Connecticut Forest & Park Association
16 Meriden Road
Rockfall CT 06481-2961
Contact Information
Address 16 Meriden Road
Rockfall, CT 06481-2961
Telephone (860) 346-2372 x
Fax 860-347-7463
Web and Social Media
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) protects forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut's rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1928
Former Names
Connecticut Forestry Association
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
CEO/Executive Director Eric Hammerling
Board Chair Eric Lukingbeal
Board Chair Company Affiliation Robinson & Cole
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Mission The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) protects forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut's rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is a private non-profit, membership organization founded in 1895 as the Connecticut Forestry Association. It is the oldest conservation organization in the State of Connecticut.

CFPA's blend of vision, persistence, and partnership has protected the landscapes whose very names mean Connecticut. Peoples State Forest. Mohawk State Forest. Gillette Castle. Rocky Neck. Sherwood Island, Talcott Mountain and others. All of these special places were protected through partnership efforts that CFPA has developed with the state, municipalities, businesses, educators and conservation groups. Over the past century, CFPA has been instrumental in the acquisition of more than 100 state parks and forests for public use and enjoyment. Today, CFPA continues to champion the needs of Connecticut's public recreational facilities for the funding, personnel and equipment necessary to maintain and improve these natural treasures.

CFPA's leadership over the years set a national example for successful forest conservation and reversed the damage to Connecticut's natural resources. When the organization began its work in 1895, Connecticut was 25% forested: today it is almost 60% forested. CFPA remains vigilant and involved in the sound management and protection of our land, water and wildlife resources.

Since its beginnings, CFPA has empowered people of all ages to become caring, informed, responsible citizens. The Association's programs teach citizens to weigh information in order to make environmentally sound decisions. The out-of-doors is the tool to engage lifelong learners in discovering more about the natural world and the place they have in it.

CFPA's publications program includes several reoccurring programs as well as a rich history of books and research papers. The Association’s quarterly magazine, Connecticut Woodlands, was first published in 1936 and CFPA also produces a member newsletter, News & Notes, three times a year.

In addition to educating the public about conservation and protecting land for public enjoyment, CFPA established the 825 miles long Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System as a means of getting people onto the land so they work to protect the land. 

CFPA delivers programs designed to, "Advocate" (Legislative Agenda), "Educate" (Education Program), "Conserve" (Trail Stewardship and Land Conservation), and "Connect" (WalkCT).


Since CFPA has been conserving Connecticut since 1895, we have the advantage of pursuing goals and accomplishments that transcend many years. For example, CFPA has been maintaining the 825-mile-long blue-blazed hiking trail system with volunteers since 1929. The system’s growth over time is an amazing accomplishment as well as a continuing goal. Our top priority Trails goal for 2013-14 is completing the “Gateway” to the New England Trail (one of 11 national scenic trails in the country) in Guilford running down to Chittenden Park on Long Island Sound. This would be the realization of a dream of connecting the New England Trail from Long Island Sound up to New Hampshire, and would coincide with the 375th anniversary celebration of the Town of Guilford.

CFPA has been coordinating CT Trails Day activities in Connecticut every year since 1993 and last year, we featured more Trails Day events in Connecticut (203) than in any other state in the nation. This year, we anticipate over 230 events taking place during the first weekend in June and have a goal of at least one event in every town in the state (we should have events in 140+ out of 169 towns this year).

CFPA has been training professional and informal educators how to deliver Project Learning Tree curricula in their classrooms since 1996. Our goal will continue to be reaching more educators (and by extension, more students) each year. Last year, approximately 55,000 students in Connecticut were reached through CFPA’s efforts.

CFPA is working to transform its headquarters into a model of energy efficiency with grounds that provide information on native/non-native plants, forest health, wetlands, and recreational trails. CFPA hosts meetings by over 60 individual organizations each year and is literally the place where conservation meets. CFPA has invested in energy efficient insulator windows and will look into solar and geothermal as potential sources of power for the building. This may be a longer-term goal, but we will keep working toward it until we reach our destination.


There is still a $30,000 gap in the funding available for the “Gateway to the New England Trail” boardwalk, kiosk, and observation platform project at Chittenden Park in Guilford. CFPA has received grants from the DECD, Guilford Foundation, and National Park Service, but still have significant funds to raise in the next year.

