Notes from the Field: Summer Interns Report on Their First Month

This summer NCLC has two interns for our ongoing partnership intern program.  We welcome Chris Arrotti, a 2020 UConn graduate who is headed for graduate school this fall, and Tim Strzepa, a rising senior studying environmental science at Saint Michael’s College.  Chris and Tim are trained and supervised by NCLC staff and gain first-hand experience with the many tools of land conservation. They are doing a terrific job and you can read more here.

Watch Online: Dr. Lucianne Lavin on Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples and the Natural World

Did you know that New England was not a “wilderness”, as described by the early English settlers, but a built and managed landscape? Dr. Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, gave a presentation about Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples and their relationship with the natural world, exploring the long, rich histories that extend back thousands of years before the arrival of settler-colonists. Dr. Lavin explains how  Indigenous Peoples have managed the physical environment to enhance plant and animal populations. Indigenous folklore and sacred stories reflect this stewardship. Click below to enjoy a recording of this talk.

Dr. Lucianne Lavin, has over 40 years of research and field experience in Northeastern archaeology and anthropology and is a founding member of the state’s Native American Heritage Advisory Council and former editor of the journal of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut for 30 years. Her award-winning book, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History and Oral Traditions Teach Us about their Communities and Cultures, was recently published by Yale University Press in 2013. The book won an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations, won  second place in the books category in the 2014 New England Museum Association Publication Award Competition, and  was selected as a Choice Magazine “Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the North America Category.”

The View from Above: Aerial Monitoring Technology for Land Trusts

Did you know that accredited land trusts monitor every property they protect every year? It is an essential part of fulfilling our mission to protect land in perpetuity. One of the most exciting advancements in land stewardship is the emergence of digital aerial monitoring. This technology allows NCLC, and our partner land trusts, to be both more efficient and thorough.

We are excited to announce that the Land Trust Alliance awarded NCLC $13,800 to establish a pilot program to train our partner land trusts to use a program called  LENS for aerial monitoring, outreach to landowners, and tracking changes over time. The program is open to every land trust in NCLC’s service area, and we appreciate the partnership with HVA Greenprint Collaborative on this project.

Participating land trusts will receive unlimited use of LENS for the 2021 calendar year, plus NCLC staff support as they begin their aerial inspection programs.  If land trusts choose not to use LENS themselves, NCLC can complete their monitoring for them on a fee-for-service basis.

Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up

Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up

Join members of the Naromi Council of Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy in sprucing up the roadsides and trailheads of Sherman preserves.

Let’s continue the tradition of adopting a trailhead and section of roadside to clean.  It is a great way to celebrate Earth Day and beautify your community.  Please call (860-927-1927) or email to let us know where you plan to go or let us assign you.  That way we can be sure all the preserves benefit.  Recruit a friend or family member – the job goes faster with helpers.

Large trash bags will be available at the Sherman Town Hall in the days before the 24th, or, on the 24th they can be picked up at the town hall parking lot.  Not sure you’ll be available that morning?  Do your clean-up on days before the 24th and then bring the trash to the Mallory Town Hall lower parking lot on the 24th.  The trash from town roads should be taken to the dumpster at the Mallory Town Hall lower parking lot.  But garbage along the state roads (Routes 55, 39, and 37) should be left in the trash bags on those roadsides.  The DOT will pick up those bags on April 26th.  Please wear bright clothing or ask for a vest from Town Hall so that you will be easily visible to traffic.  And remember to wear gloves; thin plastic under heavy gloves are the most protective for picking up glass, cans, and unsavory items.

Closer to the 24th Sherman residents will receive more details about other clean-up options that day for e-waste, bulky waste, scrap metal, and returnable bottles/cans (no hazardous waste that day).  Call Ruth at the Sherman First Selectman’s office – 860-355-1129 or send an email to with any questions specific to those options.

Preserves in Sherman that need most clean up:

Clean-ups in other towns

KentKent Conservation Commission is organizing roadside cleanup efforts from April 11 through April 25. Call the Town Clerk at 860-927-3433 if you would like to help.

Sharon – Sharon Energy and Environment Commission are meeting (from a safe distance) on Saturday, April 17 at 10:00 AM in front of the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon (masks required). They will provide routes, safety vests, latex gloves, and garbage bags but ask that if you already own a safety vest to please bring that (Rain date, April 18).

Warren – Warren Townwide Clean Up, organized by the Warren Land Trust and Warren Parks and Rec. April 24 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Meet at the Warren General Store to get garbage bags and rubber gloves.  You select the stretch of road to clean. There will be a dumpster at the Warren Town Garage for the trash collected.


