles of scenic river valley included in the Nationwide Rivers Inventory
  • as a cooperator in the purchase of the Rocky Hill Quarry for a Natural Heritage Park
  • to initiate a citizen’s River Watch with the Connecticut River Watershed Council.
  • to monitor proposals affecting the river and the floodplain.

Great Meadows Conservation Trust, Inc.
P.O. Box 171
Glastonbury, CT 06033
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