New Haven Land Trust
817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 562-6655 x
Fax 203-n/a
E-mail info@newhavenlandtrust.org
Web and Social Media
Located on the Quinnipiac River, this 35-acre preserve includes tidal wetlands, coastal forest and coastal grasslands. There are two loop trails on the preserve and a bird blind overlooking the salt marsh and river.
Mission

New Haven Land Trust manages 50 community gardens, operating in every neighborhood, and 6 coastal nature preserves covering approximately 80 acres in the City of New Haven. Our mission is to engage people in the stewardship and cultivation of the land for a healthier community and environment.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1982
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Justin Elicker
Board Chair Ms. C. Walker Holmes
Board Chair Company Affiliation Trust for Public Land
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission

New Haven Land Trust manages 50 community gardens, operating in every neighborhood, and 6 coastal nature preserves covering approximately 80 acres in the City of New Haven. Our mission is to engage people in the stewardship and cultivation of the land for a healthier community and environment.

Background
In 1982, a group of dedicated visionary people founded the New Haven Land Trust.  The founding resolution stated that the NHLT was formed to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life within New Haven.  The organization was to preserve ecologically significant open space in New Haven’s densely populated urban area and to create unique opportunities for neighborhood residents to come into contact with their environment.  Environmental education and community gardens were singled out as innovative activities for the NHLT.  Local neighbors would play an important role in determining the use of the parcels and would be encouraged to participate in Land Trust activities. 
 
Today the New Haven Land Trust continues to honor the vision of the founders.  The NHLT owns preserves in six locations comprising approximately 80 acres and two community gardens. It also manages 42 additional community gardens, many on land leased from the City of New Haven. 
 
 The New Haven Land Trust sees opportunity in the next 25 years to expand the founders’ vision.  Community gardens providing food and neighborhood involvement, expanded educational programs, and continued protection of environmental treasures will enhance New Haven’s quality of life.  Our members, volunteers and staff are dedicated to making a difference in our community.
Impact

 In 2017, the Land Trust

  • Restarted the Schooner Summer Camp for 173 6-12 year-olds under the Land Trust leadership (after the joining of New Haven Land Trust and Schooner in early 2017.) Provided over $65,000 of scholarships for low-income New Haven kids.
  • Increased Growing Entrepreneurs youth program participants from six to 12 and transitioned the program to a year-round professional development, farming and skills-training employment program. Participants learn these skills by creating business ventures in urban agriculture as they gain entrepreneurial and green job skills
  • Stewarded gardening activities in 55 gardens across New Haven, engaging over 1,000 gardeners, volunteers and visitors. 
  • Hosted 454 people at our educational events on our nature preserve, 314 people at our garden education events, and many more visitors that came on their own to our sites.
  • Completed preserve signage project by installing interpretative signage about the history and ecology in three nature preserves.
In 2018, we are working to double the size of Schooner summer camp, increase the number of participants in our Growing Entrepreneurs Program and activate our gardens as community spaces with arts and other community-based initiatives.
Needs

The Land Trust’s most pressing needs this year are:

  • Financial support to build capacity so we can increase community outreach and engagement in our gardens and nature preserves. Critical to our success is our ability to support and increase staff time for community outreach, to offer educational workshops, and implement infrastructure improvements on our nature preserves and gardens.
  • Financial support to sponsor scholarships for low-income New Haven children to participate in Schooner Summer Camp.
  • Increased funding for a development director to focus on growing the financial base of the organization for long-term financial stability.  
CEO Statement
Today our nation, state and city are in great need. With state funding drying out and lack of leadership at the federal level for many things that are important to the survival and ability to thrive of many New Haven residents, we are perhaps facing the most challenging time in decades. The Land Trust feels our role is significant at this time to ensure that our community is strong, that we all have opportunities to meet, learn from and benefit from our neighbors, and that we strengthen our ability to steward our environment and the place we call home. We realize that in our broad connection with thousands of people through our 60+ sites across New Haven, is an opportunity to have a much deeper impact on the New Haven community - not just by interacting with even more people - but perhaps more importantly by improving the quality of the programming we offer. 
 
