December 4, 2020

Volunteers Decorate Gillette Castle State Park for the Holidays

Laura Borg decorates the courtyard around Gillette Castle.

EAST HADDAM, Conn. – Members of the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park spent a recent weekend decorating the grounds and exterior of the late William Gillette’s mansion at 67 River Road.

The group included Jack Hine, the park’s supervisor, and staff member Sarah Lucey, as well as Friends members Laura Borg, Lynn Wilkinson and Dorothy Millen. Borg purchased the decorations and donated them to the effort.

The mansion itself is closed to the public but visitors may stroll about the grounds to view the decorations from 8 a.m. until sunset daily through Jan. 2, 2021.

Harold “Tyke” and Theodora “Teddie” Niver also are expected be on hand Sunday afternoons during the holiday season to greet and entertain visitors while portraying William and Helen Gillette.

The popular tourist destination is nestled atop the “Seventh Sister” hill in the towns of East Haddam and Lyme along the Connecticut River.

The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park is a nonprofit, all-volunteer group dedicated to the preservation, conservation and educational activities of the building and its grounds.

More information may be found at


CT Audubon to Buy ‘Bee & Thistle Inn’ in Old Lyme, Plans to Renovate it as Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center HQ

OLD LYME — (Press release issued by CT Audubon) The Connecticut Audubon Society and its Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) will soon have a new facility in Old Lyme to continue to carry out the regional conservation, science research and education work that began five years when the RTPEC was established.

The organization has reached an agreement to buy the former Bee and Thistle Inn, at 100 Lyme St. The plan is to create an environmental education center for people of all ages. It will become the Estuary Center’s new headquarters and will include a room for public talks and workshops, a location for summer day camp, and a staging area for research on the ecology of the estuary.

The RTPEC offices, which are currently at 90 Halls Rd., will move to the new facility as well.

The 5.25-acre site is on the Lieutenant River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. It includes a wetland area and offers river access to the local 56-acre section of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

The RTPEC has developed a strong reputation in its five years based on a succession of successful programs. The Center currently reaches 5,000 young people and adults across the region through environmental education programs at schools, online and in the field.

“The RTPEC is one of our jewels, and this new facility is in a perfect location for a nature center that focuses on the estuarine environment,” said Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Patrick Comins. “We can’t wait to introduce people to its birds and wildlife, and to use it as a launching area for more great outings. The volunteers who had the vision to establish the center in 2015 and then to keep building on its success deserve all the credit for this.”

Connecticut Audubon is planning a  comprehensive campaign to cover the purchase price to renovate the building for visitors, and to preserve this landmark for the community. The goal is to open the new facility within 12 to 18 months.

Claudia Weicker, chair of the RTPEC Regional Board, said that the new facility’s location, next to the Florence Griswold Museum, was particularly appropriate.

“Our commitment to conservation of the Connecticut River estuary and of Long Island Sound is as strong as ever,” she said. “We focus on the environment and education, in particular, and, in doing so, we relate the importance of nature to the history and culture of our area. This location, next to the home of Miss Florence Griswold, revives the synergy that existed between America’s great art colony and the beauty of the natural world.”

The Center is named after Roger Tory Peterson, the artist, writer, teacher, and conservationist, who lived and worked in Old Lyme. Peterson’s acclaimed field guides to birds and nature are widely known and recognized as iconic in their field.

Two of the Center’s most successful programs will continue to take place elsewhere. Its spring and fall lecture series regularly draws overflow crowds to local auditoria to hear nationally-known experts on birds, estuary science and other conservation topics.

The Science in Nature outdoor education program will continue to be taught at area schools, natural areas within walking distance of schools, and through distance learning.

Those two off-site programs will complement the offerings at the new center, said Alisha Milardo, the director of the RTPEC.

“The residents of southeastern Connecticut have an abiding interest and enthusiasm for environmental conservation programs,” she said, adding, “Our education, science research and advocacy programs have received great support and we’re confident that at this new location we will be able to expand our offerings for the community.”


‘Coastal Cleanup’ at Old Lyme’s White Sand Beach Generates 78 Pounds of Garbage

Help to keep White Sand Beach beautiful. Join a Beach Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19!

OLD LYME — UPDATED Sept. 21: After the Clean-Up Event was held this past Saturday, Sept. 19, organizer Marie Ryan expressed her thanks to all who volunteered, saying on her Facebook page, ” Many, many thank you’s to all the wonderful people who volunteered in the International Coastal Clean Up Day, Save the Sound at White Sand Beach today.”

