Carmen: The Gift of Land
written in 1995 by Mary Anne Guitar, Former President of the Redding Land Trust and Founding Board Member of New Pond Farm Education Center
When Carmen first saw the property, now known as New Pond Farm, she was struck by the untouched fields stretching all the way from the bottom of Umpawaug Road to the lower Berkshires. Determined to buy the place of her dreams, against advice from agents and others, she took title in 1956. Down through the years she kept that view open and unscarred just as we, too, have come to know and love it.
Noted in the Redding Open Space Plan of 1984 as worthy of preservation, and admired as Redding’s quintessential “view from the road”, the fields and woods which border the Education Center will never be developed thanks to Carmen’s foresight and generosity. In 1995 Carmen gave the Redding Land Trust a conservation easement over most of her land.
What does this mean? New Pond Farm owns the property, the Education Center continues it programs and the open space which give New Pond its rural character will remain in tact thanks to the easement. The Land Trust accepted the gift with gratitude, agreeing to honor Carmen’s intentions: “To preserve and protect in perpetuity the conservation values of the Property for the benefit of this generation and the generations to come.”
When people come to the Farm they will be exposed to more than the wonders of nature. They will learn about Carmen who wanted to do something for Redding and do it in a big way. They will learn that people make conservation happen…
…Carmen gave us not just the land but her own land ethic. She wanted others to see what she saw and to that end she opened her private world to the people of Redding and beyond. She literally “worked the land”, pruning, planting and picking up. No task was too trivial, no job too big. As we take over from the supreme steward let’s keep the farm the way she wanted–small and beautiful. She willed it that way.