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

This Friday marked the end of the 2019 Summer Steward Internship program. First off, I would like to thank everyone that has made these past fifteen weeks with the New Canaan Land Trust so enjoyable for me. I was fortunate to have fourteen hard-working interns and a great team to help achieve all of NCLT and WPC’s goals. These interns made massive contributions to the Land Trust and to Waveny Park,, and we cannot wait for the community to see all the wonderful changes around town.

On Monday, the interns met with local stonemason, Greg Faillaci, to continue building the stone wall along Hick’s Meadow. Together, the interns lifted several stones that weighed over 100 lbs. In the process, they learned about the history of stone walls and the proper techniques for restoration. This project was a continuation of the work performed during Session 1, so for a more detailed look at the process, please read the following blog post: https://newcanaanlandtrust.org/2019/07/19/summer-steward-internship-2019-session-1-week-4-update/.  It was a great demonstration of teamwork, and Greg and I could not have been more satisfied with their efforts. Following our work with Greg, we met up with NCLT Board Member, Susan Bergen, to continue placing nesting box baffles on nesting boxes across NCLT properties. The baffles will hopefully prevent predators from stealing eggs and killing newly hatched birds. We will be able to observe the success of our work next summer when the bluebirds begin to nest.

On Tuesday, we continued rebuilding the stone wall at Waveny Park along Lapham Rd. The interns really gained an appreciation for this type of work, and I believe they learned a lot about masonry from Greg. NCLT hosts several volunteer opportunities throughout the year to perform stone wall work on our properties. Please stay updated with our progress by following us on Facebook or Instagram, or by signing up for our monthly newsletters. Following the stone wall work, the interns conducted more visitor surveys. This group of interns were very outgoing, and I believe that conducting the surveys was a great way for them to interact with community members and spread the mission and work of WPC.

On Wednesday, we attended our last field trip of the session. The interns and I visited the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY. There, we met with Regan Downey, the Director of Education at WCC. She taught the interns about wolves and explained why wolf protection initiatives are so important. Regan also discussed stigmas associated with wolves, and how through education and discussion we can decrease the amount of wolves poached every year. After this discussion, we walked to the ambassador closure and met Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai. These ambassadors showcase the importance of wolves in the ecosystem and help spread the mission of WCC. By seeing vulnerable species up close, it inspires us to continuously fight for their survival and protection. Following our visit to WCC, we went to the Trailside Nature Museum at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. There, the interns looked at taxidermied animals native to the region, along with habitat descriptions and more fun facts. The museum also featured Native American artifacts, which educated the interns on how people historically interacted with their environment. from there, we went to muscoot farm in Katonah, NY, to see the “agricultural, cultural and natural heritage of a Westchester County farm, circa 1880 – 1930.”

On Thursday, the interns met Aaron and I at the Colhoun Preserve and constructed five raised walkways through the wet sections of trail. Over the past three weeks, the interns have shown determination by completing this task despite the multiple obstacles we have faced. Aaron will finalize the project this fall, and we hope to have the property fully accessible next summer. We ended the day by going back to the office and completing some administrative tasks. We found it important for the interns to get a fully rounded experience at the Land Trust. Much of what Aaron does is administrative work, so it was helpful for the interns to assist him. We also cleaned and organized all the tools we used this summer.

We ended the session on Friday, 08/23, indoors for the morning because of heavy rainfall. We switched over to cutting kindling for donor gifts, and by joining the NCLT board members at the office for a farewell lunch. It was a great way to end our time together, and we are thankful for everyone’s support of the program.

In late winter/ early spring, Aaron will be posting applications for the 2020 Summer Steward Internship program. We hope to see some returning faces, and we cannot wait for more progress to be made on our properties.

Please keep in touch with the Land Trust by subscribing to our newsletter and/or by following us on Facebook and Instagram (@NC_Land_Trust). While our summer program may have come to a close, there are plenty more events, activities, and service opportunities to come in the months ahead. 

Best regards,

Kelly Flannery

2019 Summer Programs Coordinator