May 19, 2019

Ride the 7th Annual ‘Tour de Lyme’ Today! Registration Open at Event, Proceeds Benefit Lyme Land Trust

And away they go … the 7th annual Tour de Lyme takes place this Sunday.

Join the seventh annual Tour de Lyme on Sunday, May 19.  For competitive riders, this is a chance to warm up for the cycling season ahead. For others, it provides a wonderful occasion to pedal through Lyme and enjoy the surrounding countryside.  If you are a mountain biker, this is an opportunity to ride through private lands open only for this event.

Everyone – riders, sponsors, and volunteers – will enjoy a post-ride picnic at Ashlawn Farm with popular food trucks, beer and live music.  This year there will be physical therapists to help with any injuries, the always popular massage therapists to loosen tight muscles, and a plant sale to stock up on herbs for the season ahead. There will also be Tour de Lyme shirts for sale.

For complete information and online registration, visit www.tourdelyme.org

Ready to ride!

It’s not a race but a carefully planned series of rides designed to suit every level of skill and endurance. There are four road rides of varying length and degree of difficulty:

  • The CHALLENGE, the name says it all, is 60 miles – a real workout;
  • The CLASSIC, shorter at 25 miles, but still a challenge;
  • The VALLEY Rides pleasant easier rides with fewer hills, 26 miles or 35 miles
  • The FAMILY at just 8 miles designed for riding with children. 

There are also two mountain bike options;

  • the RIDER’S TEST a 26.5 mile ride for serious enthusiasts
  • a shorter, less challenging option.

The Tour de Lyme is hosted by The Lyme Land Conservation Trust.  Since 1966, the Lyme Land Trust has been conserving the unique and historic landscapes of Lyme, Connecticut. During those years, the Lyme rural community has shown that a small population can have a big impact and protect more than 3000 acres of woodlands, working farm fields, and bird-filled marshes. The result is an outdoor paradise – open to all. 

Money raised from the Tour de Lyme will create added opportunities for public enjoyment of the Land Trust preserves while protecting and maintaining what has already been conserved for generations to come. 

The Lyme Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – registration and donations are tax deductible.

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Where Art Meets Nature: I-Park Hosts Free, Open Studios Event Today

The public is invited to visit I-Park for its first Open Studios of the 2019 season. Guests will be able to meet six of the seven resident artists on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. I-Park is located at 428 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam, which adjoins the Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

The facility is generally closed to visitors to give the artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors. But once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend the presentation segment that features select time-based works, enjoy complimentary refreshments and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.

The studios will only be open from 2 until 3:30 p.m. so guests are encouraged to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all the studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentations.

A reception with refreshments will follow.

I-­Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, moving image and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-­Park has sponsored more than 900 residencies, and has developed cross-­‐disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them to life in the public domain.

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-­Park has a strong interest in site-responsive and environmental art – and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration.

The Artists-in-Residence at I-Park.

The artists-in-residence are:

Marianne Barcellona is a painter and professional photographer from New York City. Her extensive travels provide raw inspiration for her paintings.

Hugh Livingston is a composer and sound artist from California who creates multi-media installations related to natural and built spaces; he also performs exploratory cello music. His artworks have been installed internationally.

Colette Lucas is a mixed media artist and gardening enthusiast based in New Hampshire. Her botanical motifs are created from a combination of imagination, observation and research.

Tom Nazziola, a New Jersey composer, has had his music featured on virtually every medium in the world of music. From “live film music” to choral and orchestral pieces, his compositions have been performed around the world.

Dominica Phetteplace is a prize-winning Washington (state) poet and writer whose work has appeared in Asimov’s, Zyzzyva, Copper Nickel and Ecotone as well as numerous other publications.

Allison Roberts is a lens-based artist from Oklahoma. She works primarily with photography, video and installation to address memory, place and identity as such are experienced during periods of transition.

Jane Simpson is a mixed media artist from New Hampshire. Her collage and assemblage work is comprised mainly of found paper – made either by mother nature or human ingenuity. Recently she has incorporated graphite drawings inspired by vintage photographs.

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit i-park.org. For additional information, email events@i-park.org, call 860-873-2468 or visit i-­‐park.org.

