Flanders Fact Sheet

Contact Information
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust
5 Church Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
203-263-3711
Fax 203-263-2214
E-mail: flanders@flandersnaturecenter.org
Executive Director: Arthur Milnor
Board President: Anne Westerman
Media Contact: Nancy Loader 203-215-4695 | nplcomm@yahoo.com

Mission
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust promotes the understanding and appreciation of nature and supports the conservation, preservation and management of natural resources.

History
•  1926: Van Vleck family of New York purchases farm on Flanders Road in Woodbury, CT
•  Daughter Natalie Van Vleck, accomplished artist, builds studio on parents’ property
•  1934: Van Vlecks purchase 108 acres from Connecticut Light & Power Co.
•  1935: Natalie Van Vleck gives up art to found fully-working turkey farm on parents’ property
•  1942: Natalie inherits Woodbury farm from parents
•  1955: Natalie Van Vleck operating successful Hampshire sheep farm, well-known on East Coast
•  1960s Suburban development encroaches upon Woodbury’s agricultural traditions. In consultation with
    environmentalists, Natalie Van Vleck evolves idea to develop nature center on her property to preserve
    it in perpetuity
•  1963: Flanders Nature Center Inc. chartered as a non-profit organization
•  1973: Flanders becomes one of first land trusts in area, receiving gift of 6.5 acre Manville Kettle property

Link to more information on the Van Vleck Collection

Flanders Places: Land Trust

Sanctuaries and Preserves
•  Flanders holds in trust more than 2,000 acres of open space in Woodbury, Bethlehem, Southbury
    and Middlebury, CT.
•  Holdings include seven nature preserves and sanctuaries
•  Stewards more than 40 open space properties, managing and monitoring the properties to preserve
    their natural beauty and care for the system through astute land-use practices
•  Organization plays active role with municipal regulatory committees and regional and state organizations
    to identify opportunities for preserving more land in future

Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary
•  Original location of Van Vleck Farm at corner of Flanders and Church Hill Roads, Woodbury
•  Serves as nature sanctuary and teaching campus of Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust,
    which hosts educational programs for children, adults and school groups
•  Buildings include a farmhouse, studio, trail house, sugar house and barns
•  Landscape includes stone walls, fields, meadows, forests, wetlands, marshes, streams and ponds
•  Network of well-marked and maintained hiking trails

Whittemore Sanctuary
•  686 acres located off Route 64 in Woodbury
•  8-mile trail system open to the public
•  Ecological habitats include woodlands, streams, ponds, a large bog and abutting lake

Manville Kettle
•  6.5 acres off Jackson Avenue in Woodbury, near town center
•  Known as a “kettle” because of geological depression formed during Ice Age
•  Landscape includes open field, mixed trees and a swamp

Hetzel Refuge
•  54 acres located in Middlebury, CT, bordered by Middlebury Land Trust property, accessed from
    Breakneck Hill Road
•  Refuge includes woodlands, hay fields, conifer plantations, swamps and man-made ponds
•  Excellent trail system

Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Refuge
•  Located to east and west of Route 132 in Woodbury
•  Encompasses stream, waterfall, forestland and semi-open fields

Plumb Brook Preserve
•  126 acres adjacent to a residential development in Woodbury
•  Wildlife habitat with low-impact trail system
•  Located across from Pilgrim Trail and Plumb Brook cul-de-sac

Fleming Preserve
•  28.5 acres, fronting on Cowles Road in Woodbury
•  Site of Flanders’ historic Sap House overlook and Sugar Bush
•  Landscape is forests, meadows, trails, apple orchard, stone walls and an overlook

Flanders Places: Facilities at Van Vleck Farm and Sanctuary

Studio/Welcome Center
•  Located at main entrance at Flanders and Church Hill Roads in Woodbury
•  Houses administrative and program functions of Flanders

Trail House
•  Located to east of Studio/Welcome Center on Church Hill Road at entrance to Wilderness Trails
•  Used for children’s and summer programs

Sugar House
•  Located across Church Hill Road from the Trail House, near public parking area at Botany Trail
•  Constructed in 2002
•  Hub of maple sugaring operations and school and summer programs

North Barn
•  Historic Connecticut red barn, dates from 19th century
•  Houses agricultural educational exhibits and programs and farm animals
•  Adjacent to Community Garden
•  Used for children’s and summer programs

Buz Russell Museum of Antique Tools and Farm Life
•  Houses collection of historic farm and dairy tools and implements, as well as antique toys
•  Exhibits donated in 2002 by Bethlehem, CT resident, Buz Russell

Community Garden
•  Located near the North Barn
•  10 x 20-foot tilled plots available to members to grow organic vegetables and flowers

Hiking Trails
•  Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary, Whittemore Sanctuary, Plumb Brook Preserve, Hetzel Preserve,
    Fleming Preserve and Marzahl Refuge offer network of well-maintained pedestrian-only trails
•  Trails are free to public. Open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Programs and Events
•  Flanders provides environmental education programs that connect science, nature and art for all ages
•  Provides programs, workshops, festivals at Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary, in schools and at
    off-site locations
•  Seasonal events include Farm Day, Autumn Festival, Maple Celebration and Winter Holiday programs

Download the Calendar of Events

Flanders tour

hiking trails and maps

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