She added, “We collected 78 pounds (!) of garbage and truly made a difference for our lovely beach and coastline.”

Are you concerned with the state of our environment? Do you want to help do your part to preserve our coastlines? Will you commit to ‘Strive to Stop the Spread of Litter in the Long Island Sound’?

Then join Marie Ryan of Old Lyme and Reynolds’ Subaru of Lyme in a volunteer coastal cleanup of White Sand Beach in Old Lyme on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For further details, contact Marie at or call her at 860-304-3334.

This volunteer event is part of Save the Sound’s annual coastal cleanup efforts.  Save the Sound organizes cleanup events every fall. The Connecticut Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place each year within the months of September and October. Volunteers are needed to remove trash and collect data that will be used to help stop debris at its source. 

There are additional opportunities to assist this effort apart from at White Sand Beach. Find a complete list of cleanups throughout the state at this link, choose your beach and then register. Save the Sound will follow up with details about how to connect with your beach’s Cleanup Captain on the day of the event.

For more information about Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program, visit or call Save the Sound’s Volunteer Coordinator, Annalisa Paltauf, at (203) 787-0646, Ext.116

Last year, Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program helped bring together 2,554 volunteers, who removed 6,017 pounds of trash from over 78 miles of Connecticut shoreline. Volunteers will remove trash and collect data that will be used to help stop debris at its source.


Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Presents the ‘Great Eats’ Raffle, Benefits Conservation Efforts

Gift certificates at a variety of shoreline eateries valued at $400 each are on offer as prizes in the ‘Great Eats’ raffle hosted by the RTPEC.. Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — Purchase a Great Eats raffle ticket and support the conservation of our land, waters and the species that inhabit them.

Enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to some of the Shoreline’s finest eateries, valued at $400 each. Certificates will offered from eateries including:

  • Alforno Trattoria & Bar,
  • Atlantic Seafood,
  • Bar Bouchee,
  • Carlson’s Landing,
  • Fromage Fine Foods,
  • Griswold Inn & Wine Bar,
  • La Marea,
  • Liv’s Oyster & Restaurant
  • Old Lyme Inn
  • Pasta Vita Inc,
  • The River Tavern,
  • Rustica Restaurante,
  • Weekend Kitchen

Only 250 tickets will be sold.

Winners will be notified Oct 8, 2020 via email.

Raffle funds will benefit shoreline restaurants and support the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s efforts to strengthen the Southeastern Connecticut community and environment using three complementary approaches: Education, Research and Advocacy.

Drawings will be held on October 8, 2020 at 5 p.m. and can be seen on Facebook Live.

Purchase tickets at


Volunteers Invited to Join CT River Conservancy’s ‘Source to Sea’ Cleanup Through September

GREENFIELD, MA/ LYME, CT/ OLD LYME, CT– (From a press release sent by the CRC)  Registration is now open for the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) Source to Sea Cleanup. This annual event, now in its 24th year, has grown into one of the largest river cleanups in the country.

The CRC invites volunteers to safely continue the tradition of getting dirty for cleaner rivers in September. The banks of the Connecticut River in Lyme and Old Lyme have both been Cleanup sites in previous years.

For more information, event safety guidelines, or to register for the Cleanup visit

“The Source to Sea Cleanup strengthens community while cleaning up our rivers and streams. It’s an opportunity for you to make a difference,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “When people help clean their rivers, they make lasting connections with each other and with their rivers.”

The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin (NH, VT, MA, CT).

This year’s Cleanup continues throughout September, rather than the typical two-day event, for better social distancing of volunteers. “We’re excited to work with volunteers to tackle trash, even during the pandemic. We’ve redesigned the event to keep everyone as safe as possible while still making a difference for cleaner rivers,” says Stacey Lennard, CRC Cleanup Coordinator.

Each fall, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. Volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. In 2019, more than 3,600 volunteers hauled nearly 67 tons of trash from riverbanks and waterways across our four river states.

Volunteers remove everything from recyclable bottles and cans, fishing equipment and food waste to tires, televisions, and refrigerators. To date, volunteers have removed more than 1,167 tons of trash from our rivers.

“There are lots of ways to get involved,” continues Lennard. “Volunteers can report a trash site in need of cleaning, organize and register your own local cleanup group, or be a #RiverWitness on social media. Join us to celebrate our collective efforts – together yet apart – at a virtual Source to Sea Shindig on Sept. 30 to wrap up the Cleanup.”

