Dear Stewards, Parents, Members, and Land Trust and Waveny Park Conservancy Supporters,
We are halfway through our second session of the Summer Stewardship Program of 2018! Thank you to our new group of stewards for a great second week! It has been fun working with this group, and the interns have made a lot of progress to improving the trails and ecosystems at the Land Trust and Waveny Park.
On Monday, we worked at Waveny Park where the interns began the day by watering the Swamp White Oak Sapling. We then removed Winged Euonymus, Japanese Barberry, and Privet, along a 50 foot stretch of the trail, and added the branches to the existing wildlife habitat brush piles, and created two more piles off the trail. Some of the interns wrapped up the day with collecting visitor surveys, and others removed more Winged Euonymus, Japanese Barberry, and Privet, along a quarter mile of trail.
On Tuesday, we worked at the NCLT Colhoun Preserve along Davenport Ridge Road, where the interns continued to re-establish the trail leading to a pond on the property. We removed a number of large rocks and roots that were potential tripping hazards, and then smoothed out the area to make the trail much more accessible and visitor-friendly. To further delineate the trail, we cut up two large logs that had fallen off the trail and used them to line the trail. With one more day of work, our work on this section of trail will be complete, and visitors will be able to access an additional 50% of the property’s 21 acres of protected open space.
On Wednesday, we visited the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY, where the interns met the four ambassador wolves, learned about the other 46 wolves at the Center, and discussed the geography, environmental history, biology and behavior of wolves. After visiting WCC, we visited Ward Pound Ridge in Pound Ridge, NY, a 4315-acre park and nature preserve in Westchester, NY. Our trip included a visit to the Trailside Museum, where the interns enjoyed the interactive topographic map sandbox, and learning about and seeing examples of various native animals. We finished the day with a fun 3.8 mile hike to the tallest point in the park: the site of a former fire tower at 860 feet in elevation.
On Thursday, we worked at NCLT’s Silvermine-Stillpond Preserve along Silvermine Road. The interns cleared 30 feet of the stone wall at the Hicks Meadow to prepare for next week’s stonewall workshop with Greg Faillaci. We then explored the property’s vast network of trails and ecosystems. After, the property tour, they worked to remove invasive plants that had begun to grow up a number of trees in the meadow. This de-vining will save the trees from suffocation and an untimely death.
On Friday, we worked at Waveny. The interns watered the Swamp White Oak sapling, and removed Burning Bush and Japanese Barberry, and de-vined a few trees near the trail, along a 50 feet of trail. The main project of the day was cutting down cut down 7 Norway Maple saplings in Parking lot woodlands, cutting down the remaining saplings that were of manageable size to cut without a chainsaw. The saplings were treated immediately with herbicide. We then worked on removing the branches from the trunks, to add to the existing habitat brush pile, as well as prepare the trunk to be turned into wood chips.
Throughout the week, we continued to learn about the various native and invasive plant species, some insects and animals, identify them, as well as various environments like streams and meadows. NCLT will be tabling at the New Canaan Farmers Market on August 25th. We have asked the interns from both sessions if they would like to help table, and a few interns have already signed up.
This coming week, the tentative schedule will be as follows: (subject to change due to weather and time)
08/13/18- Silvermine-Stillpond- Stone wall workshop and de-vine Cedar trees
08/14/18- Waveny Park- Restore wildlife habitat, work on biodiversity catalog, and clear out steam bed
08/15/18- Field Trip- Johnson Oak Park in Bridgeport, CT through the Trust for Public Land
08/16/18- Green Link and Fieldcrest- Increase accessibility of trails and clear out steam bed at Green Link
08/17/18- Waveny Park- Remove invasive plant species and work on biodiversity catalog
There are many great things to come in the weeks ahead. Until then, please keep in touch with the Land Trust by email or at NewCanaanLandTrust.org, and also on Facebook and Instagram (@NC_Land_Trust)
Madeline E. Gould
NCLT Summer Steward Program Coordinator