Rettich Preserve

Rettich

A Gift of Extraordinary Generosity

The Rettich Preserve, regarded by many as the crown jewel in our holdings, was donated to the Land Trust by Fred and Rosa Rettich in 2014. Fred’s father and mother, Frank and Anna, purchased the land in 1906, after emigrating from Germany. For over 100 years the property was a single family working farm. Fred and Rosa kept a garden, fruit trees, grapes, chickens, and a few milk cows. They had a large hay field. Over the years, they added various structures, including corn cribs, a cow shed, and chicken coops. The Rettichs didn’t want their beautiful, riverside farm to be broken up by developers. It was their vision to preserve the land as open space.

With your help, we’ve prepared the property for public use and conservation. Volunteers have cleared the land of unsafe buildings, debris and chemical hazards.  And we have begun to restore vegetation to its natural state by clearing invasive plant species and allowing the fields to rest. Walking trails are in place for public enjoyment. And efforts are underway to attract VIP visitors – barn owls, bluebirds and pollinator species. All of this work is made possible through the hard work of volunteers and your generous donations – as a private organization we do not receive state or town funding. There is still much to do to keep the Rettich Preserve open to the public.

All of us who live in or near Madison are the lucky recipients of this incredible gift. Exploring this land is like pulling off the wrapping paper bit by bit, and discovering one treasure after another.”

Mike Maloney — MLCT President

You can help preserve this spectacular property for future generations to enjoy! Please consider directing a donation for its ongoing care; we will put your gift to good use.

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Images from the Preserve

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The Rettich farm house which could not be saved. Now the site of the Preserve parking area.

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Peaches and grapes in the fall

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An antique hay rake and the corn crib next to the river

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Gooseberries in the spring and roses in the fall

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Volunteer measuring the well-house for repairs

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Volunteers clearing brush

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The barn