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Presents CT River Lecture Series This Month; Third Lecture on ‘Hummingbirds and Swifts,’ May 29

This May, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center will present its annual Connecticut River Lecture Series, showcasing experts on environmental, scientific, and cultural issues of interest to residents of Southeastern CT. The Kitchings Family Foundation sponsors the series.

This year’s lecture topics are:

Centuries of Climate History as told by our Trees
Thursday, May 9, at 5pm in Old Lyme Town Hall
Neil Pederson, Senior Ecologist at the Harvard University Forest

Tidelands of the CT River: An Ecological Treasure of Global Importance
Wednesday, May 15, at 5pm in Hamilton Hall, Essex Meadows
Scott Warren, Temple Professor Emeritus of Botany at Connecticut College

The Habits and Work of Two Species: Hummingbirds and Chimney Swifts
Wednesday, May 29, at 5pm in First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
Margaret Rubega, Connecticut State Ornithologist & Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut.

For details, locations and reservations, visit https://www.ctaudubon.org/rtp-programs-events/~

Lectures are free but seating is limited.

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Potapaug Audubon Presents Talk on Bobcats Tonight in Old Lyme, All Welcome

The elusive bobcat

Potapaug Audubon presents, “The Bobcat: Connecticut’s Secretive Wild Cat,” Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme. The talk will be given by Paul Colburn, who is a 2015 graduate of the Master Wildlife Conservationist Program. He is one of the State’s most active and popular wildlife speakers. His talks on this elusive and elegant creature have drawn interested and appreciative audiences.

Colburn will provide an overview of bobcat habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction and current research efforts. Bobcat artifacts will be shown and mountain lions will also be discussed.

Members of the public are welcome at this meeting.

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Old Lyme Plans to Purchase 300 Acres of McCulloch Farm for Open Space, Two Smaller Parcels Earmarked for Affordable Housing; Total Cost $600K

The Town of Old Lyme Open Space Commission has announced an agreement to purchase approximately 300 acres of the McCulloch Farm for open space, and two smaller areas of three acres each within the 300 acres, subject to approval, for $600,000.

Immediately following the unanimous approval of authorization to sign at a special meeting of the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen on April 1, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder signed the contract on behalf of the town.

The McCulloch Farm, established in 1929, is considered one of Old Lyme’s signature properties and, as such, has been a key priority for open space acquisition.

The linkage of the McCulloch property to the town’s Ames Open Space, and to the adjacent Lay Preserve owned by the Old Lyme Land Trust, would create a large naturally significant greenway and forest, and it would greatly further a long-held goal of establishing a cross-town trail system for hiking, jogging, bicycling, bird watching and nature studies. In essence, the purchase would form an Old Lyme “Preserve” akin to that found in Old Saybrook.

The property holds particular ecological importance as part of the upper watershed of the Black Hall River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, which is part of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. A conservation easement on the property is held by The Nature Conservancy, Inc. While this easement does protect the land from development, it does not allow for public access to, and enjoyment of, the McCulloch Farm’s forest, fields and waterways.

Upon closing of the sale, the Open Space Commission hopes to quickly provide public access, and will aim towards creating an initial trail by this spring’s National Trails Day. The Old Lyme Land Trust has generously committed to overseeing trail-blazing. Eventually, the commission envisions three public trails and will explore other potential public uses, consistent with preserving the property’s natural state.

The complicated purchase has two components. The Open Space Commission would pay $500,000 for roughly 300 acres of McCulloch farm land.

The existing conservation easement allows for the possible development of two three-acre areas not pegged to any particular location within the McCulloch property. The town will pay $50,000 each for these areas, which have been appraised at $98,000 apiece. These areas would be fixed off Flat Rock Hill Rd., adjacent to affordable housing lots previously given to the town by David McCulloch.

The Open Space Commission and McCulloch family hope the two areas will be similarly developed for future affordable housing, after which the acquisition fund would be reimbursed for their sale price.

The purchase price of the McCulloch Farm property will be paid entirely from the town’s existing Open Space acquisition fund.

No budget appropriation, debt or other expense to taxpayers will be needed.

