The Land Trust always has a lot going on. Here is the latest information about 2017. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to past news. For upcoming programs click here: Upcoming Events
The Ravine Trail has been improved. The entrance has been moved to a more pedestrian-safe location on Joshuatown Road, across the street from the parking lot. The new section of the red trail combined with the new yellow trail creates a moderately easy loop. A new blue trail off the yellow trail offers a moderately easy 0.6 mile round-trip to a breathtaking overlook. The remaining red trail continues on it’s awesome but challenging route to Mitchell Hill Road. It has been cleared of obstruction and re-blazed. Let us know what you think. For an updated Trail Map and brochure. Photos by Wendolyn Hill: Left: Volunteer Humphrey Tyler. Right: Don Gerber and John Pritchard, Lyme Land Trust director and president, at new entrance to The Ravine
Governor Malloy has declared September 4th, 2016 Hadlyme Heritage Day because of Hadlyme’s rich history and its many contributions to the the economic vitality and environmental diversity of the Conn River Valley. Lyme’s State Representative Devin Carney read the Governor’s proclamation at 12:30 PM on the steps of the Hadlyme Country Market. To celebrate that and to kick off the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the Lyme Land Conservation Trust, the Hadlyme Country Market hosted a fun family event from 10am – 4pm which included an effort to help raise funds for the Hadlyme Challenge Grant —An anonymous gift offered by a neighbor to match local residents’ donations in order to purchase the Brockway-Hawthorne Property. For more information. For those who were unable to attend the Hadlyme Heritage Day celebration, contributions to the Hadlyme Challenge Grant and guided tours of the proposed Brockway-Hawthorne Wildlife Preserve can be arranged by contacting Humphrey Tyler at email@example.com Photo: Hadlyme Country Market
Lyme Land Trust bids farewell to Lisa Niccolai, our Environmental Director, and welcomes her replacement, Sue Cope. Lisa and her husband are moving to New Hampshire. She will be sorely missed. During her years with the Lyme Land Trust, Lisa wore many hats. She spent much of her time in our Stewardship program, working closely with our many volunteers. She devoted many hours organizing our successful application for accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance. A Forester by education, Lisa is also an accomplished writer of grant applications and successfully raised a great deal of money from foundations and the State to help make possible our acquisitions in recent years. Lisa has technology savvy and managed the Tour de Lyme website as well as being very proficient working with GIS technology in producing many of our outstanding maps. She was instrumental in providing knowledgeable ecological opinions on conservation opportunities. Best of luck Lisa, we will miss you.
We are fortunate to have Lisa’s replacement already living here in Lyme. Sue Cope received her BA from UConn in Natural Resource & Wildlife Management and a Masters from Indiana’s Ball State University in Environmental Management. To top that off, she earned a degree in Nursing. She traveled internationally to places like Patagonia in South America while studying wildlife management techniques. She is a skilled communicator and is very comfortable using electronic media. Sue is looking forward to being associated with our Land Trust, as are we. She lives in Lyme with her husband and young son. Welcome Sue.
Photo: Lisa Niccolai, departing environmental director, and Sue Cope, new environmental director.
Audubon CT has announced that the Important Bird Area program has designated Lyme and surrounding areas as an Important Bird Landscape called the Lyme Forest Block. An Important Bird Area is a site that provides essential habitat to one or more species of Connecticut’s breeding and non-breeding birds, many of which are endangered or threatened. Landscape level Important Bird Areas include state-owned as well as privately held lands. Any landowners that are within the boundaries of these landscapes are eligible for the benefits of recognizing their properties as part of the IBA Complex, including eligibility for IBA small grants or utilizing the IBA status as a way to bolster other grant applications. For more information: Important Bird Areas photo by Linda Waters, Photo Contest Winner 2016
On the Friday July 22, a well-attended opening reception celebrated the beautiful paintings of the Hamburg Bridge Historic District at the“Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” Paint Out Exhibition and Sale. The paintings will be on exhibit and for sale at the Lyme Art Association from July 22 to August 26, 2016. For more info: “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” Exhibition.
June is a good time to plant a butterfly garden with native milkweed and other flowers. The monarch butterflies will thank you. Here’s how. Photo by and (c)2009 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man)
On the Saturday June 4, the Hamburg Bridge Historic District was invaded by many artists with easels for the “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” Paint Out. The paintings will be on exhibit and for sale at the Lyme Art Association from July 22 to August 26, 2016. Join us for the opening reception on July 22. For more info: “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” Exhibition.
The Tour de Lyme was a big success again this year. The beautiful morning on Sunday, May 15 delivered a record-breaking response from bicycling nature lovers. There were 821 riders of all ages and levels. The many volunteers made the day a joy for all involved. The morning culminated with a celebratory lunch at bucolic Ashlawn Farm. It reminds us why we love Lyme and why the Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s mission to preserve this wonderful landscape is so important. To see pictures of the 2016 event click here.
Coyote Alert: Dog walkers, please avoid Selden Creek Preserve and Mt Archer Woods Red Trail during the spring/early summer 2016. Coyotes are rearing pups. They perceive dogs, especially those that are running loose, as a threat and they will protect their young. Dogs should be on leashes or under direct control when in the preserves. A dog on a short leash is safer because of its close association with a human. It is extremely rare for people without dogs to have an encounter with coyotes on the preserves. They are afraid of humans and prefer to leave us alone. It is up to us to keep it that way by not feeding them, intentionally or unintentionally. Many problems with wildlife occur when they associate people with food and lose their fear of humans.
