Dear supporters of the New Canaan Land Trust,
This week, I finally got to meet and welcome our Session Two interns to the NCLT team! Jack Craig, Jeronimo Marsili, Lorenzo Marsili, Peter Murphy, and Calvin Stuart encompass our official Session Two team. Throughout our first week, we made an effort in getting to know one another, the aspects and expectations of the Summer Stewardship program, and giving it our all while working on both indoor and outdoor projects.
On Monday, we started the week off doing a walkthrough of the Silvermine Fowler Preserve, Kelley Uplands, and the Hicks Meadow, while I gave an interactive lesson plan on different kinds of invasive species we will be encountering over the next month. After, we watered Fowler Meadow and the enclosed plants thoroughly, as we have barely gotten any rain this summer!
Because it was 100 degrees outside, temperatures became unsafe to continue doing physical labor outside. So instead, I took the interns on a tour of the Livingston Higley, Greenlink, and Watson-Symington preserve for a slow walk, while installing trail cameras simultaneously. Our first day went very smoothly and productively, while having a lot of fun as well.
On Tuesday, it was a treat to have Chris Busak, a professional arborist spend the morning accompanying and teaching us at the Colhoun Preserve. Chris educated us all on different tree types, vines, invasive species, and invasive insects. The interns and I learned so much from Chris, and we’re so grateful that we were able to spend time with him and absorb his environmental knowledge. In the afternoon, we cleared the perimeters of the Colhoun Meadow by removing fallen branches from the area in order for the lawnmower to get by as smoothly and easily as possible. After clearing the meadow, we headed back to the office to begin applying the knowledge we learned from Chris to a Forestry Project that we will eventually share with you all (Stay Tuned)! We collaborated all afternoon in writing down all that we learned, the most important information to include, and how we will present it.
On Wednesday, we met at the Livingston Higley preserve, spending the morning weed whacking the tall weeds covering the stonewall placed within the meadow. As the hot sun beamed down on us with no shade in sight, this proved to be a very challenging task, but we all persevered. Although we did not finish that day, we completed removing weeds from at least one side of the stonewall entirely. After, we switched properties to Oenoke Lane, where our task was to remove various logjams from a stream. This required cutting many invasive species in our way, breaking up several branch jams and relocating the pieces off trail, and doing anything so that the stream was given a clear path. We spent the end of the day eating ice cream sandwiches in order to celebrate the twins, Jeronimo and Lorenzo’s fifteen birthdays!
On Thursday, we finished clearing all the walls from vines and weeds at Livingston Higley, as well as weed whacked a 1-2 foot buffer alongside it to give the wall space. After, we switched gears and did a trash pickup at Colbrun preserve- whoever’s trash bag was filled the most got an additional five minute relaxation break! It felt great to see this preserve clean, as upon first arrival, it was unfortunately covered in trash. Next, we spent the afternoon watering the Fowler Meadow and enclosed plants as well.
The final day of the week was spent working at one of the Land Trust’s un-trailed properties, the Donaldson-Maloney Preserve. While this property does not have any trails the land trust is hard at work restoring meadow habitat. Earlier this year, overgrown brambles and brush were mowed down to make way for grasses and flowering plants that will provide meadow habitat. The interns helped the process along by pruning trees to make mowing easier, clearing debris from a historic stone wall that traverses the property, collecting litter, and removing old tree forts.
We look forward to a well-earned rest this weekend, and another productive week next week. Stay tuned!