The commission will now seek the necessary final approvals. The Nature Conservancy, Inc. must approve the sale, although the town’s acquisition aligns with that organization’s goal of open space protection. The Open Space Commission will also present the purchase to the Planning Commission, with an ultimate goal of bringing the proposal to a Town Meeting in May.

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More on Earth Day from the Old Lyme Open Space Commission


Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, the most widely celebrated environmental day across the globe, recognized in 192 countries.

It’s a timely, seasonal reminder that, as our lawns, trees and countryside turn green with spring growth, we ourselves can help the planet by also going “green.”

“Green” might mean: recycling; cleaning up litter, especially plastic that may end up in the ocean; or planting native flowers and shrubs to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Old Lyme Open Space Commission suggests celebrating Earth Day by walking the town’s open space and land trust trails, listening to the songs of birds, enjoying newly blossoming wildflowers and breathing in fresh air.

Great walks throughout Old Lyme may be found at the Commission’s web page or at on the Old Lyme Land Trust’s website

Even the sky will celebrate Earth Day!  The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active from about April 16 to 25.  While not the year’s largest meteor shower, it will be the first since January and, fittingly, visible across the globe.

For more information, visit the Earth Day website.

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Become a FrogWatch USA Citizen Scientist!

The Connecticut Audubon Society is hosting a training session for FrogWatch Citizen Scientists tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, 90 Halls Rd., in Old Lyme. This event is co-sponsored by the Mystic Aquarium.

In just 10 minutes a week, you can collect valuable information on local frog and toad populations that help to identify the scope and geographic scale of population declines.

Throughout this two-hour workshop, participants will become certified FrogWatch USA volunteers trained in local amphibian vocalizations, ready to take charge of their own field and submit data into a national survey. As important predators and prey in the environment and indicators of environmental health, the information collected can be used to form conservation plans to protect these important species.

This program is free, but registration is requested

Stay tuned for details on a field training workshop after the thaw!

Register for 2/26 here

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RiverQuest’s ‘Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise’ Offers Remarkable Insight, Views of CT River

This juvenile bald eagle flew alongside the RiverQuest during our recent afternoon cruise. Photo by Michael Pressman.

Oh, what a trip!

The RiverQuest at the Connecticut River Museum dock

RiverQuest hosted several members of the Fourth Estate recently on a wonderful Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise. Temperatures were distinctly chilly last Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 13), but the heated cabin stayed warm while the boat gently sailed upstream from the Connecticut River Museum.

View from on board the RiverQuest.

The views were stunning throughout the trip and, despite the frigid temperatures, the majority of the 30 or so on board stayed outside most of the time to enjoy the whole experience to the full.

Look hard and you’ll see the mast (slightly right of center) of the sunken luxury yacht in Hamburg Cove.

As we sailed north, apart from all the wildlife on the water and in the sky, we saw the mast of the luxury yacht that has sunk in Hamburg Cove and the always delightful view of Gillette Castle high atop its East Haddam perch overlooking the Connecticut River.

Gillette Castle commands a stunning of the river.

Naturalist and lecturer Bill Yule shared a vast amount of fascinating facts, figures, history, happenings, and anecdotes about the river and its inhabitants, ably accompanied by naturalist and crew member Cathy Malin.

Naturalist Bill Yule shared a great deal of interesting information with the passengers.

Both were on board for the duration of the trip and, while not busy disseminating information in a lively and engaging manner, they were actively spotting and identifying wildlife of all shapes and sizes on, above and alongside the river and its banks.  They also took great care to ensure the  passengers were at all times warm, comfortable … and supplied with plenty of hot coffee!

Cathy Malin kept her eyes on the prize and was rewarded with sightings of 13 bald eagles on this trip..

Although named an ‘Eagle Cruise,’ the sighting of an eagle cannot, of course, be guaranteed, but we were fortunate to see 13 bald eagles on our trip, one flying immediately alongside the RiverQuest, and also enjoyed numerous sightings of cormorants, black-backed gulls, and common merganser ducks.

An adult bald eagle spotted during our cruise keeps a close watch on everything happening on the river beneath him. Photo by Michael Pressman.