CFPA’s Board is working to improve its overall diversity. We have good geographic diversity, skills diversity, and a healthy mix of male/female Board members, but we lack in age diversity, ethnic diversity, and socioeconomic diversity. This is an important effort as we move forward with a goal of being a more representative statewide organization.

CFPA would benefit greatly from a Volunteer & Events Coordinator. CFPA has over 200 volunteers who help with the Trails, and are contacted by many other potential volunteers, student groups, teachers, walk leaders, corporate groups, etc. who are able and willing to help, but due to inadequate staff resources we simply cannot fulfill many requests every year. This would help to expand the benefits of our work and enable program staff working with Trails, Education, Land Conservation, and WalkCT to deliver programs more effectively. Cost: $35,000/year.

CFPA is about to launch into the printing of the 20th Edition of the Connecticut Walk Book, a collection of maps of the Blue-Blazed Hiking System. This is an enormous effort that CFPA is undertaking with an eye to the traditions of producing a book, and the new interest in online, digital media. We estimate that it will cost up to $150,000 for this project (editor, map production, printing, etc.). A smaller amount of funding (under $10,000) would assist our work with a professional to develop a mini-strategic plan or campaign for this large undertaking and allow us to test some alternative printed and electronic media.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Forest Conservation
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Areas Served
State wide
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
West Haven
CFPA is a statewide organization.  For example, the Blue-Blazed hiking trail system is found in 88 towns.  CFPA owns or holds an interest in properties on approximately 2,000 acres in various locations.  CFPA's education, advocacy, and WalkCT programs have statewide impacts.

WalkCT is a program whose objective is to connect people to the outdoors through a searchable website ( that features Connecticut walking locations and guided WalkCT Family Rambles. CFPA is proud of the volunteer Family Guides who lead WalkCT Family Rambles on the last weekend of each month. WalkCT strives, through advocacy and community technical assistance, to connect urban, suburban, and rural walkways and trails to benefit the health and happiness of Connecticut citizens. It also works to increase ecotourism opportunities and provide links to visiting cultural destinations.

Population Served General/Unspecified / Families / US
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. The goal of WalkCT is to foster a state where sidewalks meet trails, where cities are linked to towns, and no resident is further than 15 minutes away from a great walk.

Since 1897, CFPA has provided Legislators with an "Agenda for Connecticut's Land and People" every year. Published by CFPA, its ongoing priorities in recent years have included securing adequate funding for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP, formerly DEP), supporting sustainable working forests and agricultural lands, and protecting compatible uses of hiking trails. CFPA’s Conservation Agendae are available on the Organization’s website,

Population Served US / General/Unspecified /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes

CFPA supports content-rich education programs for K-12 teachers as well as naturalists, youth group leaders and other educators utilizing the multi-disciplinary Project Learning Tree curriculum. We reach today's youth through their teachers, scout leaders, youth group counselors and other educators. By providing the tools, we help them teach their students how to think, not what to think, about the environment. At the heart of our educational programs is our interpretive use of the 200-acre John R. Camp Outdoor Classroom and Demonstration Forest adjacent to our headquarters in Rockfall. CFPA also supports continuing education programs for private landowners (Coverts project) and forestry management professionals (Forestry Forums). The Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center is managed jointly by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Division of Parks and the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. The Goodwin State Forest is managed by the DEEP Division of Forestry. The Center’s mission is to provide forestry, wildlife and general conservation education to youth and adults.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Adults /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes

The Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System is one of CFPA's most visible and lasting contributions to outdoor recreation in Connecticut. CFPA's first Trails Committee, established in 1929, was a small group of visionary outdoorsmen who laid out plans for four initial sections of a statewide forest trail system (New Haven, Waterbury, Litchfield, and Hartford) to be built and maintained by an all-volunteer force. The Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System currently totals over 825 miles of hiking trails in 88 Connecticut towns. The trails are maintained by dedicated volunteers who contribute approximately 15,000 hours to trail work every year. The structure for administering this massive effort consists of the Trails Committee, a full-time staff position (Trail Stewardship Director), and 100 volunteer Trail Managers. The trail volunteers are responsible for specific trails or for sections of the longer trails. They maintain the trails, schedule work parties, supervise other volunteers, and work with the landowners whose land the trails cross. The majority of the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails are on private land and exist only through the good will and cooperation of the landowners.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes

