New Pond Farm, Reading, CT
In 1985, stage and screen actress Carmen Sylva Mathews formed the New Pond Foundation to allow her 102 acre farm could remain intact. In 1995 she created and donated a conservation easement of 80 acres to the Redding Land Trust. A devoted steward of the land, she wanted her farm to serve as a model for enlightened land use. She determined that her property could best be used for environmental education. For the past twenty-five years it has been the home of New Pond Farm Education Center, and its outdoor classrooms have helped people of all ages to gain an appreciation and understanding of the natural world. Each year countless school children and inner-city campers are exposed to freshwater ecology, bee keeping, maple sugaring and the natural rhythms of a working farm.
The farm manages livestock, pastures, gardens, free-range chickens, cows and sheep. Through its programs and Shared Harvest initiative, New Pond has inspired a new generation of stewards to care for the land.
Sally Trippe, a long-time friend of Carmen Mathews, was instrumental in the founding and evolution of New Pond Farm in it’s current form. An active environmentalist and former teacher, Sally helped to guide the organization's mission for two decades. Her interest in Native American heritage is responsible for an authentically recreated encampment on the property as well as an impressive collection of living Eastern Woodland artifacts. Sally served as the Foundation's president for ten years during which time she spearheaded a successful Capital Campaign and the creation of the Learning Center.
The Learning Center consists of meeting spaces and classrooms to support the mission of New Pond Farm as well as Native American artifact storage and display, bunk rooms, food prep and living space for resident children during programs, animal rescue and housng space, offices and support facilities.
The building is set into the hillside overlooking the property. The rear of the building forms a small amphitheatre for outdoor performances. Natural materials were used throughout, including posts and beams from a 150 year old barn.
Leonard Wyeth AIA and Samuel Callaway AIA, Wyeth Architects llc. Photos By Olson Photographic llc.
New Pond Farm, Redding, CT