News Archives

Restoration Nuts Planted at Middlesex Community College

The weekend of May 16th, CT Chapter Board Member Jane Harris worked with students from the Student Environmental Association for Sustainability (SEAS), and their adviser, Dr. Christine Witkowski, to plant four of the B3F3 nuts she’d been sent from the TACF Meadowview Research Farm.
The trees are along the trail (at the edge of a mowed lawn) the students have been clearing for the past couple of years.

Leadership Change

Former President John Anderson
Former President John Anderson holds framed photo honoring his contributions to the Chapter


At our April 19th Annual Meeting the Chapter elected new Board Members and a new slate of Officers. Having served on the board for over a decade, and as Chapter President for two years, outgoing President John Anderson steps down and is replaced by Star Childs. The photo shows John accepting a framed photograph of a emerging chestnut seedling with an inscription thanking him for his service and contributions.

Frame was made and presented by former Chapter President Bill Adamsen. The frame was fabricated of American chestnut found in an old structure here in Connecticut. We’re always looking for chestnut which can be used for such purposes … if you have some please reach out to your local Board Member.

Star Childs - newly elected President CT-TACF

Star Childs headlines the new Executive Committee voted into office at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

Norcross Seed Orchard Site

By Bill Adamsen

CT-TACF Board Member Jim Gage participates in several Forestry related forums – the Mass/Conn Sustainable Forest Partnership and the NEFF – both of which have been hosted at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Wales, Massachusetts. At one of the meetings, Jim and Dan Donahue – active on the Mass/Conn Steering Committee, and Director of Land Protection & Stewardship at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary – had been talking about the American chestnut’s role in the forest, and progress and needs of the American Chestnut Foundation’s restoration efforts. The conversation turned to our search for suitable sites for Seed Orchards, the next stage of the breeding program, and Dan asked if this was a program in which the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary could participate. Read More

Report of the Nominating Committee

CT-TACF Nominating Committee members John Baker (Chair), Woods Sinclair and Bill Adamsen are recommending the following slate of candidates for Board membership and for Chapter Officers:

Nominees for Board membership
Under the revised bylaws, as many as 10 Board members can be elected each year.

Six current Board members have terms expiring, and five have agreed to serve for another two years (terms ending in 2015) if elected: Dr. Jack Ostroff, Woods Sinclair. Jane Harris, Star Childs and Bill Adamsen.

Four additional candidates have been identified and they have agreed that their names can be added to the nominating slate: John Blossom from Guilford, Matt Freund from Canaan, Christian Allyn from Falls Village and Dan Donahue from Ashford. Biographies for the proposed new Board Members are detailed below. Biographies for current Board Members seeking an additional term, can be found on the web-site.

Nominees for Officers
We have new and returning officers on the executive committee. President John Anderson is stepping down after serving two years as President and two prior to that as Vice-President. We thank John for his service. Replacing John will be Star Childs who has agreed to serve as President. Remaining as Vice-President is Jack Ostroff with Jim Gage returning as Treasurer and Jane Harris as Secretary.

Respectfully submitted,

John Baker, Chairperson, on behalf of the CT-TACF Nominating Committee.


Biographies of individuals nominated for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting on Saturday April 18th, 2015.

Christian Allyn

Christian Allyn was a student at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVHRS) and is currently a bachelor’s student of Horticulture at the University of Connecticut. While in high school, Christian was an officer in the Housatonic Valley FFA Chapter, a member of the Housatonic Valley Environthon team, and interned at the Falls Village American Chestnut Orchard with the guidance of Ellery Sinclair in the summer of 2012. Continuing from 2012 and after graduation, Christian is a member of HVRHS Arboretum and Landscape Committee and has played a key role in data­basing existing tree’s dimensions, the removal of invasive species off the school grounds and creating an arboretum map for the school along with Tom Zetterstrom and Robin Cockerline, in celebration of the HVRHS 75th anniversary. At UConn Christian is a charter member of ECoalition, an organization which unites all environmental groups to make a stand on university policies regarding the environment. He also is the transit campaign coordinator with the UConn Public Interest Group and has testified at the state level and lobbied at the national level regarding public transit and higher education solutions. When not at UConn, Christian serves on the Housatonic River Commission (HRC) a public advisory board managing development along the Housatonic River, holding the title of the youngest HRC member and youngest appointed public official in the Town of North Canaan’s history. He also comes home to his family in East Canaan, who have lived and managed family land there for eight generations. His goal is to ensure the lands, rivers, and forests of northwestern, and all of Connecticut are managed in a way which ensures that future generations can enjoy them as he has.



