August 15, 2022

Old Lyme Open Space Commission Launches Beaver, Bird Conservation Program, Sponsored by Two Grants

Beaver activity can result in a host of beneficial impacts. Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — Earth Day 2021 is Thursday, April 22.

In celebration, the Old Lyme Open Space Commission is launching a beavers and birds conservation/education program in the town’s Ames Open Space.

The program is sponsored by grants from The Rockfall Foundation and the Hartford Audubon Society.

The Commission’s slogan is “Let Nature Be.”

In the case of beavers, allowing their activity results in a host of beneficial impacts. Beavers are one of only a few animals that create their own habitat, which is then shared with an amazing variety of birds, plants, and wildlife.

Beaver ponds improve aquifer quality through natural filtration and regulate flow so downstream areas do not run dry in summer months.

The commission, through this program, will give beavers free reign where their activity is confined to town open space. At the same time, commission members will educationally explain the ecology of beaver ponds, which encompass so much more than dams and lodges.

Visitors, bird watchers and students will have a wonderful opportunity to observe nature in action with natural amenities at two observation sites.

Specifically, the Open Space Commission project will:

  • Use drones to aerially survey the Ames Open Space boundaries to determine if beaver activity is adversely affecting private property and seek solutions to problems, as needed.
  • Protect non-nuisance beaver activity on open space land and deter illegal vandalism.
  • Offer a wildlife educational program centered on the unique features of beaver ponds. High Definition (HD) cameras with remote access will capture wildlife activity for web-posting with help from Lyme-Old Lyme High School.
  • Create two wildlife observational areas with native-wood benches and interpretive signs on the Ames “blue” trail. QR codes will link to video footage, so visitors can watch beaver and bird activity where it was recorded and perhaps even see similar activity live.

Visit the commission’s website later this spring and summer for news of the program’s progress.


  1. Dr. John Pfeiffer says

    After this program in early May a beaver was shot on the McCulloch open space preserve property. The area was just being colonized by the juvenile beaver. Some unknown person decided that they should step in and eradicate the young animal. The preserve area was well removed and upstream from any houses, roads, or other human development. The pond area of approximately 21/2 acres was a perfect habitat for beaver and other wildlife. Since this initial incident the perpetrator and probably fellow cohorts have continued an assault upon beaver in the area. Note, as you walk or bike through our public open space lands, there are others out there with guns shooting what they consider to be unwanted. Make sure you, your children, and pets are not on their list! The Connecticut DEEP is investigating.