Northern Connecticut Land Trust Announcements
|NOTICE: McCann Parking Area HAS REOPENED
|Bald Mountain Bird Habitat Assessment
In 2014 Audubon Connecticut received a government grant to conduct assessments of forest bird habitat throughout Connecticut. NCLT responded to Audubon's search for landowners having plots of forested land who were interested in participating by submitting proposals for both Bald Mountain Preserve and Whitaker Woods. Bald Mountain Preserve was accepted as one of over 30 properties to be assessed in 2014.
The assessment was performed jointly by Audubon Connecticut, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, forester Eric Hansen and several NCLT members on August 20th. The complete report can be found on the Bald Mountain Preserve property page.
Whitaker Woods is still included on a list additional properties which may receive assessments this summer.
|Swann Farm Chestnut Orchard Harvest of 2014
As NCLT members are well aware, since 2007 we have partnered with the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to create and maintain an experimental chestnut orchard in Ellington. For the past couple years the trees have been mature enough to begin producing chestnuts.
At the end of October TACF will be conducting an experiment to determine what percentage of nuts germinate and successfully take root under conditions that occur naturally in a forest or wood edge setting. These conditions are very different than those in TACF orchards. The nuts planted in orchards are carefully placed in a specific planting mix approximately one inch below the surface then watered and fertilized after they germinate. Deer fence surrounding the orchard keeps out deer and plastic tubes around each planted nut protects them from squirrels, mice and voles, all of whom find chestnuts very tasty. Under these conditions approximately 85% to 90% of the nuts successfully germinate and produce trees. Nuts that drop from trees in a forest or along a wood edge in the fall do not have any of these advantages and the percentage of nuts that actual survive the winter to grow into trees the following spring is expected to be very low.
The TACF experiment will consist of broadcasting a large number of chestnuts on the ground over a plot of specific size. The plot will then be lightly disc harrowed. This will slightly bury some of the nuts simulating burial by squirrels. For this experiment FACF estimates that at least 10,000 nuts will be required.
On Saturday, September 27, 2014 five NCLT stewardship volunteers helped NCLT answer the call for chestnuts by collecting 157 pounds of chestnut burs from our orchard. Once the burs were dried and the nuts removed, over 2,300 nuts were sent to TACF to be added to those collected in other orchards for the direct planting experiment.
Visit the Photo Gallery for photos of our volunteers participating in the 2014 chestnut harvest. Thank you to Barbara Contois for taking these wonderful photos of the Chestnut Harvest.
|September 27, 2014: Talcott Ravine Loop Trail Archaeology/Geology hike
What an amazing turnout! Over 90 people attended this Annual event which is fast becoming a must for anyone interested in geology, archaeology, history, nature, architecture and walking! On September 27 enthusiasts met at the Talcottville Congregational Church for a three-mile hike to see the Talcottville gorge, Hop River Rail Trail, historic bridges and buildings, the sites of former mills, and early fall foliage. Geologically, the walk began on the Portland Arkose, over the eastern border fault into the border fault deformed zone, then into the Glastonbury Gneiss, and sand and gravel deposits. Speakers included geologist Dr. Gary Robbins, from the University of Connecticut, Gail Faherty, director of the Northern CT Land Trust, Jon Roe, historian and webmaster of the Tankerhoosan and Talcottville web sites: www.tankerhoosen.info and www.talcottville.net, and Susan Barlow of the Manchester Land Conservation Trust. Photos at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Connecticut-Land-Trust-NCTLT/183183118387127?sk=info and https://www.facebook.com/Tankerhoosen.
|NCLT Annual Meeting: September 28, 2014
The 2014 Annual Meeting was held on September 28th at the Somers Congregational Church in the new space built after the fire. After a delicious dinner and brief business, guest speaker Eric Hansen, a forester with Ferrucci & Walicki, LLC spoke about forest management. Eric has in the past worked with NCLT to develop a forest a management plan for Whitaker Woods and has recently participated in a forest bird habitat assessment by The Audubon Society and the Ct Agricultural Experiment Station for Bald Mountain Preserve.
|ATTENTION HIKERS: BEAR SIGHTING
ATTENTION HIKERS: A black bear has recently been sited in the Boothroyd property. During your walk alert any bear in the vicinity to your presence by making noise especially in areas with limited sight distance such as laurel thickets. If you do see a bear do not approach but walk slowly back the way you came. Do not run. Please report any sightings to NCLT@sbcglobal.net.
|Learning about nature!