In the past several years our organization has experienced significant growth, nearly quadrupling in size and in the number of individuals we work with. We have focused in particular on New Haven youth with the joining of Schooner and the Land Trust and the creation of the Growing Entrepreneurs Program. We realize that in order to truly move the dial on the many challenges we face at a city, we must think outside the box and approach problems in non-traditional and cross-disciplinary ways. We strive to combine environmental learning opportunities with the confidence building that sailing in Schooner summer camp provides to a young child. We serve a dual purpose by providing employment and professional training skills alongside farming and environmental education through our Growing Entrepreneurship Program. The Land Trust will continue to provide high-quality core services like support for our 55 community gardens and six nature preserves. But we also will work well-beyond the traditional scope of a Land Trust, because we believe that solving the complex problems of our world require comprehensive and creative solutions.
Board Chair Statement We are fortunate that people have become more aware of the environment and the value of our natural resources. Passions for the environment and great programs have enabled us to attract great board and committee volunteers from across the city. The community gardens, preserve and education programs all take the work of many people. We need to challenge ourselves to better recognize outstanding service of our existing volunteers and build on successes in growing our volunteer base. There is much to be done and it is far too easy for us to rely on those loyal volunteer who shoulder so much work. A challenge for our organization is to continually recruit and develop new volunteers by giving them progressive leadership roles in the organization. If we can continue to improve our success at recruiting, retaining and developing volunteers, the New Haven Land Trust will have a even greater impact in the community.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development /
Areas Served
New Haven
The Land Trust serves every neighborhood in the City of New Haven.
Programs
Description The New Haven Land Trust manages 50 community gardens in the city of New Haven, providing technical assistance and supplies. We work with neighborhood residents, tenant associations, block watches, social service agencies, schools, youth groups, and the elderly. By creating community vegetable gardens, we transform vacant urban lots into productive hubs of activity that benefit the community in many ways.  The gardens clean up the soil, beautify the neighborhoods, and provide an avenue for healthy exercise, stress relief, enhanced emotional well being, and skill development. It also becomes a family opportunity to work together and teach sustainable living while enjoying delicious home grown bounty. Many of the Land Trust gardens are in resource-poor, low-income neighborhoods and provide access to nutritious food that is free or low-cost, thus easing the strain on household budgets. 
Population Served General/Unspecified / Hispanic, Latino Heritage / Blacks, African Heritage
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Immediate impact - in 2014:
  • Stewarded gardening activities in forty-six gardens across New Haven, engaging over 1,000 gardeners as primary program participants; distributed 4,800 seedlings, 600 seed packets, and over 150 cubic yards of compost or garden soil to community gardeners; Installed five new sheds from recycled materials, repaired fencing and built 28 new raised beds at gardens throughout the city.

  • Led a series of seven successful gardening workshops, plus a beekeeping demonstration which featured new hives at Liberty-Springside Garden.

  • St. Martin de Porres Garden served over 200 through donations to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen; the Bethesda Lutheran Garden donated over 90% of what they grew to Christian Community Action up to twice a week; and the Amistad Catholic Workers Garden gave produce to the soup kitchen next door.

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.
Gardeners report increased consumption of fresh produce as a result of gardening;
Gardeners report community cohesion, more connections with neighbors;
Gardeners report increased self-sufficiency skills through gardening 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
The Land Trust conducts a survey at the end of the growing season that each garden manager fills out to report on what's been grown, number of community members involved, activities and events held, challenges and successes.
We recently redesigned our performance measures for the Garden Program to better track impact on behaviors, community conditions, and health and well-being of those involved in the program.   
A Garden Committee comprised of six District Garden Coordinators
 meets every two weeks to report on garden developments and activities, identify key issues and decide on strategies for addressing those issues.
 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Reports from various gardens:

"The garden gets people from different ethnicities and immigrant groups working together. Passersby express curiosity and appreciation for its contribution to the neighborhood."

"People are friendlier. It has made the neighborhood nicer. An area for dumping became a garden. The neighborhood has come together, a place to gather around to admire and talk about.""It gives people a chance to experience nature and grow food. It bring neighborhood people together, in a positive way."

"It gives people a chance to experience nature and grow food. It brings neighborhood people together in a positive way."

"The community gardening program is wonderful and has changed the emotion, economic and spirititual life of the community."

"The community gardening program is a wonderful resource and continues to be a bright spot in this portion of the Hill neighborhood. I have many great stories and pictures of fun and produce growing and harvested over the years."