The bald-headed eagle — the national emblem of the United States of America — reaches maturity at around age four when it acquires its signature white head and maximum wingspan of approximately six feet.

All eyes — and binoculars– were on the sky … and water.

Declared an endangered species in 1973 with the passage of the federal Endangered Species Act, bald eagle populations slowly began to recover following the ban on DDT, and by 2007, populations had recovered to such an extent that the species has now been removed from the endangered species list.

There were a number of professional photographers on board sporting rather larger lenses than our cell phone!

The magnificent raptors are, however, still protected on the federal level by the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Spotting eagles was the job of everyone on board.

Every winter a number of bald eagles migrate south looking for open water on which to feed as the lakes and rivers in Canada and northern New England  freeze. Many of these magnificent birds stop in Connecticut and winter along major rivers and large reservoirs, where they can also be seen feeding and sometimes nesting on the banks of the Connecticut River.

A record of all the birds seen during each trip is kept in the Connecticut River Museum.

Counts taken in 2018 indicated there were 80 pairs of nesting bald eagles in Connecticut, which produced a record 68 chicks.

The Connecticut River Museum was the start and end-point of our trip.

The Connecticut River Museum is currently hosting a “Big Birds of Winter” exhibit, which offers an excellent overview of all the birds that might be seen on the river.

This mock-up of an eagle’s nest and the raptor silhouettes are part of the Connecticut River Museum’s “Big Birds of Winter”exhibition.

Your $42 ticket not only gives you two hours on the river aboard the RiverQuest, but also admission to all the exhibits at the Museum.

Our unequivocal opinion of this wonderful trip is simply, “Take it … it deserves two big thumbs up!”

Editor’s Note: For more information on Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises, visit this link. For more information on RiverQuest and all the trips they offer, visit this link.  For more information on the Connecticut River Museum, visit this link.

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Sunken Luxury Yacht in Hamburg Cove Raised Wednesday, Whole Operation Recorded by DiNardi on Video

After extended and carefully managed efforts by Sea-Tow divers, the Mazu finally floats atop the waters of Hamburg Cove rather than under them. Photo by Frank DiNardi and published with his permission.

The luxury yacht, which sank in Hamburg Cove in January, was raised Wednesday (Feb. 20) by Sea Tow of Old Saybrook.

A Sea-Tow diver works to raise the Mazu from the floor of Hamburg Cove in Lyme. Photo by Frank DiNardi and published with his permission.

Frank DiNardi of East Haddam, who had previously filmed the yacht prior to its sinking and then after it had occurred (see our article at this link), documented the whole episode of re-floating the yacht, which was subsequently towed to a dock in Chester.

Sea-Tow divers and operatives at work alongside the Mazu. Photo by Frank DiNardi and published with his permission.

View DiNardi’s striking photographs on his Facebook page at this link.

11:07 a.m. UPDATE: DiNardi’s excellent video of the whole process is now available for viewing on YouTube at this link.

Prior to the re-float operation, this was the submerged boat in Hamburg Cove. Photo by Frank Dinardi and used with his permission.

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts ‘Owl Prowl’ Tonight in Old Lyme

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center hosts an Owl Prowl tomorrow evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Watch Rock Park Preserve in Old Lyme.

As most birds are settling down for the night, owls are just beginning their day. With a wide array of adaptations for being active when most of us are sleeping, owls are among the most interesting species in the bird world, and there are quite a few species here in Connecticut.

Come learn about and search for these nocturnal hunters with a naturalist from the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center on a night hike through Watch Rock Preserve. Bring a headlamp or flashlight (preferably one with a red light setting) and binoculars, and bundle up!

This event is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

The charge is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.  Registration is requested at this link.

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All About Alewives: Hear About Their Impact on Rogers Lake at RLA Meeting

Looking for an opportunity to learn much more about Rogers Lake?

The Lyme/Old Lyme Rogers Lake Authority will host Professor David Post of Yale University at their next monthly meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Post will give a presentation titled, “Alewives, and the Ecology and Evolution of Rogers Lake.”

Post and his associates have been undertaking studies on Rogers Lake for over 15 years.