New this year, CRC added #RiverWitness to help people connect with each other online through their shared concern for and appreciation of our rivers. Take a photo or video when you are at the river, participating in the Source to Sea Cleanup or enjoying time outside. Or make art inspired by river beauty or river pollution. Share on social media, include #RiverWitness and tag Connecticut River Conservancy.

If you’re not on social media, share images on CRC’s website: Your images will be added to an online mosaic photo display and video. Select images will be used to call on decision-makers to enact trash solutions to keep trash out of our rivers.

If your group wants to get involved but needs a cleanup site, if you have questions, or if you know of a trash site in need of cleaning, contact CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator Stacey Lennard at

Learn more about the event at

Since 1952, the CRC has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. They bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your rivers and streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies.

To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect your rivers, visit

Thoughts from CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk on the national trash problem

“After cleaning up 1,167 tons of trash over the past 23 years, it’s clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “Consumers need to avoid single use items. And it’s time for the businesses who created and have been profiting from this trash to now help solve the problem through fundamental redesign of how our products are made and disposed of.”

The CRC insists we need to redesign our economy so there isn’t waste in the first place and that it is time businesses step up voluntarily to do the right thing by offering more sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and compostable options. “As individuals, we should always properly dispose of and recycle our waste,” continues Fisk. “And it’s time that corporations also take responsibility for their role in trashing our rivers.” 

As consumers, we have been trained by businesses to rely on unnecessary disposable and single-use plastics. Meanwhile, businesses and manufacturers are profiting by making these products out of cheap, petroleum-based plastic that is harmful and doesn’t easily break down. Producers and manufacturers then pass the responsibility and disposal costs for the products they make to the consumers, which lead to litter and polluted rivers.  

According to CRC, the best way businesses and corporations can cut down on their products becoming litter in our rivers is to offer more reusable options, like coffee mugs and drink cups. Additionally, bio-plastics are emerging as a promising alternative to plastic made from fossil fuels.

There are plenty of eco-friendly cups and dishware items on the market that businesses should be using. These new plastics are compostable, break down in the marine environment as food, are made from waste, and are made with less energy and environmental impact than traditional petroleum plastics.  

“We all have a responsibility to solve this problem,” says Fisk. “We are responsible as consumers to make good choices in how we purchase and dispose of products. Manufacturers, businesses, and government are also responsible and it’s time they do their part.”

Fisk continues, “By working together, we can make a real difference for our rivers. These ideas are going to take time, decades even. And we’ll keep at it as long as it takes. But our rivers need change now.”  


Lyme Land Trust Earns National Recognition

The beautiful Banningwood Preserve is protected and managed by the Lyme Land Trust.

LYME — The Lyme Land Trust has been protecting open space in Lyme since 1966. In August 2020, the Land Trust was awarded renewal of accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

This distinguished award signifies that the Lyme Land Trust has demonstrated, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts, that it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

The Lyme Land Trust first earned accreditation in December 2014, after being carefully vetted and certified to meet the highest standards of excellence. The granting of renewal affirms the Land Trust’s ongoing commitment to permanent protection of its conserved lands.

Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Lyme Land Trust protects more than 3,124 acres. For public access, it hosts more than 13 miles of trails on 651 acres. In addition, the trust manages over 70 private conservation easements. Popular preserves like Banningwood and Brockway-Hawthorne will be protected forever, making Lyme a great place for lovers of open space.

For more information and for trail maps of all the Lyme Land Trust Preserves, visit

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts.

For more, visit


Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Lyme

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash.

LYME — Ledge Light Health Department (LLHD) has reported that a bat from the area of Hamburg Rd. in Lyme was tested and found to be positive for rabies on Sept. 4.

The health department urges the public to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including people.  It is spread mostly by wild animals, but stray cats and dogs may also become infected and spread the virus.

The rabies virus lives in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals.  Rabies can be spread by scratches from infected animals or when infected saliva comes into contact with open wounds, breaks in the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact LLHD at 860-448-4882 or Lyme Town Hall at 860-434-7733.


Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme Closed Weekends Through Labor Day Due to Environmental, Safety Violations

A hazy view across the Connecticut River taken from the Elizabeth B. Carter Watch Rock Preserve. Photo by Edie Twining.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Land Trust (OLLT) Board of Trustees has announced that the Elizabeth B. Carter Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme will be closed to all visitors from 7:30 p.m. on each Friday until 8 a.m. the following Monday from June through August. On Labor Day weekend, it will remain closed until 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

These closures are to address continued preserve use violations, which damage the environment and pose safety concerns.

