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Land Trust News

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  • 29 May 2017 3:50 PM | Joene (Administrator)

    Hikers identified many birds and wildflowers during EHLT's Woodswalk hike at Machimoodus State Park on May 28, 2017.


    The most dramatic of the wildflowers was this pink Lady's-slipper (Cypridedium acaule). Also spotted were the dainty blue blooms of Blue Toadflax, Eastern Blue-eyed Grass, and Ground Ivy; tiny white flowers of  Bastard Toadflax and, possibly, Field Chickweed, plus many Wild Geranium and Maple-leaf Viburnum shrubs ready to burst into bloom.


    The varied habitats of Machimoodus State Park - fields, young woodlands, wetlands, and mature woodlands - provide many opportunities for spotting wildflowers.


    These same varied habitats are home to multiple species of migratory birds that thrive in the woodlands, wooded edges, and open fields throughout the park.


    Hikers heard, and those with binoculars and sharp eyes spotted,

    American Robin, Barn swallow, Tree swallow, Chipping sparrow, Field sparrow, Yellow warbler, Ovenbird, Worm-eating warbler, Prairie warbler, Bluebird, Indigo bunting, Sharp-shinned hawk, Osprey, Titmouse, Scarlet tanager, Orchard oriole, Baltimore oriole, Redwing blackbird, Ruby-throated hummingbird, Great crested flycatcher, Red-eyed vireo, Wood thrush, Red-bellied woodpecker, purple grackle, American crow, and either a red tail or red shoulder hawk that was soaring too high and in difficult light to positively ID.

  • 10 May 2017 11:07 AM | Joene (Administrator)

    Connecticut Banner

    For Immediate Release

    April 27, 2017

    Contact: Joyce Purcell, Assistant State Conservationist-Programs

    (860) 871-4028

     

    Funding Available for Forestry Practice Implementation on Gypsy Moth Damaged Forests

    GYPSY MOTH - FOREST SERVICE

    TOLLAND, CT -- The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of funding for forest landowners with trees affected by severe Gypsy Moth damage. (NOTE: This opportunity is for forest land and not individual yard trees.)  Although a complete forest management plan is not necessary, an inventory of the forest’s damaged area, a rating of the severity, and a cutting plan for oak and other tree regeneration are required. The plan should clearly list or otherwise document the criteria used to affirm Gypsy Moth damage. All other program eligibility rules apply.

     

    This sign-up is for accelerated practice implementation. Eligible practices may include Forest Stand Improvement (666) and Forest Trails and Landings (655). Other supporting practices may be considered.

     

    Interested? Begin by filling out eligibility forms. Once you qualify, ensure your application is submitted to your local NRCS office by June 16, 2017.

     

    Funds for this opportunity are provide through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – a voluntary conservation program for those engaged in livestock, forestry, or agricultural production – including organics. The program offers financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land, and provides payments for implementing conservation practices that have a positive environmental impact, while protecting long-term agricultural production and sustainability.

     

    Although NRCS accepts applications for EQIP year round, to be considered for funding during this ranking period, applications must be received by June 16, 2017.Applications received after that will be accepted and considered, if funds are still available. 

     

    To find out more about EQIP, or fill out eligibility forms, contact your local USDA Service Center, or visit the Getting Started section of our website. General information on Gypsy moths in Connecticut can be found online at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station websites.

     


  • 23 Feb 2017 12:09 PM | Joene (Administrator)

    We love trees for all they do to clean our air, stabilize our soil, shelter our wildlife, feed our insects, shade our landscape, and soothe our souls. Amazingly, despite all the ways people alter the environment where we expect trees to grow, many trees mature into sizeable specimens. East Haddam Land Trust (EHLT) seeks to identify these through its Big Tree Project, and invites you to help.


    The Big Tree Project wants to know about that oak, pine, dogwood, or other tree that seems particularly large compared with others of the same species. For example, a white oak trunk measuring more than 14 feet around or a flowering dogwood more than 2.75 feet in circumference at 4.5 feet from the ground is a big tree worthy of further investigation.


