About The Rockfall Foundation

Mission

The mission of The Rockfall Foundation (TRF) is to promote and support environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.

Vision

We envision a healthy and happy quality of life for all, achieved through wise environmental stewardship, planning, and environmental education, and the experience of a meaningful connection with nature now and for future generations.

Values

Integrity – We conduct the business of The Rockfall Foundation honestly and with integrity, in accordance with the law and the highest standards of practice. We foster a free exchange of ideas, with open and clear communication, treating all those with whom we deal fairly and respectfully.
Community – We foster strong relationships to build a community dedicated to our vision. In doing so, we collaborate with grantees and other partners for the collective greater good. We promote the use of the deKoven House as a community and environmental center.
Innovation – We endeavor to keep our activities and ideas current, ever aligned with the evolving needs of the community, and we continually strive to refine our work through evaluating efforts, sharing results, and implementing positive changes.
Education – We are committed to sustaining our long legacy of promoting environmental education in the community and creating awareness of how human activity affects the environment and how the environment affects us, now and into the future.
Empowerment – We empower people and organizations to make well-informed decisions that promote wellness for both themselves and the environment. We are committed to careful stewardship of all human, natural, and financial resources.

Our Work

The Rockfall Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff together are responsible for creating and implementing programs. TRF annually awards grants to other non-profit organizations, schools and municipalities. Educational programs that are presented and sponsored throughout the year include the Rockfall Symposia, forums and workshops, a film series, family hikes, and informal networking opportunities.  TRF programs are often presented in collaboration with grantees, non-profit groups, academic institutions, and municipalities. Member volunteers serve on committees and support the grants and education programs with annual membership donations and other contributions.

The Rockfall Foundation owns and maintains its offices in the historic, 18th century deKoven House on lower Washington Street near the banks of the Connecticut River in Middletown. The deKoven House Community Center provides subsidized office space for other environmental non-profit organizations and serves as meeting space for several community groups.

History

The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations committed to promoting natural resource conservation, sustainable development and environmental education in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. TRF was founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist and conservationist Clarence S. Wadsworth “to establish, maintain and care for parks and forests or wild land for the use and enjoyment of the public…”.

The Rockfall Foundation is named for the waterfalls in present day Wadsworth Falls State Park. The park was created through a generous donation of 267 acres of land by Clarence Wadsworth and the Foundation shortly after Wadsworth’s death in 1942. As an active conservationist, Wadsworth also developed the parkland adjoining Long Hill Estate and an arboretum of northeast forest tress bordering Long Lane. Recognized as the Wadsworth/Kerste deBoer Arboretum, the arboretum is now jointly owned by the city of Middletown and Wesleyan University.

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