The board states in a press release, “This decision to limit access to Watch Rock has been a difficult one. We recognize that the beautiful Watch Rock setting has long provided significant enjoyment for many visitors who abide by the posted rules.”

A view looking south down the Connecticut River with the Elizabeth B. Carter Watch Rock Preserve on the left shore. Photo by Edie Twining.

The release continues, “However, increasingly frequent and serious incidents of littering, OLLT signage vandalism, theft of newly planted native shrubs, open campfires, and late evening loitering have necessitated visitor access restrictions during the weekend periods when most of these issues occur.”

Noting, “This situation will be closely monitored, including by the police,” the board adds,  The effectiveness of the summer weekend closures will be evaluated to determine if additional steps are needed to prevent misuse and harm to this conservation land.”

In closing, the board says, “We are grateful for the continued understanding and support of all visitors, especially our members.”


Environmental Grants Available from The Rockfall Foundation, Info Session Slated for Sept. 10

MIDDLETOWN/LYME/OLD LYME – The Rockfall Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2021 Annual Environmental Grants Program, available to non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools. The Environmental Grants are for projects and programs that support the environment through conservation, preservation, restoration or education in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, which includes Lyme and Old Lyme along with Middlesex County.

“Through all the challenges this year, The Rockfall Foundation remains committed to supporting community projects,” said Amanda Kenyon, Grants and Communications Coordinator. She added, “It’s been a hard year for many organizations, and we’re adapting our grants process to acknowledge that. We want to ensure a sustainable future.”

All interested applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual information session on Sept. 10. An RSVP to is required to attend this event in order to receive the video conference link. Applications are due by Nov. 10.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2020. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth.

The Rockfall Foundation has awarded over a half million dollars since the inception of its grant program in 1972. The Rockfall Foundation also operates the historic deKoven House Community Center located at 27 Washington St., Middletown, that offers meeting and event room rentals and office space for non-profit organizations.

Editor’s Notes: i) For further information about The Rockfall Foundation grants, visit

ii) For further information about The Rockfall Foundation, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit or call 860-347-0340.


Lyme Land Trust Postpones ‘Tour de Lyme’ until May 2021

No ‘Tour de Lyme’ in 2020, but riders can take to the roads again on May 23, 2021.

LYME — The Lyme Land Conservation Trust is postponing the Tour de Lyme from its currently scheduled date of Sept. 23, 2020 to Sunday, May 23, 2021. This is the second time the Tour has had to be postponed this year, both times due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

In an email sent to riders who had already registered to ride, along with sponsors and supporters of the event, Kristina White, Executive Director of the Trust, explains the difficult decision saying, “Due to the extreme uncertainty we are presently facing with the Coronavirus, we sadly must move the Tour de Lyme.”

She continues, “We have been ever optimistic that we could hold the event this year, but the safety of our many participants is our most important concern, and guidance we have received from state and local authorities makes it clear that we should not hold the event under current and expected circumstances.”

Noting, “We will keep our registration site,, live until May 21, 2021,” she says registrations for those who had already signed up will be maintained , but if necessary, refunds can be requested.

She concludes positively, “We intend to host another great event next year with great food, drink, music and of course great riding routes in Lyme!”


Mosquitoes in Stonington Test Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus

Mosquitoes can carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE.)

AREAWIDE/LYME/OLD LYME — (Froma Press Releas)Ledge Light Health District announced today that mosquitoes trapped in Stonington have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus. The virus was found in Culiseta melanura species mosquitoes, which is a species that primarily bites birds.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. In Connecticut, the virus has been found in trapped mosquitoes in most years. In 2019, there were four human cases of EEE in Connecticut.

Residents who live in towns or near towns where EEE virus has been found are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including:

  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • While outdoors for long periods of time, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors and to protect small babies when outdoors.

Consider the use of mosquito repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as ones containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone, and apply according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.

  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 2 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months.
  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

  • Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire

Swings, clogged gutters.

  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
  • Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.

Additional resources for information on EEE and mosquito management can be found at

Ledge Light Health District – LLHD – serves as the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington and Waterford, Connecticut. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.


