Dear supporters of the New Canaan Land Trust and Waveny Park Conservancy,

This week, the interns and I continued to work across New Canaan’s open spaces while creating numerous learning opportunities. 

On Monday, the interns met at the Silvermine-Fowler preserve to complete our weekly watering of the property’s new plantings. While doing so, we discussed the importance of diverse flora and fauna on the landscape. As the interns watered the plantings, we also organized file names for the 2019: Session 1 photographs. By standardizing our file names, Aaron and future NCLT staff members will have an easier time referencing photos and finding them for marketing purposes. We continued the afternoon by visiting the GreenLink trail, which is a NCLT property located behind the New Canaan Nature Center. The trail connects Weed Street to Oenoke Ridge. We did some brief trail maintenance before heading over to Hicks Meadow, where we cleared paths for local stonemason, Greg Faillaci, to help us continue our work on the Hicks Meadow stone wall.

On Tuesday, the interns returned to Waveny Park to conduct visitor surveys. So far, the interns have received great and useful feedback from patrons of Waveny Park. We would like to extend a thank you to those that have participated in the surveys, and we hope to implement some of the suggestions made in the future. In addition to surveying, the interns downloaded a trail mapping application to their phones and they recorded the distances of the trails within Waveny Park. We hope to utilize this information and post it around the park for our visitors.

On Wednesday, the interns attended their first field trip to Highstead in West Redding, CT and to Wildlife in Crisis in Weston, CT. We began the day at Highstead, where the interns witnessed some of the research efforts located across the property. There, we discussed the importance of the forest understory and how succession occurs on the landscape. We also spoke about basic geologic concepts, including bedrock and the impact of glaciation on the landscape. The interpretive trail was a great opportunity for the interns to learn more about the ecological practices exhibited on the property. Following Highstead, we visited Wildlife in Crisis and were given a tour from Dara Reid, Director and Founder of WIC. On this tour, Dara explained to the interns how important habitat conservation is to the continued care of wildlife. Many of the animals at WIC are injured or orphaned due to suburban sprawl and human activity. By seeing these animals first hand, they will continue to advocate for their protection and wellbeing. We would again like to thank the staff at Highstead and WIC for their continued support of the Summer Steward Internship program.

On Thursday, we had to adjust our morning, which resulted in us working at Browne Preserve along Valley Road. At Browne Preserve, we cleared an area of burning bush and Japanese stiltgrass from the trail. By removing these invasives at the root, they will not continue to expand on the property, leaving more room and resources for the native trees and understory. After working at Browne, we visited NCLT board member, Chris Schipper, who assisted us as we cut kindling for NCLT donor presents. Chris taught the interns how to properly use and sharpen an axe. The interns completed this task by employing an assembly line method. Ultimately, the kindling bundles that the interns contributed to will be used to express our gratitude to our donors.

On Friday, the interns and I worked at Waveny Park and met with Caroline Garrity, Chairman of the Waveny Park Conservancy. One of our objectives for the day was to plant two Kousa dogwoods along the pond border. We retrieved the trees and dug a whole large enough to support the new plantings. We would like to thank Caroline Garrity, John Howe, and Chris Schipper for helping us coordinate this project. Planting trees is just one way the interns can make long-lasting impacts to the beautification of New Canaan. We ended the day by completing more visitor surveys.

The end of today marks the halfway point for our session two interns. Over the next two weeks, they will continue to participate in educational opportunities and they will complete many more projects across our properties. We cannot wait to finish the summer off strong.

Listed below is a tentative schedule for next week:

08/12/2019- 08/16/2019

Monday (08/12)- work on NCLT property

  • Meet at NCLT office at 9 am
  • Bird houses with Susan Bergen
    • 2 new houses at Silvermine-Fowler,
    • 2 new houses at Hicks Meadow,
    • Replace & relocate 3 houses at Livingston-Higley.
  • Pickup at NCLT office at 2 pm.

Tuesday (08/13)- work at Waveny Park

  • Meet at Waveny House at 9 am
    • Photo essays, streambed clearing in morning,
    • Visitor surveys in afternoon.
  • Pickup at Waveny House at 2 pm.

Wednesday (08/14)- Field trip

  • Meet at NCLT office at 9 am
  • Travel to Sherwood Island (Sherwood Island Connector, Westport, CT)
  • Work with Friends of Sherwood Island
  • Pickup at NCLT office at 2 pm.

Thursday (08/15)- work on NCLT property

  • Meet at Colhoun Preserve at 9 am
    • Raised walkways and general maintenance
  • Pickup at Colhoun Preserve at 2 pm.

Friday (08/16)- work at Waveny Park

  • Meet at Waveny House at 9 am
    • General park maintenance
    • Visitor surveys
    • New planting care
  • Pickup at Waveny House at 2 pm.

For questions or comments regarding our Summer Steward Internship program, or any of our Summer programming, please email [email protected]. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@NC_Land_Trust) for more updates!