Church Farm Center for Arts and Sciences

Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences

The 110-acre Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences, in nearby Ashford, CT, occupies land gifted to the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, Inc., in 2007 by Joseph and Dorothy (Church) Zaring of Washington, D.C.  The farm had been in the Church family since the early 1800s.  The Church family ran a successful clothing store chain in Hartford, Danielson, Putnam and Willimantic in the late 1800s and early 20th century, and used the Ashford farm as their summer home.  The house, built in 1821, and barn, built in 1895, are on the National Historic Register.

The property includes upland forest, meadows, and a man-made pond, which serve as study sites for research and course field trips by Eastern science faculty and students.  Studies are also conducted on the adjacent 80-acre Joshua’s Trust Church Farm Preserve, comprising forest and a marsh bordering the Mount Hope River.

Faculty and Student Use of Church Farm

SPARCnet Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaboration Network. Three field site surveys each fall and spring. This is a regional collaborative effort across the Northeast, lead by USGS. Dr. Epp has involved students enrolled in the following courses: BIO 130 (Ecology; n ~ 60), BIO 444 (Population & Community Ecology; n = 16), and BIO 338 (Vertebrate Biology; n = 16). This project also involves student volunteers for weekend surveys (~40 students have assisted each year since 2016).