On July 28, 2014, Richard Bailey and Leslie Grant led a short walk at McCann Family Farm for 14 children and 3 teachers from Lego Creative Daycare in Enfield on July 28th. The walk was organized in response to a request to NCLT for a walk to allow the children to experience and learn about "wilderness". The walk lasted a little over an hour and ended when a thunderstorm threatened. Along the way we talked about things found along the trail from wild grapes and snails to poison ivy and nettles.
See the wonderful thank you notes from the children.
|Chestnut Orchard Inoculation Work Party June, 2014
NCLT created and has maintained an experimental chestnut orchard at Swann Farm in partnership with The American Chestnut Foundation starting in 2007. The trees planted in the orchard are part of TCAF’s work to develop a blight resistant American chestnut. This year we are starting a new phase in the life of the orchard that will lead to the selection of individual trees that will provide nuts for the next generation. On Friday June 13th NCLT volunteers joined Kendra Gurney from The American Chestnut Foundation to inoculate the Swann Farm orchard with two strains of chestnut blight. In spite of the wet forecast, the entire orchard of about 250 trees was inoculated in three hours and finished just before the rain started. The inoculation is the first step in determining which trees have the best combination of blight resistance and pure American characteristics. Photos by Barbara Contois.
|Boothroyd Preserve Balanced Boulder Trail Hike
On June 21, 2014 thirteen people attended the hike on the Balanced Boulder trail in perfect weather. The photos shows most of the hikers. Photo by Albie Grant.
|2nd in Work Party Series at Boothroyd Nature Preserve
Eleven NCLT volunteers turned out to work on the new Balanced Boulder Trail at the Ernie Boothroyd Preserve on April 27, 2014. We would like to thank Jim Gage, Albie Grant, Gene Julian, Paul Lagel, Bruce Marvonek, Richard and Carole Marzi, Wes Smith, Judy Snyder, Rob Zielfelder, and Duane Pray for their hard work. We not only achieved our goal of creating the trail up to the boulder, but were able to also start work on the longer loop trail that circles the northern portion of the property. Building on this success we are planning a second work party to continue constructing this trail. More photos by Wes Smith and Richard Bailey
|NCLT Acquires 20 Acres in Stafford and 70 acres in Ellington
Satkowski Farm: September 2013. This 20 acre farm on Upper Road in Stafford was formerly owned by Katherine Satkowski. The purchase was made possible with a $45,000 grant from the Jessie B. Cox – Cox Family Fund at the Boston Foundation. The property will be known as the“The Satkowski Farm,” in memory of Felix and Henry Satkowski, and a sign will be erected recognizing the contributions of both the Satkowski family and the Cox Family Fund. Read the Rockville Reminder article: http://www.remindernews.com/article/2014/02/04/land-trust-secures-20-acre-stafford-parcel-for-preservation
Myers Farm: In September, 2013 the NCLT closed on the 70 acre Myers Farm in Ellington. The property abuts NCLT Swann Farm and is located between Reeves Road and Green Road. The five (5) fields on the property will be leased to local farmers for growing corn and hay. Funding for the purchase was provided by the Hartford Foundation and the Bafflin Foundation. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the Town of Ellington purchased the development rights.
