Improvements made by volunteers in 2019

The Harwinton Land Trust continually maintains and improves its properties solely with volunteers.  Last year (2018), land trust volunteers worked on our nature areas for a total of 599 hours on 68 separate days.  The Town of Harwinton prides itself on the high level of volunteerism provided by its residents, and our land trust exemplifies the good things that can be accomplished with volunteers.

Spring Work Parties

This past spring, the land trust held four work parties (Indian Meadow on 4/27, Bull Pond on 5/4, Forever Forest on 5/11, and Meadowview on 5/18). Work included trail improvements, installing park benches, mulching gardens, planting shrubs for wildlife conservation, and expansion of a pollinator meadow. The land trust wishes to thank all 24 volunteers who came out to help at our work parties: Kenn Baldwin, Bruce Baldwin, Paul Begley, Frank Buonocore, Karen Burnett, Brandon Burton, Brian Burton, John Chevalier, Bob Clark, Larry Connors, Cathy Cook, Steve Craig, Celeste Echlin, Bob Hart, Steve Kaczynski, Karen Kelleher, Dan Lyga, Matt O’Connell, Bob Orciari, Donna Potwin, Eric Rahn, Elaine Sederquist, Bill Tracy, and Sam Walker.  We had fun and got to make new friends  who share a love of the outdoors.

Fall Work Party

On November 17, ten people helped clear a new trail on our recently acquired section of Forever Forest.  Thanks to Frank Buonocore, Karen Burnett, Gary Griffin. Karen Kelleher, Franci Knight,  Bob Orciari, Eric Rahn, Elaine & Bob Sederquist,  and Fred Tullock for extending the trail another 100 yards from what is called Bernie’s Outlook.

Help from the Wilderness School

The Wilderness School is run by the CT Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) and fosters self esteem, personal responsibility, and interpersonal skills of young boys and girls attending the program.  As part of the program, the kids are required to perform community service.   The Land Trust and the Wilderness School have developed a close working relationship over the years.    Starting in 2014, kids have come every year to help improve our trails and wildlife habitats.  We feel that it’s a terrific program.

On July 9th, eight students and four of their counselors from the School arrived at Meadowview to gravel-over occasionally muddy sections of trail.  A total of about 4 yards of gravel were wheelbarrowed more than 1,000 feet past the first boardwalk.  From there, the kids spread gravel over about 300 ft. of trail.  Land Trust Directors Steve Craig, Bob Orciari, and Eric Rahn assisted and provided guidance.  Thanks to the Wilderness School, Meadowview’s entire trail system now provides dry walking, even during wet periods.

On November 2, a dozen kids from around the state along with four counselors from the School, assisted by Land Trust Directors Steve Craig, Bill Tracy, Eric Rahn and Bob Orciari, helped to improve the new trail at Indian Meadow.   The kids wheelbarrowed about 4 yards of sandy/gravel fill and spread it over several hundred feet of trail.  This fill, which had been inadvertently dumped on our property, was used to smooth over rough or soggy sections of trail.  With the kids’ help, the entire trail system at Indian Meadow will now provide dry and safer hiking.  Hemlock seedlings were planted for a visual buffer and daffodil bulbs were planted for spring blooming.  An amazing amount of work was accomplished and we are grateful for their help.