For Canton Land Conservation Trust president Barry Deutsch, what better way to celebrate the organization's 40th anniversary than to announce the preservation of open space?
At the organization's Harvest Moon Dinner Dance celebration at Ski Sundown Saturday night, Deutsch announced that Leon and Winnie Pratt had donated 21 acres of property at 84 Cherry Brook Road. The property's terrain is varied and a cabin is included, he said, presenting a lot of possibilities for use.
"It's an absolutely amazing property," he said.
In all, the trust protects nearly 2,000 acres of property in Canton. It began with of a 1.3-acre meadow in 1973, a year after the organization formed.
The Canton Land Conservation Trust celebrated the 40 years with two events Saturday. First were several day-time hikes and outdoor activities at the Mary Conklin Sanctuary on Indian Hill Road.
Then at night it was the Harvest Moon Dinner Dance. The trust stopped taking reservations on Tuesday but with some that came in the mail, approximately 275 came out to the event. It featured a main course by the Meat House, other food, live music by the Hot Cat Jazz Band, cash bar and a large bonfire. Despite some rain, a few small groups capped the night with a hike to the top of Ski Sundown, illuminated by luminaries put out by volunteers earlier in the day.
Mary Ellen Mullins, who helped 40th Anniversary event chairwoman Karen Berger organize the evening event, said the dinner was the result of "the incredible efforts of the many artistic and talented volunteers who chopped, sautéed, roasted, baked, blanched and assembled all of the side dishes, desserts and hors d'oeuvres from fresh, local ingredients."
The evening also featured local vegetation gathered by volunteers and placed into old hiking boots turned vases.
"I think that is what made our event so unique," Mullins said.
The event was indeed a huge success, bolstered by the number of attendees and volunteer efforts, Deutsch said.
"It's beyond expectations," he said. "It's been a tremendous outpouring. We're proud to be part of the community."
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