Inspiring love of the outdoors to protect your forests, parks, and trails.
Founded in 1895, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) was the first private, nonprofit, conservation organization to be established in Connecticut. CFPA’s original statement of purpose is as vital and necessary today as it was then.
Statement of Purpose (adopted on Arbor Day, 1896)
- To develop public appreciation of the value of forests, and of the urgent need for preserving and using them rightly.
- To disseminate information relating to the science of forestry, the proper use of forests and the care of trees.
- To secure the passage and enforcement of laws directed toward the preservation, maintenance and increase of forests in Connecticut and throughout the U.S.
- To forward the establishment of state and national parks and reservations, and the introduction of forest management on those and other forest lands.
- To introduce and encourage the study of forestry and kindred topics in the schools.
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) connects people to Connecticut’s forests, parks, and Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, and ensures these special places are protected and well-managed for future generations.
CFPA inspires active, lifelong engagement with Connecticut’s abundant and well-managed forests, parks, and trails by building a vibrant and diverse conservation community.
The Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System
CFPA and its volunteers launched the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System in 1929 as a new way to explore and appreciate Connecticut’s forests. The trails are hosted on 825 miles of private, town, and state lands stretching across 96 towns, and now include the nation’s newest National Scenic Trail, the New England Trail (designated in 2009). The “Blue Trails” are widely viewed as CFPA’s most tangible, visible “asset” on the Connecticut landscape.
- Since the 1980s, CFPA has been a statewide land trust that owns or holds conservation easements on over 1,200 acres of land and 7 miles of trails. CFPA’s stewardship responsibilities span 21 towns.
- Since the 1980s, CFPA has either been the leader or co-leader of the Project Learning Tree Connecticut (PLT CT) environmental education program. This is a national program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
- Since 1993, CFPA has been coordinating National Trails Day® events across Connecticut. In 2022, there were 200 events in 120 towns on Connecticut Trails Day (the most in the nation … again).
- Since 2008, CFPA has contracted with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) to ensure the Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center in Hampton delivers outstanding forest-based environmental educational programs for all ages.
- From 2010, until it’s official determination as a 501c3 nonprofit in October 2017, CFPA served as the fiscal sponsor for the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) and maintains a strong connection with all land trusts.