He will discuss his team’s findings and observations along with the impact of alewives on fishing and water quality. Surprisingly, alewives impact both water quality and bass fishing in Rogers Lake.  

Alewives

The event will be held at the Rogers Lake West Shores Association
Clubhouse, 75 Rogers Lake Trail in Old Lyme.

All are welcome including Rogers Lake residents, fisherman and concerned citizens

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On Winter Solstice, Old Lyme Open Space Commission Reflects on 2018, Anticipates 2019

On Friday, Dec. 21, at 5:23 p.m. EST to be exact, it was the Winter Solstice in Connecticut — the darkest day of the year, with just over nine hours of light.  

The year of 2018 started out dark for the Old Lyme Open Space Commission. Diana Atwood Johnson, who served as chair for nearly 20 years, passed away on Jan. 1, after a long illness.

After the Solstice, however, days start to become lighter, and nature resumes its cycle of renewal as spring approaches. In January, Amanda Blair and William Dunbar became the new Open Space Commission co-chairs, and every member pitched in. 

The first order of business was to continue the care of Old Lyme Open Space property.  A land steward was hired; members personally walked trails to survey conditions; a service was hired to remove unsafe trees and branches; safety plans were discussed with the town fire marshal; new signage and trail markers were added; a new parking area for Champlain North was created; and the commission reached out to the Old Lyme Land Trust to work on mutual projects.  

Renewed educational efforts were also made.  For the first time, the Commission staffed a booth at the Midsummer Festival; news releases were issued; and the Open Space Commission web site was updated.

Early in 2019, the Commission expects to have some very exciting news! And work on substantial projects will accelerate – boxes of documents and correspondence on open space will be categorized, and conservation easements reviewed, as an antecedent to the drafting of a new Open Space Plan.

The Commission’s message remains: “Take a Hike!”  Don’t let winter keep you inside.  The trails are now in great shape for hiking, and when covered by snow, they’ll still be fun to snowshoe or cross-country ski.  

As weather warms in the New Year, volunteers will be gratefully welcomed for trail assistance.

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Lyme Land Trust Hosts Ribbon Cutting of George & Rosemary Moore Trail This Morning, Offers Guided Tours

A view of the Pleasant Valley Preserve through which the newly-identified trail passes.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m., the Lyme Land Conservation Trust will host a ribbon cutting for the opening of the George and Rosemary Moore Trail.  This event will be held at the Mount Archer Woods Parking Lot, Mount Archer Road, Lyme.

Map showing the George and Rosemary Moore Trail.

The new trail, named to honor George and Rosemary Moore’s 14 years of service towards land preservation in Lyme, uses existing trails to provide a seven-mile scenic loop in the River to Ridgetop Preserves through several properties owned and/or managed cooperatively by the Lyme Land Trust. Town of Lyme and the Nature Conservancy. Come for the ceremony only or join a walk afterwards.

There will be three tours as follows:

1. The entire seven-mile loop. Bring a picnic lunch. This could take four or more hours depending upon the speed of the group.
2. The Northern half– about four miles. This could take about three hours. Bring a lunch if you wish.
3. Mount Archer Woods – to the ruins and back — about 3.5 miles.

All tours will start and end at the Mount Archer Parking Lot. Bring a picnic lunch and water. Snacks will be provided.  Reservations are requested at openspace@townlyme.org with your choice of which walk you wish to join.

George Moore, former president of the board and the first executive director of the Lyme Land Trust, retired in 2017. Through his vision and effective management, Moore helped transform the Land Trust into one of the most active and successful trusts in the State.

Inclement weather will cancel this event.

For more information, visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/ribbon-cutting-ofgeorge-and-rosemary-moore-trail-with-guided-tours/

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Take a Post-Thanksgiving Hike Today in Hartman Park

See the Turtle Rock at Hartman Park on this hike.

Walk off your Thanksgiving overindulgence on this beautiful, moderate trail that winds along craggy ridges strewn with glacial boulders. Wendolyn Hill, Lyme Land Trust Board member, and Lyme Open Space Coordinator, will lead a walk on the Red Trail in Hartman Park on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, from 1:30 to 4-ish p.m.

