Marvin, Massarella, & Friends Firefly Sanctuary
Location: Northern New Canaan, just north of the intersection of Sleepy Hollow Road and Laurel Road.
Access: Visitors should park across the street from 33 Sleepy Hollow Road, and access the property via a small footbridge on the west side of the road.
Date Protected: 1983 and 2015 Acreage: 6.5 Trail Length: 0.3 miles
Visitation Hours: Dawn to Dusk Dogs Allowed? Yes, on leash
History: The Firefly Sanctuary is composed of two parcels, which were protected by NCLT over three decades apart from one another. The first parcel to be donated was a 2.5-acre gift from David and Marion Marvin in 1983. Thirty-two years later, in 2015, the Land Trust was given the opportunity to acquire, via bargain sale, an adjoining 4 acres of forest and meadow from Anthony and Marie Massarella. Thanks to the generosity fo neighbors and members, NCLT raised the funds needed to protect this parcel, and significantly increase the acreage of the preserve.
Recreation Opportunities: NCLT has established, and continues to maintain a walking trail at the Firefly Sanctuary. The short trail enables visitors to park along Sleepy Hollow Road, and make their way to the “Firefly Field” on the western portion of the property. During late June and early July, this field is illuminated by thousands upon thousands of fireflies: a phenomenon that inspires wonderment and awe by all who witness it.
Land Stewardship: In addition to trail maintenance projects, NCLT works to ensure that the property is ideally suited for the enormous firefly population that calls the sanctuary “home”. Our occasional mowing prevents woody plants from taking over the “Firefly Field”, and we deliberately leave woody material on the ground to serve as nesting sites for the fireflies. Across the remainder of the property, NCLT works to manage invasive species and promote a healthy woodland ecosystem.
The following video explains some of the magic that visitors will encounter on a trip to NCLT’s Firefly Sanctuary, and features neighboring firefly-lover, Bill McDonald.