Yale Performs Alewife Sampling in Rogers Lake From Sunset to 2am Through Saturday

LYME/OLD LYME — Rogers Lake Authority has announced that Yale University will be doing their annual alewife sampling on Rogers Lake from Aug. 10 through Aug. 15. This activity will take place between sunset and 2 a.m.

The researchers will be using a large net and some floating green and white lights.

DEEP has been notified of this activity.

All persons out on the lake during this time are requested to stay clear of this work.


Winning Against Water Chestnut: Volunteers Clear Hadlyme’s Selden Cove, Creek Of New Plants

(from a press release issued by Friends of Whalebone Cove) The two-year community effort by volunteers to save Hadlyme’s Selden Cove and Selden Creek from being covered by a carpet of invasive water chestnut plants is achieving success.

After three “Paddle & Pull” work parties involving 25 volunteers in June and July, an inspection of Selden Cove and Creek last Thursday revealed almost no new plants have emerged in the last week. See photo below.

As a result, Friends of Whalebone Cove (FOWC) cancelled the “Paddle & Pull” work party scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Last year at this time a large portion of Selden Cove was covered by 5,000 – 7,000 square feet of water chestnut. See photo at head of article.

The FOWC has organized a total of 13 “Paddle & Pull” work parties in 2019 and 2020 involving almost 60 volunteers, who have put in more than 200 hours to remove water chestnut plants from both the Cove and the Creek.

Diana Fiske, FOWC President, expressed gratitude to all the volunteers who have pitched in to save Selden Cove and Selden Creek, saying, “It takes a village … There are so many people to thank for this effort. You know who you are, but I want to personally thank each and every one of you myself and thank the Connecticut River Conservancy for its support that has been critical in our work.”

She concluded, “Thank you all!”

Water chestnut — which dramatically impacts marine and upland wildlife anywhere it gets established — has invaded and taken over many other locations in the Connecticut River.

Friends of Whalebone Cove has managed to prevent water chestnut from getting established in Whalebone Cove and wants to reclaim those parts of Selden Cove where it has gotten a permanent foothold in recent years, because if it is allowed to spread, it is hard to eradicate and will change the ecology the two fresh water tidal wetlands and destroy the habitat eco-systems which species that live in the area rely on to survive.

Water chestnut is an annual plant, but its seeds can remain viable for 12 years, and each plant has enough seeds to produce 300 new plants in a future year.

This means that Selden Cove and Selden Creek will need to be monitored for the next two months for “late emerging” plants, and there will need to be volunteer work parties in future years to remove newly emerging plants from latent seeds dropped in prior years that could start massive new infestations.

Future “Paddle & Pull” work party dates scheduled in Selden Cove are:

Thursday 8/20 – 12 Noon
Rain Date: Fri. 8/21 – 1 p.m.

Thursday  9/3 – 12 Noon
Rain Date: Fri. 9/4 – 1 p.m.
Tuesday 9/29 – 9AM
Rain Date: Wed. 9/30 – 10 a.m.

If you would like to volunteer to help FOWC, send an email to:


Letter to the Editor: Old Lyme Land Trust’s Assessment of Bucky Brook Beaver Situation Challenged

To the Editor:

I recently read the statement provided to you by the Old Lyme Land Trust in February. I find it odd that no one from your organization met with Dave Berggren to confirm the lowering level of the pond after one dam was removed.  What’s more egregious is that when I took the Bucky Brook path just yesterday I found 4 beaver dams as well as the beaver’s lodge and how the volunteers did not see these is beyond me and they should be ashamed to have suggested otherwise.

The entire Bucky Brook needs to be dredged as well as the beavers removed.

I have video documentation of all the beaver dams if you want to see.


Lee Detwiler,
Jenkintown, PA.



Deadline to Complete Old Lyme’s Walk Audit, Online ​Walk/Bike Survey, July 31

Where do you go on your bike in Old Lyme? Complete the Sustainable Old Lyme ​Walk/Bike Survey to help the Sustainable Old Lyme Committee in their work.

OLD LYME — UPDATED 7/31 — edits in red: Do you like to walk or bike around Old Lyme?

If so, the Sustainable Old Lyme Committee would like more information about how you enjoy the town while walking or bicycling.

A new feature is now available for those who like to walk on Lyme Street in the form of a paper Walk Audit, which asks about the experience of walking along Lyme Street between the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and the Town Green (at the junction with Ferry Rd.)

The Walk Audit is available at Old Lyme Town Hall and at shops along the route — no computer required!