Description Since 1986 the New Haven Land Trust has acquired approximately 80 acres of land which will remain publicly accessible open space. These habitats include tidal wetlands, coastal upland forest and grassland, traprock ridge, riparian forest and fresh water wetlands. Our goals for these preserved lands are to maintain them in a natural state and to restore areas degraded by human impact to high quality biologically diverse environments for the benefit of New Haven residents and the New Haven environment.
Population Served General/Unspecified / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
In 2015, Pond Lily Nature Preserve saw a major infrastructure improvement - the removal of a dam, which with the work of many organizations and volunteers will restore the area to vibrant riparian and upland ecosystems. Long Wharf Nature Preserve had new permanent educational signage installed along its trails, invasive removal and native replanting, and we have plans to improve the entrances. Quinnipiac Meadows has been the site of many educational and volunteer activities including the installation of a bat box and trail improvements. We are planning to install new permanent educational signage at this site next.
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.
It is difficult to measure the absolute impact of the Preserve program on the broader community in terms of awareness raised, knowledge gained, well-being. Our nature preserves are open to the public year-round and we estimate that at least 1,000 people enjoy them each year.  
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
A sign-in book at the trail heads on three of our Nature Preserves allow us to gather qualitative feedback on visitors' experience of the preserves and their ideas for improvement. 
We keep track of the # of people who attend our nature walks and collect general feedback from attendees to improve future events. 
 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. We are currently improving our process for gathering feedback from visitors that will provide qualitative data on how their experience of the preserves impacted their attitudes, behavior, and knowledge of natural habitats.
Description In 1982 the founders of the New Haven Land Trust were motivated to try to preserve the remaining undeveloped natural areas in New Haven. As land was acquired it became apparent that environmental education had to be part of our mission. Offering guided nature walks both introduced the public to our preserves and reinforced the importance of conserving nature in an urban setting. As a supporting partner, the Garden Club of New Haven made a significant contribution to this effort by developing and teaching a curriculum for school children at the Long Wharf Nature Preserve. We are also pursuing both active and passive approaches by offering free educational activities and events open to the public and by installing educational signage at our preserves. In addition, we are now running Schooner as a signature program of the New Haven Land Trust. The Schooner Program will connect kids, coastline, and community through a series of summer camps and other educational programming.
Population Served General/Unspecified / General/Unspecified / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. By the end of each workshop or program, participants will report increased knowledge in the subject area and, in the case of gardening workshops, report new skills for growing produce. 
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. Participants in our gardening and urban habitat education workshops will have an increased knowledge of the urban natural environment and, depending on the focus of the workshop, new skills for gardens or new knowledge of wildlife habitats in New Haven. 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. We plan to conduct post-workshop participant evaluation surveys.
Description Growing Entrepreneurs, the New Haven Land Trust’s new year-round job program for youth, was created in 2016 to extend our summer youth program throughout the year. The teens advance the mission of the Land Trust through business ventures in urban agriculture as they gain entrepreneurial and green job skills—not to mention the profit they earn, on top of their wages. While we are focusing on selling food to restaurants and food trucks in Fall 2016, the program creates space for the entrepreneurs to explore and pilot various business ventures, such as growing the seedlings for the Land Trust’s 50 community gardens, selling ready-to-plant raised garden beds to private residences, and processing value-added products.
Population Served / /
Description
The New Haven Land Trust and Schooner, Inc., joined forces in 2016 to protect and promote the natural and cultural resources of New Haven through access to outdoor environments, conservation, stewardship, and education. This is achieved through land and sea-based programming on New Haven’s unique coastline through sailing lessons and environmental education. Campers learn about the habitats and ecosystems of the Long Island Sound, the water systems of the Long Island Sound, pollution, and sustainability, all while having fun in the summer sun. Schooner camp takes place yearly between June - August at the Land Trust's Long Wharf Nature Preserve. 
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) / Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Minorities
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
-Acquired Schooner Camp in 2016 and hosted over 300 diverse campers between the ages of 6 and 12.
-Provided an educational program that helps children to experience a different side of their city through science-based learning activities.
-Sixty percent of the available spaces for campers were filled with children from low-income families on full or partial scholarships.
-Provided working opportunities for young adults eager to educate children and teens on the importance of nature preservation and the joys of sailing.
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.
-Increased camp enrollment and expand to more low-income campers.  
-Permanent Schooner Camp Headquarters.
-Former Schooner campers become counselors: growing and reinforcing Schooner culture.
-Year-round Schooner programming for students and building on our curriculum. 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Our program success is measured by camp enrollment numbers, the number of scholarships awarded, and parent surveys. Parents fill out surveys after their child finishes their last camp session. These surveys cover both the child and the parent’s satisfaction with the program.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
100% of parents had a positive experience with our staff, general operations, and the registration process and would recommend the camp to other parents.
94% of parents said their youth had a stronger connection to the Long Island Sound after attending camp. 
60% of campers on full or partial scholarships. 
 
“My child loved sailing, finding crabs and visiting the preserve. We very much appreciated her joy and the positive sentiments she felt about the learning experience as well as the positive impact on her confidence.” - Parent of a Schooner sailing camper.
 
