Darien family donates an acre with oaks, maples for conservation: 'a whole ecosystem in itself'

DARIEN — In the spirit of environmental conservation, a local family has donated an acre of land to be preserved.

Richard and Kim Alexander gifted 1.2 acres of land from their property on Stephanie Lane to the Darien Land Trust. The transaction closed in late December.

Richard Alexander said he and his wife bought the property in 2016, drawn to the pristine nature of the land and the glen with a tree canopy so dense during the summer that it blocks out any signs of human development nearby. The land is also a habitat for local wildlife, including deer, foxes and a pair of nesting red tailed hawks, he said. 

“We just fell in love with it, and we thought that it would be a terrific piece of property that the Darien Land Trust may want,” Alexander said. “A year and a half later, we finally were able to culminate all of our efforts into an actual donation.”

Darien Land Trust president Elizabeth Mathus said the generosity of the Alexander family represented part of the solution to “protect and preserve forever” at a time when trees are being cleared from town and state land.

“It’s critical to have that oak and maple that are native and mature because that is a whole ecosystem in itself,” Mathus said. “The Alexander property is representative of a solution, and I would hope that maybe it would ignite the fire under other people to do the same thing who are in a position to do that.”

In honor of the family’s Scottish heritage, the land will be named Glen Alexander.

“You want to leave the world better than the way you found it,” Alexander said. “I think in a small way, my wife and I have done that, and we're really proud of that.”