Making history in the Quinebaug Highlands
Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 01:36 PM
By The Nature Conservancy
For more than 50 years, The Nature Conservancy has worked to reconnect Connecticut's lands and waters and restore its vital natural communities. This year, members and friends helped the Conservancy reach a historic milestone: the protection of 50,000 acres of forests, rivers and coastline across Connecticut. Below is the story of one watershed protection project that helped reach this goal.
The visit began at Meyers Pond. Seven people looked out over the shimmering water and tussock sedge wetland. Stands of hemlock, oak and hickory towered over the landscape like ancient sentries.
Staff from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Program were here to meet with Adam Whelchel and Holly Drinkuth of The Nature Conservancy and staff from the Green Valley Institute and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to see the project these partners were proposing for funding.
The group made its way to Lost Pond on a tract of land donated to the Conservancy by Dr. Ralph Otto and his wife, Cecelia. Around nearly every bend, another great blue heron took off, stirred by their approach, and with steady wing beats made its way across the water.
In March, The Nature Conservancy was awarded a landmark $1 million grant from NAWCA for work in Connecticut for the Quinebaug Highlands Natchaug River Watershed Project, which will permanently protect 11 different tracts totaling 1,103 acres of wetlands and forest, including the 98-acre Still River Preserve acquired in December 2007.
The proposal grew from a partnership with three private landowners, the Green Valley Institute, the Wyndham Land Trust, Connecticut DEP and the Towns of Eastford and Woodstock.
MNN is working with The Nature Conservancy to bring you state-by-state environmental information.
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