2015 Newsletter and Annual Meeting

Our 2015 flyers recently went out to all Harwinton residents.  If you have misplaced yours or you live out-of-town, please email us to request a new one or stop by the Harwinton Public Library to pick one up.  Do you just need the membership form?  Please click here for a printable version.

Our Annual Meeting will be on Thursday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Harwinton Public Library. All are welcome and we will be happy to see you there! It is a great chance to learn more about our local land trust and meet our wonderful volunteers. Perhaps you may even decide to become a volunteer! Besides always  needing assistance at our property work parties, we are especially looking to fill the position of  Membership Chair. If you think you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to drop us an email.

The following is the newsletter from our 2015 Flyer:

The Harwinton Land Trust had another great year improving our natural areas for the public to enjoy. We are most appreciative of the volunteer groups who helped us this year, including the Harwinton Garden Club, the CT DCF’s Wilderness School, the Lewis Mill’s Eco-Action Club, and many supportive neighbors who pitched-in to make our areas nicer. Thank you all! 

Bull Pond Preserve (Public access across from the Harwinton Fairgrounds on Locust Rd.)

Our biggest achievement in 2014 was completing a trail system through the 50 acres of wooded wildlife preserve adjacent to Bull Pond. The new trails are well-marked, relatively easy to walk, and dry during normal weather conditions. You’ll be surprised by how nice the trails are.

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To keep our visitors dry, we built an 80-foot boardwalk through the marsh near the start of the trail. Farther along, we added a 10-foot bridge over a tumbling brook. The trails were laid-out to pass by interesting features, both natural and historical. Hikers of all ages will find scenic views and many opportunities for nature study. The longest trail is 2 miles back and forth, but shorter trail loops are available. Maps are available just past the beginning of the trail system.

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Trails pass by the scenic upper area of 20-acre Bull Pond and along many stone walls through upland forest. The trails provide ample opportunity for a variety of activities, including bird watching, wildlife tracking, or just chatting with friends.

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The Trust continued to restore the shore-front area that was devastated by the 2009 windstorm. In spring 2014, we planted hemlock and red oak seedlings throughout the affected area. Blueberry bushes and mountain laurel were also planted along the shore to provide a natural buffer against erosion. We greatly appreciate help from the Lewis Mill’s Eco-Action Club and also a grant from the Community Foundation of NW CT, which covered the cost of the plants.

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Forever Forest (Public access on Whetstone Dr. about ¼ mile from RT 118)

Trail work continued at Forever Forest, with marsh vistas created by youths participating in the Wilderness School — a positive youth development program run by the CT Department of Children and Families.

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We also planted hemlock seedlings to provide visual improvements and shelter for song birds.

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Trails at Forever Forest pass by lush marshes and ledge promontories. The trails also serve as a tree identification walk with sign posts placed at 26 different species of trees. Each sign shows a diagram of the tree’s leaf and a description of the tree’s importance.

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Meadowview (Public access on Meadowview Drive, about ¼ mile from Woodchuck La.)

We continued to maintain the trail to the picturesque pond located on the property. We also plan to build a boardwalk closer to the marsh-end of the pond for better wildlife watching. This past fall, the Harwinton Garden Club planted a flower garden at the Meadowview sign and at other Land Trust signs. The Club’s help and expertise make our signs and properties stand out.

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Laurel Marsh (Public access on Laurel Rd. next to the dirt pull-off adjacent to Wilson Pond)

This Land Trust natural area features scenic views of the expansive Laurel Marsh with overlooks to Wilson Pond. There is a short walking path that leads to an observation deck. The view from the deck gives a sense of being in the midst of wilderness, while actually being just a short distance from the road.

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