In 2013, DPNC purchased the 45-acre Coogan Farm property on Greenmanville Avenue in Mystic. The property is an intact cultural landscape that includes open habitat, old stone foundations and walls, meadows and hedgerows, and a farmhouse and barn significant to the history of Mystic. On the banks of the Mystic River, the property has played a critical role in the life of Native Americans such as the local Pequot people for thousands of years. It was the first colonial farm along the east side of the Mystic River, owned by John Gallup in 1646, and later played a critical role in the development of the Mystic area of Greenmanville, serving as a farm providing food and produce to nineteenth-century shipbuilders at what is now Mystic Seaport.
DPNC’s acquisition of the property created an intact greenway linking the Nature Center on Pequotsepos Road all the way to Route 27 and across the river to the Peace Sanctuary. In addition, Coogan Farm protects two critical watersheds and a variety of early successional habitats, including young forest, shrub lands and meadows). The property is preserved in a USFW-conservation easement as critical habitat for the New England Cottontail rabbit.
Coogan Farm features an outdoor courtyard, outdoor gathering places, a renovated barn and farmhouse with classroom, exhibit, event, meeting and office spaces. The farm also features an heirloom orchard and a model regenerative Giving Garden that provides fresh vegetables and fruit to the food insecure of New London County, through the Gemma Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank.