Center at Fairfield

Reporting Back: Progress on Habitat Improvements at Our Sanctuaries

Executive Director Nelson North, left, discusses the Smith Richardson project with Milan Bull, senior director of science and conservation.

Executive Director Nelson North, left, discusses the Smith Richardson project with Milan Bull, senior director of science and conservation.

From the desk of Executive Director Nelson North …

October 28, 2016 – I had the pleasure of walking the H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport recently. It’s a beautiful preserve, and these days much of its beauty lies in its potential.

Smith Richardson is one of the five sanctuaries where we have habitat improvement work underway (Bafflin in Pomfret, Trail Wood in Hampton, Morgan Chaney in Montville, and Croft in Goshen are the others). Most of its south section is lush with native fall flowers and foliage – goldenrod, boneset, pokeweed, and wild grapes. But there are also weedy invasives like mugwort, bittersweet, and porcelain berry.

Those invasive plants are crippling the sanctuary’s potential to harbor birds and other wildlife.

Standing out by contrast are two acres that were just as tangled with non-native vegetation. We recently got rid of the invasives, and what remains is a thin covering of dead branches, a few weeds, and a dozen stumps shorn to almost ground level.

This fall, a grinder will get rid of the stumps. A tractor will rake away the debris. A disk harrow will prepare the earth. Come spring we will start to plant and by June the Connecticut Audubon Society’s newest pollinator meadow will be in bloom with flowers and buzzing with insects. Read the rest of Nelson’s letter …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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