Agricultural parcel donated to Land Trust

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Eric Lukingbeal and Sally King at the Brockett Preserve. Photo by Don Shaw

Eric Lukingbeal and Sally King recently purchased 11 acres of land at 172 Day Street and generously donated the parcel to the Granby Land Trust for the purpose of permanent preservation and protection. Eric and Sally are longtime GLT members and Eric serves on the GLT’s board of directors as well as the board of directors of the Friends of Holcomb Farm. Sally serves on Granby’s Board of Selectman and spent 13 years on Granby’s Inland, Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

Eric and Sally asked that the property be called The Brockett Preserve, in honor of the Brockett Family, who owned the property, along with their house on North Granby Road, for 55 years and who contributed immeasurably to the town through their involvement in the Granby Grange, Granby 4-H, and First Congregational Church, among other Granby organizations.

The parcel includes a farm field and woodlands. The GLT has signed a lease with the Hayes Family of the House of Hayes to farm the field, and they now are growing corn on the property. This will, in effect, return this parcel of land to its agricultural roots, as it previously had been farmed by generations of the Hayes Family in support of their local dairy operation. In compliance with GLT policy, all farming of the property will follow best practices.

The preservation of agricultural land is part of the GLT’s mission. Productive agricultural land is a finite and irreplaceable natural resource that provides food, helps control flooding, protects wetlands and watersheds, and maintains air quality. This parcel of land contains prime farmland soils, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prime farmland soils have “the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops.”

Thanks to Eric and Sally, this field and adjacent woodlands will be preserved in perpetuity. It will be returned to its former life as healthy, productive land that supports our local food system and our local economy. We are so fortunate to have such forward-thinking townspeople and we thank them for their incredible generosity.