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Annual Picnic at Hadlow

On a breezy, blue-sky September day, NCLC celebrated its first community picnic since the pandemic began at the 45-acre Hadlow Preserve in Sherman. The event, held on one of the region’s most beautiful scenic vistas, was a favorite annual Naromi Land Trust tradition. This year marked the first time NCLC hosted the event since Naromi Land Trust and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust merged to form NCLC in 2020.

It was a perfect opportunity for members, conservation partners and leaders, and those new to NCLC to gather and share a barbecue lunch, fly kites, play lawn games, and learn more about the NCLC extensive trail network, which includes 21 trials with 9 in Sherman alone. After lunch, there was time to  kick back and enjoy one of the most glorious views in northwestern Connecticut.

Taking in the 360-degree view at the top of the meadow, Frank Ruiz of New Milford said he felt like he was on top of the world. “I am always looking for new places to hike and I will definitely return here with my dogs,” he said.












Dogs are allowed on NCLC preserves provided they are on a leash. Catherine Heald, who was walking her golden retriever with her husband, Donald, remarked on the success of the land trust merger. “We’ve been involved with what was Naromi for 22 years so now we are thrilled with the merger, I think it is so much better for everyone. We love this picnic and we are thrilled to  have all our friends from Kent and Washington here now, too.” said Catherine Heald.

The tables covered with red-and-white checked cloth were set up on a section of the field named Kemp’s Meadow after P. Kempton Mandeville, a long-time Treasurer of Naromi Land Trust.

Former Sherman resident Mary Hadlow bequeathed the Hadlow Preserve to Naromi Land Trust in 1998, and she had donated multiple other properties to Naromi during her lifetime, including the heart of the Mallory Preserve, another public preserve in Sherman.

A large portion of the  Hadlow Preserve is leased to the Leszczynski Family Farm for hay production. The fields on the easternmost end of the preserve are not mowed and are  managed for grassland birds. Species of special concern, including bobolinks and savannah sparrows, have been sighted on the property. A kestrel box, which American Kestrels use for nesting, was installed along the northern boundary, and several  kestrels have fledged from the box in recent years.