Spring Outdoors in The Last Green Valley

Spring Outdoors in The Last Green Valley

From time to time over the next two months, this column will feature a new program being organized by The Last Green Valley, Inc. called “Spring Outdoors.” The program provides land trusts and conservation commissions throughout the region the opportunity to showcase interesting features and share stories and management strategies on their properties. We hope this program attracts like-minded people interested in conservation.

We are blessed to have several land trusts, conservation commissions, and other organizations working in consort to preserve open space and woodlands. Spring Outdoors allows you to learn more about the properties that they manage and about their respective missions. A total of 22 walks and programs are offered and more may be added as the program advances through April and May.

For the entire list of walks, go to The Last Green Valley website at:  thelastgreenvalley.org/explore-the-last-green-valley/spring-outdoors.   Click on the brochure link for the full list. You can print out the brochure if you prefer. The Last Green Valley website Events Calendar as well as our Facebook page also have up-to-date information on Spring Outdoors.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Joshua’s Trust, the largest land trust in our region, and they have really stepped up with several walks and programs available throughout Spring Outdoors.

Next Saturday, April 16th, Joshua’s Trust is sponsoring the Byles Sanctuary Historic Walk at 125 Ashford Center Road (Route 44) in Ashford, CT. It starts at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:00 a.m. The hike is moderately easy and leashed dogs are welcome, too.

This hike connects the past to present through the Byles Sanctuary Trail walk and Open House at the historic Byles Homestead (now Henrietta House Bed and Breakfast). The hike is an almost 2-mile long easy-to-moderate loop trail through meadowland,  down a short steep section next to a stream, and then through a biologically diverse climax stage forest. After the hike, enjoy snacks, drinks, and few stories as you tour Henrietta House Bed and Breakfast.

For more information on the other Joshua’s Trust properties and the great work they are doing to preserve land in eastern Connecticut, visit their website at www.joshuastrust.org.

On Saturday, April 23rd, the Wyndham Land Trust will be sponsoring a Spring Outdoors walk at the Spalding/Rapoport Preserve located on Calkins Road in Woodstock.

Participants will hike through springtime awakening fields, woods and wetlands of the 154-acre preserve. The hike will cover 2 miles of moderate terrain and will last 1.5 hours.

The Wyndham Land Trust has done exceptional work preserving land in northeast Connecticut. To learn more about their properties, programs and activities visit www.wyndhamlandtrust.org.

If you have children at home you may want to check out the Sheep Farm Hike hosted by the Groton Open Space Association on Sunday, May 1st.  From 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., it covers about 2 miles and is located at 245/255 Hazelnut Hill Road in Groton.

The property is a 63-acre colonial-era farm with features including old foundations, a gristmill dam, colonial-era stonewalls, meadows, forest, rocky ridges, waterfalls, a brook and vernal pools.

The Groton Open Space Association was founded in 1967 and has been actively advocating for land, water and wildlife. You can find out more about their other programs and work in our region at their website www.gosaonline.org.

Spring is finally here. We hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunities provided by Spring Outdoors and participate with our regional land trusts, conservation commission, and other groups working to preserve our open space. Together we can ensure this beautiful place we call The Last Green Valley will be protected and conserved for future generations.

Bill Reid is the Chief Ranger of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor and has lived in the region for more than 30 years. He can be reached at bill@tlgv.org

The Norwich Bulletin is granted first serial rights and associated electronic rights to publish the following article.  The Last Green Valley, Inc. retains all other rights to the work


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