But if you prefer to use a computer, there are two options: the Walk Audit is available online at this link. When completed, it should be printed out and returned either to the Old Lyme Town Hall at 52 Lyme St. or The Chocolate Shell at 18 Lyme St.

The second option is an online Old Lyme ​Walk and Bike Survey, which asks more general questions about your experience walking and biking in the community. The survey is available at this link.

The committee wants to hear from everybody, but especially from those who are older or who have special needs.  The questionnaires are short (20 questions) and all questions are optional.

The survey and walk audit will be available until TODAY, July 31.

During the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting held July 6, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal urged as many residents as possible to complete the survey. She explained later to in a phone conversation that the objective of the survey is to, “Provide evidence to help make Old Lyme more walkable and bicycle-friendly.”

For more information about Sustainable Connecticut, visit ​

Contact the survey organizers through that website or email them at​ or ​​.



Old Lyme Planning Commission Announces Photo Contest for Town Residents

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Planning Commission has announced a new photo contest for Old Lyme residents for the upcoming edition of the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). The Planning Commission is in the process of rewriting the POCD for 2020, which is revised every 10 years.

The 10 most representative photos of the town will be chosen for inclusion in the 2020 POCD. Various categories include, but are not limited to, Town Hall, nature/waterfront, farmland, open space, historic sites, municipal structures, houses of worship, etc.

Digitized photo entries should be submitted by email to by Aug. 31, 2020.

The winners will be announced on the Town website and their photo submissions will be included in the 2020 POCD with their name credited below the picture.

The Planning Commission asks readers to note that by submitting their photography, they are also agreeing to allow the Town of Old Lyme to share their image(s), with appropriate credit on the Town of Old Lyme’s website and Facebook page.


Lyme Land Trust Names Bob Cope 2020 Volunteer of the Year

Bob Cope proudly displays the plaque awarded to him by the Lyme Land Trust after he was named 2020 Volunteer of the Year. Photo by Sue Cope.

LYME — Bob Cope has been named the 2020 Lyme Land Trust Volunteer of the Year, an award presented this year during a virtual Annual Meeting. The Land Trust celebrates, appreciates and depends upon all of the many wonderful volunteers and members who contribute to the success of the organization.

This year, Bob Cope stood out for his eagerness to help, dependability, and resourcefulness. He has been an invaluable volunteer for all the Trust’s activities: from building bridges, benches, kiosks, and gates, to mowing and clearing trees in the preserves; in addition to helping with the Tour de Lyme and other events.

Mal Karwoski, Stewardship Chair of the Trust, who presented the honor, stated,  “It’s Bob’s nature to be helpful, and he shares this not just with the Lyme Land Trust. Bob is invested in our community in many other ways and is passionate about giving back.” 

In addition to Bob’s volunteer work with the Trust, he serves on the Town of Lyme Open Space Commission and the Lyme Recreation Commission, assists the Friends of Whalebone Cove, Hadlyme Public Hall, Lyme Youth Services Bureau and the Center For The Blind in New London. 


Swim Advisory Lifted at Sound View, Re-Sample Test Results are Below Bacterial Action Levels,

OLD LYME — UPDATED 7/17 at 10 a.m.Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) has now confirmed to that this result means that the Swimming Advisory noted below is lifted with immediate effect. Danielle Holmes, Sanitarian II at LLHD, told us by email Friday morning, “Sound View Beach is open and cleared for swimming!”

UPDATED 7/16 at 4:33 p.m.: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) posted the following statement on their Facebook page shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon: “The areas with elevated bacterial counts [which include Sound View] were re-sampled Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Results of the re-samples were below bacterial action levels.”

7/15 — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) found elevated bacteria levels in the most recent water sampling at Sound View. As such, swimming or wading in these waters is discouraged until further notice.

Ledge Light resampled the water yesterday, Wednesday, July 15, and the results will be reported in the next two days.

This swim advisory is for Sound View Beach only — no other Old Lyme beaches have been issued a swim advisory.

According to their website, LLHD conducts weekly bathing water sampling from Memorial Day through Labor Day for the Towns and Cities of Old Lyme along with East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, Stonington, and Waterford. The 2020 sampling season began on May 20, 2020.

Beach or bathing water quality is measured by the presence of enterococcal organisms, which are a group of organisms that may indicate the presence of potentially harmful bacteria.

