The Manchester Land Conservation Trust announces the purchase of 62 acres of former farmland in Manchester and
Glastonbury. The Trust will preserve the property in perpetuity and protect it from development. Fifty-seven of
the acres, at 258 and 260 Bush Hill Road, are in the southwest corner of Manchester; five acres are at 13W Bell
Street (R) in Glastonbury.
The Botti family farmed this acreage starting about 1912 – growing apples, peaches, cherries, and blueberries
as well as vegetables – but the orchards are no longer productive. The Land Trust plans include restoration of
the orchards, community farming, hiking trails, and passive recreation. Some of the old fruit trees still grow on
the property, and there are quaint barns and a farm pond. Bush Hill itself is on this property – the highest
point in the southwest section of Manchester.
The closing on the land took place Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at a purchase price of $915,000. The State of
Connecticut DEEP granted $594,750 and the Town of Manchester granted $98,000, both through open-space-purchase
programs. Stipulations of the State grant include razing the existing farmhouse which, with other expenses, may
cost the Land Trust several hundred thousand dollars. The Conservation Fund, a non-profit environmental
organization in Arlington, VA www.conservationfund.org
a $210,000 loan as "bridge financing," and the Land Trust is undertaking a $500,000 fund-raising campaign.
Malcolm Barlow, President of the Manchester Land Conservation Trust said after the closing, "The Trust is
thrilled to be able to preserve this large property, for the benefit of the public. We will work out the farming
details in the near future. The Trust’s board and volunteers have worked feverishly over the past two years to
secure grants, the bridge loan, and complete surveys, appraisals, and many other requirements to accomplish this
purchase. Now we turn to the general public and local philanthropists for help in closing the $500,000 gap. We
will need help from all sources, and we ask that all consider a donation for this effort, which will benefit
current and future generations."
The public is invited to a preliminary view of the property at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 13. Enter at
the long driveway at 260 Bush Hill Road, and park near the barn.