Written by Peter Vigano

After a successful National Trails Day event on Saturday in which we installed many raised walkways and lined the trails at Colhoun Preserve (much thanks to everyone who participated!), we had a well-deserved Monday off. We got right back into the swing of things on Tuesday though, showing the new Intern Program Manager, Erin Feeney, several of the properties and work that we had done. We picked up the trail cameras that we had placed at Browne preserve at the beginning of our internship to check on the pictures that it had captured, but unfortunately there was nothing of note on them. Later that day while back in the office, we continued to work on inputting old donations into the Land Trust database. We were able to finally finish this project, with a whopping total of 446 gifts comprising 5 fiscal years of data standing as the final magnitude.

On Wednesday, Gabe and I worked to finish our permanent Instagram highlights project. The final property left to do was the Nature Center Greenlink trail, so we headed there first thing in order to get pictures. On the trail there we saw a large snapping turtle sunning itself, a prime example of how there’s more wildlife living around us than we think. Back at the office, we posted our pictures, and then began work on a presentation that we’re giving to the Land Trust board on Monday. This presentation will cover the projects that we’ve worked on over the course of our time here, with a particular focus on the real estate comparison tool that we were able to create. Later in the day, we watched a talk given by a Connecticut land trust on how they’re managing their property in response to the challenges posed by climate change. They had a focus on planting trees with a more southern range that could cope with hotter temperatures, an interesting idea that could potentially impact how the New Canaan Land Trust stewards their properties moving forward.

On Thursday, as part of the Land Trust’s move to minimize human impacts on fireflies at the Firefly Preserve, we took on the project of making a group of flashlights from white into red-tinted. Bright white light disrupts the mating patterns of the fireflies, in a way that red light does not. As such, these flashlights will be distributed at the trailhead to be used as people make their way down from viewing the fireflies. In a further move to reduce impacts, the number of people who will be able to access the property each night during the peak viewing weeks will be limited and reservations available online, so if you want to go make sure to sign up in advance! We also worked our way through a backlog of trailcam photos from last years Sculpture Trail in order to accurately ascertain visitor counts.

Having wrapped up all the projects that there were available for us to do, we took it easy on Friday, having a breakfast party in conjunction with the Staying Put interns. It was a great way to cap off such a great internship. Gabe and I highly enjoyed our time here, and hope that the Land Trust can continue preserving and stewarding land around New Canaan for a long time to come!