Dear Stewards, Parents, Members, and Land Trust and Waveny Park Conservancy Supporters,
We just completed our first session of the second session of the Summer Stewardship Program of 2018! Thank you to our new group of stewards for a great first week!
On Monday, we worked at the NCLT property, Watson-Symington Preserve along Wellesley Drive and West Road! There, we discussed the Program, expectations, and property. I gave a tour of the property to the interns, pointing out various native and invasive plant species. We discussed what non-native, invasive and native terms mean. After the tour, we got to work! The interns removed a lot of Winged Euonymus, an invasive species, and created 5 wildlife brush piles off of the trail with the branches. Next, we sawed down a large Cedar tree that had fallen and was blocking the trail. Not wanting to let the tree go to waste, we found the perfect place to use it as a water diversion bar, which will help reduce erosion and runoff on our trail system.
On Tuesday, we worked at Waveny Park, where we reconstructed the historic Perambulation Wall that once divided Norwalk and Stamford in the 17th Century, before New Canaan was founded. Local stone mason, Greg Faillaci was on hand to teach the interns about the proper construction of dry stone walls, though the interns seemed to have a natural knack for this work. Later in the day, the interns continued collecting visitor surveys, and cut down Winged Euonymus and Japanese Barberry, creating another wildlife habitat brush pile of the trail.
On Wednesday morning, we worked at NCLT’s Livingston-Higley Preserve at the end of Apple Tree Lane. The interns de-vined the recently restored stone wall in the middle of the meadow, working to prevent the vegetation from slowly dismantling the wall. We also collected more Cedar logs from the property, to be used at other Land Trust properties for future projects including water diversion bars and raised walkways. Due to an afternoon thunderstorm, we moved to the library for the second half of the day, where the interns read the management plans for three land trust properties and Waveny Park.
On Thursday, we returned to Waveny Park where the interns watered the Swamp White Oak tree in the morning. Throughout the day, the interns collected more visitor surveys, and used a GPS app on our phones to measure the length of all of the trails in the park. This information will be used to create a map of the park’s walking trails, and eventually be featured on the WPC website. They cut down Burning Bush, Japanese Barberry, Bittersweet vine and Privet, all invasive plants, clearing the view of the trail, added the brush to two existing wildlife brush piles.
On Friday, we worked at NCLT’s Firefly Preserve along Sleepy Hollow Road, increasing the accessibility of the trail. They widened 30 feet of the trail, removed obstructing rocks, used a large flat rock to add to the stone bridge, and lined the trail with logs to delineate the trail. They cut up a fallen Cedar tree, to replace a thinner water diversion bar, to reduce erosion on the trail. They filled in the drain of the other water diversion bar, installed by the first session of interns with small rocks to reduce the potential tripping hazard while permitting water to pass through it. They also sawed down a standing dead tree, or ‘snag’ that was off the trail, to prevent it from falling across the trail.
This coming week, the tentative schedule will be as follows: (subject to change due to weather and time)
08/06/18- Waveny Park- Restore wildlife habitat and work on biodiversity catalog
08/07/18- Colhoun then Silvermine-Stillpond- Transfer extra stones to Silvermine-Stillpond for stone wall reconstruction
08/08/18- Field Trip- Wolf Conservation Center and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
08/09/18*- Colhoun- Re-establish new trail, de-vine meadow and level out the gravel parking area
08/10/18- Waveny Park- Remove invasive plant species and work on biodiversity catalog
*The New Canaan Land Trust will be hosting a rehabilitated wildlife release with Wildlife in Crisis at 4pm on Thursday, August 9th at the Colhoun Preserve. All are invited to attend and see the release of a red-tailed hawk, 2 red foxes, and 3 flying squirrels. Meet at the parking area across from 203 Davenport Ridge Road.
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