Meet at Hartman Park Entrance Parking Lot, Gungy Rd., in Lyme. The parking lot is on Gungy Road about 1.5 miles north of the four-way stop signs at the intersection of Beaverbrook Rd., Grassy Hill Rd., and Gungy Rd.

The route will follow a portion of the Goodwin Trail. The Goodwin Trail, overseen by the Eightmile River Wild & Scenic Coordinating Committee, is an extended trail system crossing four towns: East Haddam, Salem, Lyme and East Lyme. The entire walk is about 3.5 miles. A snack will be provided. Bring something to drink. The walk is sponsored by the Lyme land Trust and the Town of Lyme.

Rain cancels. Check lymelandtrust.org for updates.For more information, contact openspace@townlyme.org

Registration at openspace@townlyme.org would be appreciated.

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts ‘Turkey Walk’ Today

Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash

Take a Turkey Walk on Saturday!

Join a guide from the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center on Saturday, Nov. 24, from 9 to 10 a.m. for their yearly post-Thanksgiving walk at the Jewett Preserve in Lyme. Topics of discussion will include turkeys, Thanksgiving and more during this relaxed hour-long walk while enjoying the fall foliage and outdoor family time.

Register at https://www.ctaudubon.org/2018/10/register-turkey-walk/

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Public Hearing Scheduled Tonight for Proposed Estuary Reserve in Old Lyme, Groton

Great Island, Old Lyme. Photo by Bob MacDonnell.

Some of the best wildlife habitat on the Connecticut River estuary and in southeastern Connecticut, including coves, islands, and marshes in Old Lyme, are included in a new national reserve created to bring in funding for scientific research and conservation education.

The National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses the Lord Cove and Great Island Wildlife Management Areas in Old Lyme, and Bluff Point and Haley Farm State Parks in Groton. The research reserve is a project of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut, and Sea Grant.

The Connecticut Audubon Society is calling on residents to support the new reserve at a public meeting scheduled for this evening, Nov. 13, in Groton. Officials will explain the proposal and gauge public support.

It is set for 6 to 8 p.m., in the auditorium of the Academic Building, second floor, at UConn’s Avery Point Campus, 1080 Shennecossett Road, Groton.  The schedule for tonight’s meeting is as follows:

Welcome/Meeting Goals
6:00 – 6:10
NERR System Overview (NOAA)
6:10 – 6:20
CT Selection Process (CT)
·         Big Picture (Teams/Members, Major steps, timeline)
·         Preliminary Selection Process and Results
·         Detailed Screening & Results
6:20 – 6:40
Site Overview (CT)
6:40 – 6:50
Next Steps: (CT & NOAA)
·         Nomination submission to NOAA
·         Management Plan & EIS Efforts
6:50 – 7:00
Public Q&A / Comments / Discussion
7:00 – 7:40
Wrap-up & Adjourn
7:45 – 8:00

As much as $1 million a year in funding for scientific research and monitoring, education, and stewardship will be earmarked for both sections of the reserve, to be used by scientists and others engaged in researching water quality, habitat quality, fish and wildlife, and other topics.

The reserve will also be a source of funding, materials, and field trip locations for local education programs such as Connecticut Audubon’s Science in Nature, which has reached more than 75,000 school children in Connecticut and has thrived particularly in Old Lyme and New London, the heart of the estuarine reserve area.

Officials made the announcement of the reserve recently after a two and a half-year review. Two members of the board of Connecticut Audubon’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme – Ralph Wood and John Forbis – were on the committee of local experts who recommended the sites. Others on the committee included representatives of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut, and Connecticut College.

The inclusion of the Old Lyme areas is significant because the lower Connecticut River is globally important for conservation. Estuaries in general are among the most biologically productive ecosystems on earth. The mouth of the Connecticut River and the estuary are unusual if not unique in the eastern United States because, without a big city on its shores, it has remained relatively undeveloped. The result is a vast area of extraordinarily high quality habitat.