John Blossom

John Blossom has been volunteering as orchard manager at the backcross breeding orchard on Nut Plains Road in Guilford since April, 2014. John’s interest in the American Chestnut originated from his work as a summer camp counselor in the forests of Sussex County, New Jersey, where chestnut logs and small saplings were found frequently. John and his wife June-Ann Greeley have been residing in Guilford since February 2014, after having lived in Westport, CT for twenty-two years. John and June-Ann are enthusiastic gardeners, bird and wildlife watchers, nature trail and oceanside wanderers and supporters of nature conservation and animal sanctuaries. Both are graduates of Connecticut College in New London, CT. John is now a candidate for ordained ministries in the United Methodist Church and is enrolled in the Cooperative Master of Divinity programme of Hartford Seminary. Prior to returning to school John was a media and technology industry analyst and executive consultant for Shore Communications Inc. and authored the book “Content Nation: Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Changes Our Work, Our Lives and Our Future” (Wiley, 2009).

Matt Freund

Matt Freund is a second generation dairy farmer in East Canaan, CT. He farms with his brother, wife and children. Following in the footsteps of his father, he has worked diligently to adopt conservation farming practices for his family’s farm. These practices have included the planting of chestnut trees and other native species along the farm’s bordering river. Matt’s interest in stewardship led him to participate in a COVERTS class with UConn Extension, additionally, Matt and his brother manage a forest stewardship plan for the 200 acres of forested property on the farm. Matt serves as Chair to the North Canaan Wetlands Commission as well as Chair for his dairy cooperative, Cabot’s Sustainability Committee. In addition to the 300 dairy cows on Freund’s Farm, they also house a manufacturing facility for the production of CowPots, a product invented by Matt and his brother to alleviate the farm of the excess nutrients (cow manure) while adding value to their farm’s byproduct. For more details about the Fruends and their CowPots seethis 2010 NY Times article.

Dan Donahue

Dan is a licensed professional forester with 34 years of management experience in Connecticut. He is Director of Land Protection & Stewardship for the Norcross Wildlife Foundation (NWF), which is primarily charged with protecting/improving Tupper Hill, the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, a refuge with a mission of conserving flora and fauna and a 75-year history of accomplishment. Dan directs NWF’s land acquisitions, Program Related Investments that offer no-interest loans to facilitate priority habitat conservation nationwide, and long-range conservation planning, as well as land/habitat stewardship practices on the 8,000-acre sanctuary. Dan has a B.S. degree in Natural Resource Conservation (forest and wildlife management, 1981) and a M.S. in Natural Resources (water resources-wetland assessment, 1994), both at UConn. He is a long-time volunteer with Connecticut Forest & Park Association and Joshua’s Tract Conservation & Historic Trust. Dan is eager to represent NWF in the successful reestablishment of the American chestnut tree in the forests of the eastern U.S.

CT Chapter 2015 Annual Meeting

Dr. Wagner, one of the world’s foremost experts on Lepidoptera, will be talking about The Ecological Meltdown of American Chestnut: A Glimpse at the Little Ones that Got Left Behind and What Still Might Be. Dr. Wagner is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. His lecture is just one of the reasons to attend our annual meeting. Read More

Feast on Art

American Chestnut: Lecture and Educational Tasting

C A N C E L E D   D U E   T O   I N C L E M E N T   W E A T H E R
(to be be rescheduled for later this spring.)

With Steve Conaway of The American Chestnut Foundation, and a Culinary Demonstration and Tasting with Chef Silvia Baldini and Heirloom and Ark of Taste Food Discussion with Analiese Paik, Thursday, March 5, From 6:30-8:30 pm. Read More

Lawrence Lloyd Inman


Lawrence Inman, PhD

Dr. Lawrence Lloyd Inman passed away in September of last year in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 94. Read More

American Chestnut seedlings at The Greenwich Land Trust

GREENWICH, CT – On Saturday, November 15th, 75 volunteers planted nearly 400 American Chestnut seedlings at The Greenwich Land Trust’s American Chestnut Sanctuary. Read More