Connecticut’s Black Bears: Recording

On March 18, 2021 NCLC welcomed CT DEEP Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn for an online presentation on black bears.  This excellent presentation is wonderful for anyone curious about how we can optimally co-exist with these animals.  Paul encourages everyone who learns something from his talks to share it with five more people.  If you see a bear, please report it to DEEP. This data helps our state’s scientists understand the bear population.

March e-news: The Impact Report is Here! Plus, Trail Camera Updates and Events for You

March’s lingering cold weather will soon give way to the warmer days of spring. This year especially, I am eager for the return to warm weather and more time spent outside on the trails.
This month, all of us at NCLC are pleased to share our most recent Impact Report, which is available on our website. From our mergers with Brookfield Open Space Legacy and Naromi Land Trust to land acquisitions that affect the future of our region and people, this Impact Report is a testament to the good work that you make possible.

Iron Mountain Conservation Partnership with Kent Land Trust

On January 6, 2021, The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut transferred ownership of the 300+ acre Iron Mountain Preserve to the Kent Land Trust. NCLC will support the permanent conservation of these lands by holding a conservation easement on the property. Preserve’s quiet wooded landscape is a popular destination for hikers on its “lollipop loop” trail, just under 3 miles roundtrip. It was created in 1974 and 1981 by the donation of 257 acres by Mrs. Walter E. Irving. Mrs. Irving’s neighbors Brigitta Lieberson, Joseph Gitterman, and Vilma Kurzer followed her lead with additional gifts in 1983, 1984, 1987, and 1991.

The Preserve is a key part of the scenic vista which caused the Town of Kent to name Geer Mountain Panorama as one of Kent’s 23 Town Character Areas. The blue-blazed hiking trail emanates from the parking area on Treasure Hill Road and then splits into a loop that circumnavigates the Ore Hill summit. Signs of past human occupation include stone walls, charcoal mounds, wire fencing, three old foundations, a former orchard, and several old wood roads. Patches of locally-important farm soils connect back to its agricultural use after being denuded of trees used to produce charcoal for Kent’s iron industry. Many charcoal mounds remain, some clearly visible from the trail. In addition to providing a wonderful recreational resource for the Kent community, the Preserve is an important area for wildlife: Part of an 890-acre core forest block interlaced with several stream courses, it is home to bobcat, bear, coyotes, deer, owls, and many other native species.

2020 Land Acquisitions

In addition to the permanent protection of Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, NCLC completed four additional conservation projects, protecting a total of 350 acres in 2020.  Land conservation is about the relationships and connections that we have with the land. NCLC is grateful to the people who made these projects possible.

Nickoll Preserve, Salisbury, 109 acres

Longtime NCLC supporters Chrissy Armstrong and Ben Nickoll donated 109 acres of forested land that expands the protected area in the Moore Brook corridor of Salisbury. This new preserve lies adjacent to 233 acres of land previously protected by The Nature Conservancy. Moore Brook is a class A stream and a State-designated Critical Habitat Area, home to rare species of plants and animals. The underlying geology creates rich soils and a diverse and unique community of plants and animals thrive in these calcium-rich (“calcareous”) groundwater seeps and soils. NCLC thanks Chrissy and Ben for protecting this special place for future generations.

Peterson Easement, New Milford, 16 Acres
Guy Peterson’s donation of this conservation easement is in honor of his late wife Mary Jane. Guy is a former board president of NCLC and this easement is adjacent to other lands that he was instrumental in protecting. This parcel expands the protected land around Bear Hill, New Milford’s highest point, and the location of CT DEEP’s bobcat population study. His gift improves the connectivity of Northern New Milford’s conserved lands and protects a long stretch of Denman Brook, a tributary to the West Aspetuck River, a class AA waterway. Guy is a true conservation leader in Northwest Connecticut. We are grateful for the legacy of conservation that he has made possible.
Osborn Conservation Easement, Salisbury, 54 acres
Brothers Nic and Eliot Osborn protected about 54 acres of sensitive wetlands, uplands, and roadside farm fields. This easement will connect to conserved land, including extensive endangered reptile habitat protected by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) north of the Osborn lands in Massachusetts. The TNC land is one of the most important sites for endangered reptiles in the Northeast. The Osborn easement expands the wildlife corridor that animals rely on for migration across state lines. Thank you Nic and Eliot for creating connections between critical habitats.
Stoney Batter Pond, West Cornwall, 125 acres
Hamilton South IV and Manuel Bellod’s Stony Batter Farm conservation easement is an important addition to a swath of protected lands in the Housatonic River corridor. Protecting forested lands limits soil erosion and runoff that can carry pollution to water. This easement also enhances a wildlife corridor connection between state lands, including Wyantenock State Forest, NCLC protected lands, and conservation easements held by Warren Land Trust and Cornwall Conservation Trust. We are grateful to Hamilton and Manuel for their long-term commitment to conservation.