    We urge anyone - a student or school class looking for a nature project, a family seeking outdoor fun, or an individual tree lover – to contact bigtrees@ehlt.org for more information on the Big Tree Project. We’ll help identify the tree species, and offer advice on how to search for Big Trees on open spaces, without stepping on the toes of private property owners.


    The Big Tree you find may be large enough for mention in the Notable Trees of Connecticut website and database. The website highlights notable, historically significant, and champion trees by town and by common and scientific name. Alternately, your Big Tree may only be notable locally. Either way it deserves our appreciation and attention through EHLT’s Big Tree Project. Please join us!

  • 21 Jan 2017 2:39 PM | Joene (Administrator)

    The non-profit rescue center for birds, A Place Called Hope in Killingworth, CT, showed off four of their resident birds to attendees at East Haddam Land Trust's annual meeting on January 20, 2017. About 80 people learned about and had close-up looks at an American kestrel, and Eastern screech owl, a great horned owl, and a red-tailed hawk.


    MkHai, the American kestrel has a birth defect that would have prevented survival in the wild.











    Snowball, an Eastern screech owl, was injured by flying into a vehicle along a road. This is a common injury among birds of prey.








    Amber, a Great Horned Owl, was found after falling from the nest as a young bird, then kept by a human for a few months before being sent to A Place Called Hope. Too much time had passed for Amber to be able to identify with another Great Horned Owl rather than her human caregiver.



    Spirit, a Red-tailed Hawk, is blind in one eye from a vehicle collision.


    A Place Called Hope dealt with about 500 birds last year. They rehabilitate those expected to survive after being released. Others they care for at their facility.


    Many thanks to Ralph Chappell for capturing these great shots. To see more photos and some video of these great birds, visit East Haddam Land Trust's Facebook page.

  • 06 Dec 2016 8:03 AM | Joene (Administrator)

    Read Peter Marteka's account of his hike through two East Haddam Land Trust preserves, Hidden Valley Farm and Bernstein/Atlantic Mill. Both tracts of preserved woodlands and open space include sites that once housed twine mills along the Moodus River.


    Marteka writes, "The trust has done a wonderful job preserving not only the land in East Haddam and Moodus, but also our industrial heritage. The stone sluiceways, old dams and stone buildings and foundations that once held a mill are not only part of our past, but also our present and future."


    Read the full article.

  • 30 Nov 2016 10:48 AM | Joene (Administrator)

    Sixteen hikers explored Mount Archer Woods in Lyme, a lovely wooded preserve with distant views of Hamburg Cove and the Baldwin Bridge at the mouth of the Connecticut River.






    Hike leader, Rob Smith, assisted by EHLT member Martha Tonucci, shared information about many of the trees spotted during the 2-hour hike.



    Visit East Haddam Land Trust on Facebook to see videos from the hike.


    EHLT's next scheduled hike is New Year's Day, 1/1/17. Watch for updates in the Events tab.

  • 23 Aug 2016 8:25 AM | Joene (Administrator)

    Audubon Connecticut and CT DEEP recently announced the establishment of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Connecticut, including the Lyme Forest Block.


    The Lyme Forest Block covers approximately 62,000 acres in East Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Colchester, and Salem.  Most of the eastern half of East Haddam is within the boundaries.  The area is > 70% forested and includes East Haddam Land Trust’s Sheepskin Hollow, Ayers, Hammond Mill, Ballahack, Olde Field, and William Jezek Memorial Preserves. The Lyme Forest Block also covers all or part of the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Watershed, Nature Conservancy lands, many private properties and several parcels of state land, including Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Babcock Pond and Zemko Pond Wildlife Management Areas, parts of Nehantic State Forest.


    IBA designation is a global effort started by BirdLife International, in collaboration with many local partners, to encourage successful land and natural resource management – what we call stewardship. Currently more than 12,000 worldwide IBAs protect essential habitat for bird species at risk for population decline due to habitat loss.