|Jerry Stage passes away, original and long term board member
We were all saddened by the passing of Jerry Stage on January 23, 2014, after a protracted battle with cancer. Jerry was a long time supporter, Officer, Board of Director member, and Stewardship chair for many years, as well as a lover of nature and all things outdoors. He particularly loved speaking about birds, bees and wildflowers. Jerry was one of the founding members of the land trust and a man of many interests. He was an avid runner and a member of the Shenipsit Striders. Hew completed the Boston Marathon and at the age of 60 completed three 50 mile races within the span of 7 weeks. Jerry, originally from California, earned a PhD in Entomology at Berkley and was a nationally recognized expert on bees. He planned and built many of the trails on land trust properties. Friends of Jerry's gathered at the McCann Family Farm parking area on Sunday, February 2, 2014 for a remembrance hike. Photos
|Talcottville Archeology and Geology Walk
On Saturday, October 19 2013 in the historic Talcottville section of Vernon, about 60 people met for a three-mile hike to see the Talcottville gorge, including the Talcott Ravine which is a Northern Connecticut Land Trust property, historic bridges and buildings, and the sites of former mills. Geologically, the walk began on the Portland Arkose, over the eastern border fault into the border fault deformed zone, then into the Glastonbury Gneiss, and sand and gravel deposits. October was archeology awareness month, and this walk celebrated the ancient times in the Talcottville area. Speakers included geologist Gary Robbins from the University of Connecticut, and Jon Roe, webmaster of the Tankerhoosan and Talcottville web sites: http://www.tankerhoosen.info/ and http://www.talcottville.net. Thank you to Susan Barlow of the Manchester Land Trust for helping to organize this successful hike. See photos.
|Hartford Foundation Grant Awarded
The Northern Connecticut Land Trust will purchase 70 acres in Ellington known as the Meyers Farm with help from a $105,000 grant. The farm is on Green Road next to the Swann Farm, which the land trust owns. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has provided $365,000 in grants to help preserve 130 acres of farmland in Bolton, Ellington and Bloomfield. The awards were provided to three separate conservation agencies including the Northern Connecticut Land Trust.
"With the aid of a $105,000 grant, the Northern Connecticut Land Trust will purchase 70 acres in Ellington known as the Meyers Farm. The farm is located on Green Road and abuts the Swann Farm currently owned by the land trust. The land trust plans to lease the fields to local farmers to keep the property as working farmland. There are also 20 acres of woodlands. Other significant funding for the $325,000 purchase was provided by the state, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bafflin Foundation."
Hartford Courant Article HartfordBusiness.com Article
|Ellington Participates in Partnership to Preserve Former Farm
This property abuts the Northern Connecticut Land Trust's Swann Farm Property. read more ...
|Exploring Bald Mountain: March 16th, 2013
Exploring Bald Mountain on Saturday, March 16th was a great way to welcome [almost] spring. This family hike explored Bald Mountain Preserve in Somers and was 2.5 miles to the summit of Bald Mountain and back. Bald Mountain is the highest point in Somers. Hike leader Richard Bailey explained the history of Bald Mountain and the contiguous pieces of property that make this one of the best greenway, hiking areas in northeast Connecticut. Photos (G. Faherty)
|Northern Connecticut Land Trust Celebrates 25 Years!
On June 3, 2012, members celebrated the NCLT 25th Anniversary! What an accomplishment and one that the Board of Directors is very proud to relay. Thank you to all the members, volunteers, sponsors and others who have made the NCLT a vital part of the northern Connecticut community. The 25 year mark is also a milestone as the NCLT now holds 1334 acres of farmland, woodlands and open space.
Board member and volunteer extraordinare Jerry Stage (above) was conferred a placque in recognition for his years of chairing the Stewardship Committee and being an active member of the Board. The Board of Directors named the trail at McCann Farm the "Jerry Stage Trail". The event was held at Worthington Pond Farm and Garden (http://www.worthingtonpondfarm.com) in Somers, Ct. This beautiful venue is owned by Dan Roullier and many thanks to his gracious donation of the facility. The band Juniper Hill Jumpers Jazz Band, played Dixieland jazz, blues and some country/western. Other sponsors who deserve a big round of applause and appreciation include: Big Y, Geisslers (Somers), Price Chopper (Vernon), Dunkin Donuts (Somers), The Country Butcher (Tolland), La Brioche Bakery (Vernon), Randazzos Package Store (Stafford), Webbs Package Store (Ellington), Tolland Cordials (Tolland), Village Spirit (Tolland) and Chestnut Hill Nursery (Stafford).
Many thanks to Ingrid Aarrestad who organized the event and the "crew": Catherine Duffield of Guilford and Bev Kurtz, Mary Mitta and Nancy Parizek of Stafford.
In memoriam: Culver Modisette and Jerry Stage.
Photos of Anniversary Party on Facebook (Photo Credits: Gaymarie Lehrer)
Photos of Anniversary Party in Gallery: New Photos added (Photo Credits: Steve Glad & Karl Hasel)