June 18, 2018

Lyme Land Trust Celebrates CT Trails Day with Bunny Habitat Walk Starting 9:30am

This photo shows an example of young successional forest in Lyme. Photo by Wendy Hill.

The Lyme Land Trust will host a walk to celebrate CT Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The location will be Lyme Land Trust’s Slawson Preserve, Nehantic State Forest and adjacent properties in Lyme, Conn.  The focus of the walk will be the Bunny Habitat Restoration Project Phase 2.

Lisa Wahle, the “Bunny Lady” and young forest habitat restoration specialist; Mark LaCasse, Master Wildlife Conservationist; and Emery Gluck, CT DEEP Division of Forestry, will lead a walk to explore Phase 2 of the ongoing process to improve the land for the benefit of the threatened New England cottontail rabbit and other species that depend upon young forests.

On last year’s walk, the results of Phase 1 were seen:- the vegetation regrowth on 25 acres of private property adjacent to the preserve that had been cleared of mature trees several years ago.

In the fall of 2017, the Land Trust began Phase 2: the harvest of trees from the Slawson Preserve.

The Land Trust, private landowners, and the State have agreed to harvest mature trees over a 6- to 10-year period to create an environment that is suitable for species that live in a young forest environment. As the cleared areas grow back, it will create the desirable brushy environment where the bunnies find food and protection from predators.

Staggering the treatments will ensure that this successional habitat is available for a longer time. This process is beneficial to more than 50 species of greatest conservation need including prairie warbler, ruffed grouse, indigo bunting, American woodcock, wood turtle, and blue spotted salamander.

Reservations are recommended though not required.  For further information or to reserve your place, email openspace@lymelandtrust.org

Rain cancels.

Parking is available at 435 Hamburg Rd (Rte 156), Lyme, CT. Follow the dirt driveway to the parking area. Permission has been given to park at the end of this long, private driveway for this special event only. No dogs please.

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