Program Comments
CEO Comments
With the need in New Haven for access to healthy food continuing to grow, the Land Trust's primary challenge is our personnel capacity to conduct outreach, implement projects and provide educational opportunities.  Financial contributions that allow us to increase the amount of time our staff work with community members directly improves our ability to increase the number of community gardens; residents' knowledge on how to garden; environmental education opportunities and volunteer events; and to expand our potential to increase the land that we preserve for the benefit of the New Haven community .
CEO/Executive Director
Justin Elicker
Term Start Feb 2014
Email justin.elicker@newhavenlandtrust.org
Experience

Justin is a seasoned community leader who brings incredible energy, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the mission of the New Haven Land Trust.

Professionally, Justin has worked with the Yale Office of Sustainability and served as a sustainability consultant to numerous companies. He has a dual master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management. Elicker’s community and environmental leadership includes the Friends of East Rock Park, which he reinvigorated with Cedar Hill resident Betty Thompson, and New Haven Green Drinks, which he co-founded. He served for four years on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, spearheading environmental initiatives and serving as an informal advisor to the Food Policy Council. Most recently, he completed a city-wide campaign for mayor. As a candidate, he demonstrated his ability to effectively lead a large-scale outreach effort, raise funds and motivate staff and volunteers to engage thousands of people across the city.

As executive director, Justin manages the organization’s administration and programs. He also is charged with organizing and strengthening the Land Trust’s already robust network of volunteers in running programs, raising funds and increasing the visibility of the organization.
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 14
Number of Volunteers 1500
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 66%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 8
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 2 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 8
Unspecified 1
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Catherine Bradshaw Apr 2013 - Mar
Chris Randall Mar 2010 - Jan 2013
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 N/A
Collaborations
The Land Trust’s long history has enabled us to develop strong relationships with many regional partners in environmental and urban agricultural issues. We have worked closely with our partners on joint projects that span from jointly run garden and preserve educational programs, to an "incubator garden" program which brings families that have graduated from New Haven Farms' nutrition education program into community gardening, to a large-scale dam removal project to improve fish migration. Partners are critical to our day to day success and important to the long-term success of our organization.
Board Chair
Ms. C. Walker Holmes
Company Affiliation Trust for Public Land
Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Ms. Liz Acas Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Ms. Mary Beth Decker
Mr. Justin Freiberg Yale University
Mr. Leonard Grauer Yale University
Mr. John R. Logan
Mr. Michael Martinez
Mr. Andrew Nyhart
Mr. Kyle Pedersen
Ms. Tyra Pendergrass
Ms. Allie Perry Community Volunteer
Ms. Robin Sauerteig
Mr. Errol Saunders
Ms. Anne Schenck Retired
Mr. Anthony Scierka
Ms. Ruth Swanton
Ms. Maria Tupper Community Volunteer
Mr. Gary Winfield
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 9
Risk Management Provisions
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Medical Health Insurance
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Justin Freiberg
Company Affiliation Yale University
Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Email justin.freiberg@gmail.com
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Board Governance
Finance
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
CEO Comments
We are fortunate that people have become more aware of the environment and the value of our natural resources. Passions for the environment and great programs have enabled us to attract great board and committee volunteers from across the city. The community gardens, preserve and education programs all take the work of many people. We need to challenge ourselves to better recognize outstanding service of our existing volunteers and build on successes in growing our volunteer base. There is much to be done and it is far too easy for us to rely on those loyal volunteer who shoulder so much work. A challenge for our organization is to continually recruit and develop new volunteers by giving them progressive leadership roles in the organization. If we can continue to improve our success at recruiting, retaining and developing volunteers, the New Haven Land Trust will have a even greater impact in the community.
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $484,844.00
Projected Expenses $527,152.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Documents
Form 990s
9902016
9902015
9902014
9902013
9902012
9902011
9902010
9902009
9902008
9902007
9902006
IRS Letter of Exemption
Tax Exempt Letter
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,750,751$1,706,813$1,677,773
Current Assets$10,715$227,595$187,706
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$3,979$3,208$9,931
Total Net Assets$1,746,772$1,703,605$1,667,842
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountUSDA Treasury - NRCS $235,316The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $62,973The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $38,081
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $113,280The City of New Haven $39,991City of New Haven $25,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCity of New Haven $54,429Carolyn Foundation $25,000William Graustein Memorial Fund $20,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Comments
CEO Comments
* Our organization works on cash-basis budgeting. The 2017 actual budget ended in a surplus and as such the 2018 and 2017 combined budgets result in a net surplus. 
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 817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
817 Grand Avenue Unit 102
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 562-6655
CEO/Executive Director Justin Elicker
Board Chair Ms. C. Walker Holmes
Board Chair Company Affiliation Trust for Public Land

 

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