The State of Connecticut has issued guidelines for bathing water quality, which are used to determine if a bathing area needs to be resampled or posted with an advisory. A concentration of enterococcal organisms exceeding 104 colonies per 100 ml of marine water and 235 colonies per 100 ml of freshwater is considered unsatisfactory for bathing.

At least once a week from mid-May to mid-September, LLHD Sanitarians collect water samples from different bathing areas throughout the District. The water samples are then sent to the State laboratory for analysis.

If any of the samples exceed the State guidelines, the water is resampled to verify the result. If the second test confirms the level, a bathing advisory is posted at that location.

Ledge Light Health District will continue to monitor the site and remove the posting as soon as the levels are safe.


Old Lyme’s Whippoorwill Rd. Parking Lot Closed Resulting in Changes to Open Space Access

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Open Space Commission has announced in a statement that the parking lot on Whippoorwill Rd. used by visitors to the Ames Open Space and McCulloch Family Open Space properties was closed July 1, 2020.

The owner of the parking lot has graciously allowed the town use his private property for many years for parking, but recently rescinded permission in anticipation of a possible land sale.

In response, the Old Lyme Open Space Commission is actively exploring the feasibility of a new parking area on town land along the pentway (driveway) leading to the McCulloch property, adjacent to the former parking area.  As this may involve an archaeological assessment, survey and engineering work, land clearing and lot construction, it will likely become a future property amenity.

In the meantime, the Open Space Commission has announced the following access changes to trails:

Ames Open Space

  • The Whippoorwill Rd. access to the Ames Open Space will be closed until further notice.  This trail connector has been periodically flooded, rendering it unusable for periods of time in the past. Closure will resolve this issue and also allow beavers to occupy open space property without disturbance.
  • Ames Open Space trails may be accessed from the existing Evergreen Rd. entrance.

McCulloch Family Open Space

  • The yellow trailhead in the McCulloch Family Open Space will be accessible only by pedestrian and bicycle access.  Vehicle parking on the pentway leading to this trailhead is prohibited.
  • The yellow trail remains fully accessible for visitors and hikers, but without a parking area. This trail may also be accessed via either the property’s Tree in the Gap or Flat Rock Hill Rd. entrances, both of which remain fully open.
  • Maps showing the alternate open space entrances are available on the town website.

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Offers Small Group Eco-adventures in Lyme, Old Lyme for Ages 10-15

“Ponding” with RTPEC instructors is always an educational and fun experience. Photo from RTPEC.

LYME-OLD LYME — What lies beneath the water? How can you find your way in the woods? Can you use cabbage to create art?

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) is offering small group, in-person programming to explore these questions and more beginning July 13 and following all current COVID-19 safety procedures. The RTPEC building on Halls Rd. will, however, remain closed.

Join in hands-on activities while discovering local biodiversity, using scientific tools, and creating beautiful natural art pieces. Morgan Allen, a RTPEC teacher-naturalist, will lead participants in outdoor, experiential field programs focusing on different daily topics in different locations.

Pond Exploration at Jewett Preserve in Lyme 
Monday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Tuesday, July 21, 3 – 5 p.m.
Join Allen in exploring what plants and animals may live in the pond using nets, solar microscopes, and more. Discover the chemical characteristics of the pond by learning how to take temperature and pH samples. Test the water quality using our Creek Critter app to identify macroinvertebrates and learn how to become a citizen scientist. Bring close-toed water shoes, a towel, and wear clothing that can get wet.

Hiking Adventures at Beckett Hill State Park in Lyme
Wednesday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Thursday, July, 23, 3 – 5 p.m. 
Take an adventure into the woods. Learn how to use binoculars, solar scopes, and field guides to identify plants and animals. Use a soil sieve to discover what’s hiding in the soil.  Not sure which way you are traveling? Learn how to use a compass to navigate your way. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.

Art in Nature at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme
Friday, July 17, 10 a.m – 12 p.m. and Saturday, July 25, 3 – 5 pm 
Release the artist within! Over these two hours, Allen will teach participants how to create a variety of natural art pieces including designing a seascape with sand and shells, clay pressings using natural materials, and making your own natural tie-dye. Wear clothing that can get messy and something to tie-dye.

To register and for more information, visit
Register for one, two, or three days. There is a 10-person maximum for each day.
The price is $30 RTPEC member/day, $35 non-member/day; $75 RTPEC member/three days, $90 non-member/three days.

Each child should bring a water bottle daily.

Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.