Dear Stewards, Parents, Members, and Land Trust and Waveny Park Conservancy Supporters,
We have completed our Flex Week, making the most of the inclement weather predictions throughout the week. This week, the interns spent rainy days working on administrative projects for the Waveny Park Conservancy and Land Trust while spending the nicer days completing stewardship projects outside. Many thanks to the interns from Session 1 who wrapped up their summer internship experience with us. And a big welcome to the participants of Session 2! We look forward to another 4 weeks of great programming and productive work.
Monday’s thunderstorms forced us inside, where our new interns read the management plans for both Waveny Park and numerous Land Trust properties, to gain an understanding of the work we will perform throughout the Program. The interns also wrote an op-ed about their experiences in the program (keep an eye out in the Advertiser!), began compiling and analyzing the results of the Waveny visitor surveys that they conducted earlier in the program, , brainstormed ideas for future community events, and added images from the properties onto google pins.
On Tuesday, we worked at Waveny Park, where we explored the trails, and learned to identify various invasive and native flora, including Garlic Mustard and Sassafras trees, respectively. After this lesson, the interns removed invasive Winged Euonymus shrubs, and created three habitat brush piles off the trail for small mammals and birds, using the branches from the cut shrubs. Other projects included cutting up a log that had recently fallen across a trail, pruning trees along sections of trail, and collecting more visitor surveys.

On Wednesday, we returned to the office where the stewards worked on developing oral presentations on the history and ecology of 3 of the land trust properties that are open to the public. Because the interns have expressed an interest in continued work with the Land Trust, we thought this would be a great way for them to stay involved into the fall and winter by being able to volunteer time by leading walks and giving presentations about the Land Trust properties. Some of the interns also used this rainy day to research more about how climate change is affecting open space, and to learn more about the Environmental Movement.
Thursday, we worked at NCLT’s Colhoun Preserve along Davenport Ridge Road. The interns placed final capstones the newly restored stone wall along Davenport Ridge Road, using the knowledge and experience that they gained from working with local stone mason, Greg Faillaci earlier in the summer. We also explored one of the existing trails on the property and pruned any tree branches that were impeding access to the trail. We then worked with Aaron to re-establish a second trail, which leads to a beautiful pond on the eastern half of the property. To make this quarter-mile trail open and accessible, the interns delineated the trail using freshly cut logs, pruned branches and roots along the trail, and cleared the trail of overgrowth. We hope that the interns’ hard work will increase visitation and highlight a central feature of the property.

Friday, we worked at Waveny Park. The interns removed Winged Euonymus, Japanese Barberry, added to the existing habitat brush piles. They then de-vined 20 feet of the historic Perambulation Wall that once divided Norwalk and Stamford, to prepare for our stone wall reconstruction workshop with Greg Faillaci. The interns also collected surveys and watered the Swamp White Oak sapling.

This coming week, we will welcome the full group of Session 2 Interns. The tentative schedule will be as follows:
(subject to change due to weather and time)
07/30/18- Watson-Symington- Removing Winged Euonymus and installing water diversion bars
07/31/18- Waveny Park- Reconstruct Perambulation Wall with stone mason and restore wildlife habitat
08/01/18- Livingston-Higley- De-vine stone wall in meadow and widen trail
08/02/18- Waveny Park- Remove invasive species, clear stream bed and start biodiversity catalog
08/03/18- Firefly Sanctuary- Increase accessibility along the trail
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