Update 11:55 a.m., Saturday:
Membership has its privileges, and to have the privilege of enjoying the newly donated acre of land along the Tokeneke Trail, you'll have to be a Tokeneke Association member or be invited by one.
Otherwise, no "magnificent" acre for you.
The Darien Land Trust on Friday announced the "generous" donation from Ann J. Bolling and the Bolling family of the 1.08 acres of land, which will be added to the Tokeneke Nature Preserve on Friday, but after Darien Patch first published this article about the gift, Mary Rooney wrote again to clarify that it wasn't a gift to the general public.
"Because Tokeneke is a private association, the Nature Preserve is only open to Tokeneke residents and their guests," Rooney wrote in the email.
For those allowed to enjoy it, she wrote, the acre "is accessible by traveling to the end of Tokeneke Trail, and the meadow will be on the left."
Thinking of moving to Tokeneke and joining the association? Good luck: According to a 2005 article about the neighborhood in the Real Estate section of the New York Times, "Living in Tokeneke is more of an aspiration than an option. [...] Tokeneke is the province of a fortunate few" because it's one of the most expensive places to live in Darien or anywhere else.
The land trust has other properties open to the public, Rooney wrote, including Dunlap Woods, Olsen Woods and the Traendly Flood Plains that border Norwalk.
Darien residents not part of the Tokeneke Association may, however, still have an abiding connection with the property:
If the property has been on Darien tax rolls, as residential property normally is, and if the nonprofit Darien Land Trust pays no property taxes on the land, then every other taxpayer in town will contribute to the Tokeneke Association members' enjoyment of the magnificent property in perpetuity.
Ann Bowling or her family, or both, may possibly use the donation for a one-time tax break, since the Darien Land Trust, as it says on its website "is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, and all dues and contributions are tax deductible," so U.S. taxpayers, as a whole, will have a slightly higher tax burden for the benefit of the Tokeneke Association's membership.
Original article, Friday:
An acre of land along the Tokeneke Trail has been donated to the Darien Land Trust, according to trust officials.
Ann J. Bowling and the Bowling family donated 1.04 acres to the trust in late December.
"This spectacular wooded property completes the 23-acre Tokeneke Nature Preserve that is in the heart of the Tokeneke Association," according to Mary Rooney of the Darien Land Trust. She said photographs of the donated land show "the magnificence of the property."
The land trust now preserves 191 acres of open space in town. "Our mission is to conserve natural areas and open vistas for the community to enjoy forever," Rooney said.