Exploring The Last Green Valley: Time to Spring Outdoors
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
— Rachael Carson, “The Sense of Wonder”
Winter waited until March 4 – more than 60 days after the winter solstice – to make its presence known with the largest and most impactful snow of the season. Almost 15 inches of snow greeted some of us when we woke. It filled our driveways, covered our vehicles and clung to trees and branches, making for a late-winter wonderland. Clearly March was determined to come in like a lion. Let’s hope it goes out like a lamb.
Wednesday is the first day of spring – the vernal (and autumnal) equinox is when the sun crosses the plane of the equator, making day and night equal in length. For us New Englanders, experience tells us spring will not suddenly arrive overnight.
Despite our longing for warm days, flowers and birdsong, spring arrives in fits and spurts and sometimes at a pace more akin to a slow saunter. I am reminded of my mother’s admonishment “patience is a virtue” and it is certainly true as we anticipate the arrival of springtime in our part of the world.
The one thing we can be sure of is the songbirds will return, and by mid-April the “avian” alarm clock will go off at first light interrupting any thoughts for a quiet and peaceful morning slumber. The other thing we can count on is TLGV’s annual Spring Outdoors, which kicks off Wednesday and goes for three full months until the summer solstice on June 21.
Designed much like TLGV’s popular Walktober program, Spring Outdoors offers many free, volunteer-led walks, hikes, paddles, programs and experiences. There are also programs that charge a small fee.
This is our fourth year offering Spring Outdoors and it’s your invitation to get outside during the glorious spring season. Our goal is to connect you to lands, waters, trails, stories and places in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. Hopefully you’ll discover for the first time properties and places that are not usually open and accessible to the public.
Spring Outdoors wouldn’t be possible without the many organizations that help to put together these outdoor experiences.
We’re happy this year’s partners include Goodwin State Forest and Conservation Center, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Connecticut Audubon Society, Quiet Corner New England Mountain Bike Association, US Army Corps of Engineers, Ashbel Woodward Museum, Leffingwell House Museum, Norwich Historical Society, Otis Library, Prudence Crandall Museum, Hart’s Greenhouse, Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp, Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education, JOYasanAH, town of Sprague, Frog Rock Rest Stop, Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Alan Nordell, Wyndham Land Trust and New Roxbury Land Trust.
Please note that TLGV does not print a paper calendar for Spring Outdoors. The list of events is regularly updated, and we rely on our website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and frequent news releases to provide you with the latest information about the program.
For a listing of Spring Outdoors events, walks, hikes and paddle check out the TLGV website at:
Make sure you check back frequently because more Spring Outdoors opportunities are added on a regular basis over the three-month period.
If you are interested in leading a Spring Outdoors event, give us a call at (860) 774-3300 or click on the tab in the TLGV website:
Spring Outdoors is a great way for land trusts, historic, agriculture and conservation commissions, museums, recreation and environmental groups, and other community groups to attract a new audience and gain awareness. TLGV is happy to draw attention to the good work these important organizations are doing right here in the National Heritage Corridor.
We live in a beautiful region known as The Last Green Valley. We are still 77 percent forests and fields, green by day, and dark starry skies at night. Each season provides another reason to get outdoors, learn, have fun and appreciate the rich diversity of natural and cultural resources that define our region.
I hope to see you at one or more of our Spring Outdoors programs. The Last Green Valley – together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on.
Bill Reid is the chief ranger of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor and has lived in the region for more than 35 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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