Coyotes are established in CT. They are highly intelligent and have moved in to fill a niche in the environment as a top predator. They benefit the ecosystem by helping to maintain the balance in the populations of the many species. Their diet mainly consists of rodents, turkey, fruits, carrion and occasionally deer. Small pets and livestock are vulnerable to attack by coyote. Pet owners must be vigilant about keeping their pets under close supervision. To read more about coyotes. Photo from Wild Dog Foundation website.
The Lyme Land Conservation Trust has announced a fund raising drive to protect 82 acres of ecologically strategic upland forest and swamp wildlife habitat in Hadlyme on the headwaters of Whalebone Cove, one of the freshwater tidal wetlands that comprises the internationally celebrated Connecticut River estuary complex. The new proposed preserve is part of a forested landscape just south of Hadlyme Four Corners and Ferry Road (Rt. 148), and forms a large part of the watershed for Whalebone Creek, a key tributary feeding Whalebone Cove. To read more, click here. To Donate, click here. In the comments box, write “Hawthorne Preserve Fund”. For a guided walk on the Lyme Land Trust’s proposed new Hawthorne Preserve or to make a pledge, contact Humphrey Tyler at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-253-4844.
Lyme Consolidated School 5th Graders celebrated Earth Day this year by taking a short field trip with the Lyme Land Trust to the Moulson fish ladder. Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make this possible – Eliza Sharp, Emily Bjornberg, and Sue Cope. A special thank you to our hosts Sue Hessel and Karen Dahle. photo by Eliza Sharp.
Be especially careful when walking dogs in the woods this time of year when coyotes are rearing pups. Keep dogs on a leash. Dogs can be viewed as a threat to their young. If you are approached by a protective coyote while walking a your dog, back out and leave the area. For information about dealing with coyote encounters, click here. If you have an encounter with a coyote, please fill out a trail report.
During April, a large portion of the Ruins on the White Trail at Mt. Archer Woods was cleared of invasive Japanese barberry, other invasives and large fallen tree debris, thanks to the hard work of many volunteers. Take a walk there to check it out! We greatly appreciate the volunteers who contribute many hours to maintaining our beautiful preserves. photo by Wendolyn Hill.
At the Lyme Land Conservation Trust Annual Meeting on April 15, President John Pritchard presided over the meeting. The membership re-elected current directors Wendolyn Hill, George Lombardino, John Pritchard, and Milt Walters. Milt Walters explained how joining the Heritage Society can be mutually beneficial to the Trust and your legacy through planned giving. Following the business portion of the meeting, the attendees were treated to an astounding slide show of baby waterbirds by renowned wildlife photographer, William Burt. Photo by William Burt.
Download the My Town Trails App and never again be lost in the preserves of Lyme. The Town And Land Trust have teamed up with My Town Trails to provide an interactive map for mobile device users. Each preserve map displays all the trails in an aerial or road view with the ability to track your location on a trail. Let us know what you think.
There is a new bridge on the green trail in Hartman Park thanks to Thomas Lamourine of the New England Mountain Bike Association who built the bridge in sections at his house. He and fellow NEMBA members Cory Stiff, Keith Coughlin and brothers Zechariah & Caleb Stover installed the bridge with help from other volunteers. Photo by Wendolyn Hill
The 10th Annual Land Trusts Photo Contest winners were announced at a March 11, 2016 reception highlighting the winning photos and displaying all entered photos. Land trusts in Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Essex and East Haddam jointly sponsor the annual amateur photo contest to celebrate the scenic countryside and diverse wildlife and plants in these towns. The ages of the photographers ranged from children to senior citizens. For the list of winners: 10th Annual Photo Contest Winners. For more information, go to Land Trust Photo Contest. Photo Credit: “Reflection Lily Pads”, by Harcourt Davis 2016 Photo Contest winner
Registration is open for the Tour de Lyme. The fourth annual Tour de Lyme will be held on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Ashlawn Farms. With routes for all levels, it provides a wonderful occasion to pedal with friends and family through the scenic beauty of Lyme and 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, supporters, and volunteers–will enjoy a fabulous post ride picnic at Ashlawn Farm with popular food trucks, local vendors and live music.
A new footbridge now spans the Eightmile River in Patrell/Chapal Farm Preserve in Lyme and East Haddam. This structure bridges preserved land and is a connecting link in the Goodwin Trail, a cooperative trail that spans four towns: East Haddam, Salem, Lyme and East Lyme. For a slide show of the construction of the bridge, click here. For a map of the Patrell Preserve. photo from East Haddam Land Trust webpage
Please vote for the Lyme Land Conservation Trust during the Essex Savings Bank Community Investment Program. Anyone with an account or holdings at the Essex Savings Bank may vote for their favorite non-profit organization to receive financial support. Ballots must be submitted by February 29.
The Land Trusts Amateur Photo Contest Deadline is January 31, 2016. For more information.
The new Lyme Corner Trails Map and Brochure is now available. The trails of three contiguous preserves, Hartman Park, Walbridge Woodlands and the Young Preserve, have been combined to form a unified system. For more information about the new trail system: Lyme Corner Trails article. The Heritage Trail Booklet has been updated to reflect minor changes in the trail system at Hartman Park. To view the updated booklet click on: Heritage Trail Booklet 2016
Selden Landing is open for public enjoyment. The 2.5 acre preserve on Selden Road includes 157 feet of waterfront along Selden Cove on the Connecticut River. It will be maintained as an open meadow. Brackish tidal wetlands and river marshland along the creek provides breeding, foraging, and resting habitat for migratory bird species, and is recognized as a “Wetlands of International Importance.” The Land Trust acted as “purchaser” while title passed to the Town immediately upon closing. In the annual Town budget meeting, the residents of Lyme voted overwhelmingly to accept the property. You may pull in by the new sign to park and explore the property. Please don’t park along the road. Photo by Wendolyn Hill