Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust

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Fact Sheet

Flanders Fact Sheet

Contact Information
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust
5 Church Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
Fax 203-263-2214
E-mail: flanders@flandersnaturecenter.org
Board President: Anne Westerman
Executive Director: Arthur Milnor
Media Contact: Nancy Robinson

Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust acquires, preserves, and manages land; and uses the land to promote the understanding and appreciation of nature, art, and the environment.


  • 1926: Van Vleck family of New York purchases farm on Flanders Road in Woodbury, CT
  • Daughter Natalie Van Vleck, accomplished artist, builds studio on parents’ property
  • 1934: Van Vlecks purchase 108 acres from Connecticut Light & Power Co.
  • 1935: Natalie Van Vleck gives up art to found fully-working turkey farm on parents’ property
  • 1942: Natalie inherits Woodbury farm from parents
  • 1955: Natalie Van Vleck operating successful Hampshire sheep farm, well-known on East Coast
  • 1960s Suburban development encroaches upon Woodbury’s agricultural traditions. In consultation with environmentalists, Natalie Van Vleck evolves idea to develop nature center on her property to preserve it in perpetuity
  • 1963: Flanders Nature Center Inc. chartered as a non-profit organization
  • 1973: Flanders becomes one of first land trusts in area, receiving gift of 6.5 acre Manville Kettle property
  • 1981: Natalie Van Vleck dies at her home on Christmas Day and eventually leaves her estate to Flanders Nature Center
  • 1999: Acquisition of the 686 acre Whittemore Sanctuary, received first state DEP Open Space grant
  • 2002: New sugar House built; Buz Russell Farm and Rural Life museum donated; Flanders creates new farm education program; Farm Trail developed to connect Trail House and Sugar House to Studio, North & South Barn areas
  • 2013: Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust is 50 years old