Ospreys, terns, herons, eagles, and egrets feed and nest along the river. Ducks and geese find food and shelter in the coves over the winter. Perhaps as many as a million tree swallows roost in the reeds in late summer. The river itself teems with striped bass, blue-claw crabs, migrating herring and shad, and endangered species such as Atlantic sturgeon.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s marine headquarters in Old Lyme and the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus in Groton are included in the reserve.

Directions and Parking for tonight’s meeting:
After 5 p.m., visitors may park for free in any on-campus space not designated as reserved, restricted, or limited.
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Learn How to Enhance Your Habitat for Songbirds, Beneficial Insects

Learn how to make your yard more desirable to hummingbirds like the one pictured above.

Join Audubon CT, Lyme Land Trust, and the Town of Lyme Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Lyme Public Hall to learn about enhancing your land for songbirds, wild turkeys, and beneficial insects.  At 7 p.m., DEEP wildlife biologist Peter Picone will share a fascinating presentation of his knowledge and insights on creating and improving wildlife habitat in your surroundings. 

The program is part of a project launched by Audubon Connecticut in the Important Bird Area (IBA) called the “Lyme Forest Block,” which spans forested habitat in six towns in southeastern Connecticut. The goal of the project is to teach you how to enhance your land to attract and nourish forest birds.

Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Rd. (Rte 156), Lyme,

For more information, email openspace@townlyme.org or visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/enhancing-habitat-for-songbirds-and-beneficial-insects/

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‘Outdoors’ Columnist Presents The Day’s New Book, ‘Treasures of Southeastern Connecticut’ This Afternoon at Lyme Public Library

This afternoon, Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m., the Friends of Lyme Public Library and the Lyme Land Trust are co-hosting a presentation by Steve Fagin, Great Outdoors columnist for The Day.  Fagin will present The Day‘s newest hardcover coffee table book, Treasures of Southeastern Connecticut: Our Proud History of Preserving Scenic Woodlands, Farms, the Shoreline and Other Natural Gems. Some of the essays and photographs were provided by Lyme Land Trust members.

Event attendees will be able to pre-order the book at a 10 dollar discount. The program is free and open to all.

For more information and to register, call  the library at 860 -434-2961 or visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/6164/

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Celebrate Thach Preserve Opening in Lyme Followed by Guided Walk, Nov. 4

View across the beautiful Thach Preserve in Lyme.

Join the Lyme Land Trust for an opening celebration of the Lyme Land Trust’s new Thach Preserve on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m.  This will be followed by a guided walk with Tony Irving, forest ecologist and Lyme Land Trust board member. The walk is about one mile.

The location for the walk is Thach Preserve, 131 Brush Hill Road, Lyme.

For more information, contact stewardship@lymelandtrust.org or visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/thach-preserve-opening-and-tour/

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Lyme Land Trust Hosts Stewardship Trails Boot Camp This Afternoon

Tools of the Trail Volunteer / Land Steward’s trade.

Join Lyme Land Trust on Sunday, Oct. 21, (rain date Oct. 28) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for a trail maintenance boot camp at Hartman Park in Lyme.

Do you love Lyme’s preserves and want to help maintain them? Come learn how you can help by becoming a trail volunteer or property steward. 

At the Boot Camp, you will learn basic trail maintenance and property stewardship tips, including what to bring with you on the trail, how to identify the most common invasive plant species, and what requires reporting back to the town or Land Trust.

You will also be introduced to the free smart phone app TrackKit. Using GPS, the app tracks your path and allows you to mark location on trails to best report a problem or downed tree. Strategies for preventing tick bites will be discussed as well.

Preserve stewards have a little more responsibility than trail volunteers: they adopt a preserve as their own and conduct regular visits to check boundaries, communicate with landowners, and submit online monitoring reports. The event is presented by the Lyme Land Trust and the Town of Lyme.

Bring along water, heavy-duty gloves, and light-weight tools: clippers, pruners, and/or loppers. Snacks will be provided.

Meet at the Main Parking Lot of Hartman Park on Gungy Rd., about one mile north of the four-way stop signs at the intersection with Beaver Brook Rd. and Grassy Hill Rd.

Registration is required at Openspace@townlyme.org

For more information, visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/trail-volunteer-boot-camp-2/

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