Since 1895 CFPA has effectively facilitated the conservation of forests and the creation and preservation of hiking trails throughout Connecticut. When the organization began its work, Connecticut was 20% forested: today it is 60% forested. Since 1986, the direct acquisition of interests in land has become another way for CFPA to advance its forest conservation mission. Today, CFPA acts as a land trust, protecting over 2000 acres of working forests and trails through fee ownership and conservation restrictions. The Land Conservation program relies on volunteer Land Stewards acting as ambassadors of CFPA who convey an appreciation of the conserved land and act as friendly faces who can respond to general questions and direct landowners and neighbors to the appropriate staff member with complex questions. Land Stewards adopt a property, regularly monitor it (at least once a year), report their findings to CFPA, and occasionally engage in projects on their adopted property.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
CEO/Executive Director
Eric Hammerling
Term Start May 2008
Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 300
Staff Retention Rate 92%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
John Hibbard May 1963 - Jan 2001
Adam Moore Mar 2001 - May 2008
Senior Staff
Title Development Director
Title Membership and Marketing Director
Title Education Director
Title Communications Associate
Title Trail Stewardship Director
Title WalkCT Director
Title Land Conservation Director
Title State Forester and Program Director, Goodwin Center
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Board Chair
Eric Lukingbeal
Company Affiliation Robinson & Cole
Term May 2012 to June 2013
Board of Directors
William D. Breck Retired
Russell Brenneman Retired
Robert Butterworth Arris Services
Starling W. Childs EECOS, Ecological and Environmental Consulting Services
Ruth Cutler Retired
Laurence Diamond Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
James W. Dombrauskas Retired
Caroline Driscoll Retired
Eric Hammerling Connecticut Forest & Park Association
Astrid T. Hanzalek Community Volunteer
Jean Crum Jones Jones Family Farm
David G. Lauretti Retired
Michael Lecours Ohanesian/Lecours
David K. Leff Writer
Scott Livingston Horst Engineering
Lauren L. McGregor Community Volunteer
Geoffrey Meissner Ensign-Bickford Industries
Jeffrey O'Donnell Community Volunteer
David Platt United Technologies
Starr Sayres Retired
Deborah C. Spalding Working Lands Investment Partners
Richard Whitehouse Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 22
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 16
Female 7
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
Gordon L. Anderson Retired
Harrol W. Baker Jr.Retired
Richard A. Bauerfield Retired
George M. Camp Retired
Ann Cuddy Retired
Samuel G. Dodd Retired
John Hibbard Retired
Philip H. Jones Jones Tree Farm
Edward A. Richardson Retired
L.P. Sperry Jr.Retired
Sally L. Taylor Community Volunteer
Sidney Van Zandt Retired
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2013
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2013
Projected Revenue $925,000.00
Projected Expenses $925,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 5%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Form 990s
IRS 9902011
IRS 9902010
IRS 9902009
IRS Letter of Exemption
Tax-Exempt Document
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
Conservation Agenda2013View
CFPA Fact Sheet2010View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201120102009
Total Assets$6,180,853$6,239,334$6,098,402
Current Assets$506,542$579,922$702,441
Long-Term Liabilities$426,764$400,294$417,587
Current Liabilities$7,720$60,236$36,890
Total Net Assets$5,746,369$5,778,804$5,643,925
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201120102009
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountPrudence P. Cutler Charitable Remainder Trust $245,658CT DEEP passing through Federal RIP $28,738State of Connecticut $40,400
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountHartford Foundation for Public Giving $31,523American Forest Foundation $27,000The Gryphon Fund $31,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountWashington Trust $25,094 --Hartford Foundation for Public Giving $19,400
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 16 Meriden Road
Rockfall, CT 064812961
Primary Phone 860 346-2372
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Eric Hammerling
Board Chair Eric Lukingbeal
Board Chair Company Affiliation Robinson & Cole


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