    The bird species of concern using Lyme Forest Block include cerulean warbler, worm-eating warbler, scarlet tanager, brown thrasher, eastern wood-pewee, and alder flycatcher. (Find info on these at All About Birds). These and many other bird species either nest or forage during migration in the young and mature forest of the Lyme Forest Block.


    IBAs create voluntary partnerships that prioritize efficient use of conservation resources using a science-based approach for strategic conservation planning and habitat improvement. All land within an IBA may be recognized as part of the IBA. Such status may bolster grant eligibility for habitat protection or improvement, but places no legal or regulatory restrictions on land.


    Find additional information at http://ct.audubon.org/ or at the links below.


  • 10 Aug 2016 8:44 PM | Joene (Administrator)
    The previous post of the sites seen when paddling to and from Chapman Pond, a preserved area along the Connecticut River in East Haddam, illustrates the current live along the Connecticut River. This Hartford Courant editorial describes what the Connecticut River once was.


    It took a lot of people and effort to clean the Connecticut River to what it is today, but the work is not done. East Haddam Land Trust is but one group working to make sure the Connecticut River, surrounding lands, and the waters that flow into it continue to improve.


    Keeping the Connecticut River clean requires the work of many organizations and citizens all along the river valley, from Canada to Long Island Sound. Each plays an important role. Join/support one ... or two ... to keep the momentum going.

  • 01 Aug 2016 8:20 AM | Joene (Administrator)

    Launch from East Haddam's Connecticut River boat launch, off Lumberyard Road just before the Goodspeed Airport parking lot, for an Haddam Land Trust's "Last Sunday" paddle, July 31, 2016.

    CT River downstream from East Haddam Swing Bridge

    A juvenile bald eagle watched from above as we approached the inlet to Chapman Pond.

    juvenile bald eagle

    Chapman Pond inlet

    Chapman Pond is mostly freshwater - only occasionally, during heavy storms and really high tides, does salt water reach this far north. Depth of Chapman Pond reaches about 16 feet during high tide. Shallower areas are only a couple feet deep.


    Kingfisher swooped for insects along the water, warblers sang from the shoreline trees. The shoreline vegetation is dotted with egrets and heron fishing for food. 

    heron along Chapman Pond shoreline

    Pickerelweed and perennial sunflowers attracted black and yellow swallowtail butterflies, while wild rice gently sways in the breezes along the shore.

    wild rice swaying in the breeze along the shore of Chapman Pond

    perennial sunflowers along Chapman Pond inlet

    Time paddles into Chapman Pond when tides are still high. The downstream inlet is shallow - just a foot deep in many spots, making low tide exits iffy.


    Back on the CT River, heading upstream, we spotted heads peeking out of an eagle's nest while mom and dad circled the area.

    eagle nest along CT River

    Father upstream an osprey watched from above.

    osprey perched on high

    The upstream view is highlighted by the shoreline vegetation and the view of the East Haddam Swing Bridge.

    CT River, heading upstream from Chapman Pond

    CT River downstream from the East Haddam Swing Bridge

    Two hours of pure relaxation and immersion in the natural beauty of the lower Connecticut River valley ... a perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. Visit www.ehlt.org to learn about future paddles, hikes, and other fun events.

  • 27 Jun 2016 9:16 PM | Joene (Administrator)

    Links to some of the wildflowers and native plants observed during the hike:


    Whorled Loosestrife (Lysmachia quadrifolia L.): native, flowering time June-August https://www.ct-botanical-society.org/Plants/view/361


    Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa L.): native, flowering time June-Sept https://www.ct-botanical-society.org/Plants/view/63


    Round-leaved Pyrola (Pyrola Americana Sweet): native, flowering time June to August https://www.ct-botanical-society.org/Plants/view/499


    Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia L.): native, flowering time May to July https://www.ct-botanical-society.org/Plants/view/300


    Dwarf Huckleberry (Gaylussacia bigeloviana): native, flowering time June, threatened in CT https://www.ct-botanical-society.org/Plants/view/227


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